Let’s be honest, whether it is the fact Iron Man came out nearly a decade ago, he was just another sub-par Marvel villain, or that he had a bald head, you forgot that Jeff Bridges was the first villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I know I do, often, and I love Bridges and have seen every MCU film countless times. So, lest we ever forget again, Bridges played the very first MCU villain in 2008, Obadiah Stane, father figure and business associate of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who betrayed Tony, stealing his Arc Reactor to power his own suit, the War Monger, rather than go along with Stark’s plan to stop producing and selling weapons (except more Iron Man suits and genocidal robots than are healthy).
If you remember all this, and the finale of Iron Man, then you remember that Stane was killed at the end of the film. Making the mistake of fighting Tony above a giant Arc Reactor, Stane was fried when Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) overloaded it, yet Stark survived. Well, it turns out that Stane wasn’t always meant to die.
Cinemablend discussed the end of Iron Man with Bridges, and the legendary actor revealed this startling revelation:
“In the original script they were supposed to open my suit after, and I was gone! But then, no. I read the scene we were shooting, and they said, ‘No, you’re dead.’ And I said, ‘Oh…’ Then they said, ‘Well, it’s a comic! Maybe you’ll come back!’ I don’t know.”
So, according to Bridges, originally Stane was meant to escape to fight another day! Though it is not uncommon currently in the genre and the MCU to keep your villain alive at the end of the film — though no one tell DC or Fox that — at the time of Iron Man, the very popular Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man films were killing villains left and right, as did Batman Begins. It was more of an industry standard to kill your main villain, whereas today you have villains like Loki, Zemo, and Vulture bucking the older trend. Stane was almost one of the first to make it, and one wonders if the films following it would have changed much, if at all, with this start in a different direction.
“You never know. You never know.”
That sounds like a “no” to me, as what value is there in a villain no one remembers? Justin Hammer deserves his due before Stane!
What do you think about this new look behind Marvel’s early creative process? Do you think they made the right decision in the end by killing off their first villain? Would you have liked to seen them buck the trend from the get-go? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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