Jeff Bridges Called ‘Iron Man’ a ‘$200 Million Student Movie’ Because of Marvel

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Jeff Bridges has several iconic movie roles to his name, and Obadiah Stane is one of them. As the villain in the first Iron Man movie, Bridges shaved his head, grew a beard, and set the tone for the villains of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The end result established the comic book movies as box office winners, but Bridges said the making of the film felt more like a $200 million student film due to Marvel’s heavy involvement.

Jeff Bridges | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Jeff Bridges helped craft the script for Iron Man

The MCU is a well-oiled machine at this point, with movies and phases planned years in advance. Iron Man was another story. As Marvel’s first attempt at big-budget movies, the 2008 film was more piecemeal.

During a video chat about her career with Vanity Fair (via YouTube), Bridges revealed how the movie turned out. He, star Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau worked out a script and rehearsed together because neither of them liked the first script. They brought it to a place where they felt good about the direction of the film, only for Marvel to say no to their changes.

Bridges treated ‘Iron Man’ as a ‘$200 million student film’

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Bridges said Marvel’s interference led to on-set frustration, confusion, and delays, which led to a hectic shoot.

“Then came the first day of filming, and Marvel kind of dismissed our script that we were working on, saying, ‘No, that’s not good. It has to be this and that,” he told Vanity Fair. “And so there was a lot of confusion about what our script was, what we were going to say. We’d spend hours in one of our trailers going through the lines and saying, “Oh, you play me, I’ll play you,” exploring how we were going to do it. … Meanwhile, the crew is on the soundstage tapping their feet, saying, “When are we gonna get this thing started?”

Still, Bridges revealed that a change in her mindset lessened her stress on set.

“It drove me absolutely crazy until I made a slight adjustment in my brain that was, ‘Jeff, relax. You’re doing a $200 million student film. Relax and have fun. ‘ And that did the trick because here I can play with these two amazing artists and just jam, and that’s what we ended up doing.

Jeff Bridges details his state of mind during filming Iron Man

Iron Man established the MCU as a box office giant. The film grossed over $585 million worldwide against a budget of $140 million, per IMDb. Although Marvel threw a spanner in production, it became a huge hit for the then fledgling film studio.

The Door Is Open For Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger To Return To The MCU

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The Bridges character dies at the end of Iron Man. His one-and-done in the MCU might not be, though.

His Iron Monger character could return, which would be more in line with the character’s arc when Bridges signed on to the project. Thanks to the multiverse and time jumping, anything can happen in the MCU.

One possible way for Bridges to return, even in flashback form, is to play the secret benefactor of Sonny Burch, the black market tech and arms dealer introduced in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Marvel has planned the next few years of the MCU, but there’s always a chance that Bridges will resume his Iron Man role.

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