RELEASED: May 2nd 2008
DIRECTED BY: Jon Favreau
WRITTEN BY: Mark Fergus, Hawk Otsby, Art Marcum & Matt Holloway
PRODUCED BY: Avi Arad & Kevin Feige
MUSIC BY: Ramin Djawadi
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Gwenyth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jon Favreau, Shaun Toub, Clark Gregg & Jeff Bridges
Looking back at the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can see a big change between this and later films like The First Avenger and what came after. While films like The First Avenger, Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok would fully embrace their comic-book roots, Iron Man was still taking steps to truly establish the superhero genre as its own thing seperate from general science-fiction. As such, it feels more real and serious, not unlike films like The Dark Knight (and to a lesser degree, the leather-bound X-Men). And while there are those signature Tony Stark quips being thrown out every now and then, the film is much more somber, and unlike the films that would follow, pretty dark.
I think this is particularly interesting, as in later years, audiences would complain that the MCU lacked stakes and that everything was too jovial. But if you go back to the beginning, you find a film about a war profiteer who kills terrorists after being held hostage and tortured for the beginning of the film’s run-time.