For the entire month of September, Freeform is hosting 30 Days of Disney — a celebration of everything Disney! Freeform will feature dozens of beloved movies all month, and the Laughing Place team will take a look at one of the films being shown each day with a variety of fun tie-ins.
More than 11 years ago, Marvel’s Iron Man hit theaters. The film was not only a box office hit but it also laid the groundwork for what would eventually become the biggest cinematic franchise in history – the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Being fans of the MCU, we’re obviously familiar with Iron Man and the 22 other films that make up the franchise. But revisiting the 2008 film today will let you see it from a different angle and catch just how some of that groundwork would later appear in the MCU.
Here are 10 quotes and scenes from Iron Man that came back later in the MCU:
1. “I’d be out of a job with peace.”
Tony Stark’s character arc is perhaps the most intriguing in all of the MCU. He goes from being all about his money and playboy lifestyle to being the ultimate humanitarian, in the end sacrificing his own life to save half of all life in the universe. That is evident in this line from the first few minutes of Iron Man. While taking a picture with a soldier who throws up a peace sign, Tony says “Peace, yeah. I love peace. I’d be out of a job with peace.” Jump forward to Avengers: Endgame, where Tony is living with his family, far away from any fight. When he comes to Captain America with the solution to the time travel dilemma, he says “I just want peace.” In the moment, this plays off as if he just wants to help but when you look back at this line, it seems as though Tony is saying he just wants his job to be finished so he can go back to his life with his family.
2. The Ten Rings
The terrorist group that abduct Tony, eventually forcing him to build the first Iron Man suit to save his own life, is known as the Ten Rings. This group plays a big role in the comics and is tied to the iconic villain the Mandarin. No, not that knock-off version we got in Iron Man 3, but an actual villain who is worthy of Tony Stark’s time. Well the Ten Rings are coming back to the MCU. As we learned back at San Diego Comic-Con, one of the upcoming Phase 4 films will be Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
3. Pounding the hammer
Perhaps the most notable omission from Avengers: Endgame was a post-credit scene as it was the first MCU film to be without one. We did however hear the pounding of a hammer on metal, calling back to the scene in which we see Tony building the mark 1 mask in the cave. To me, this signified that, in addition to that suit, Tony was building everything we had watched over the past 11 years, but also that Marvel was hard at work building the next steps in the MCU.
Queue the tears. Avengers: Endgame was a wildly emotional movie, due in large part to Tony’s adorable daughter Morgan. After Tony’s death, his longtime friend Happy Hogan is shown comforting Morgan. He asks if she’s hungry and what she wants to eat, to which she replies “cheeseburgers.” He gets visibly emotional and tells the young girl “you know, your dad liked cheeseburgers,” a callback to Tony demanding an “American cheeseburger” to eat during his press conference after returning from his captivity.
5. “I never got to say goodbye to my father.”
During that same press conference, Tony explains to Obadiah Stane and the audience of reporters that he never got to say goodbye to his father. That would make sense, as we saw in Captain America: Civil War that his father was murdered by the Winter Soldier. This also comes back in Avengers: Endgame though, as Tony travels back in time and eventually does actually get to say goodbye to his father. He even shares a hug, which is very awkward for his father who doesn’t even know Tony is his son… from the future.
6. Proof that Tony Stark has a heart
Got any tears left? Well keep ‘em coming. In Iron Man, Pepper boxes up Tony’s first arc reactor and gives it to him with the message “Proof that Tony Stark has a heart.” During his funeral in Avengers: Endgame, we see that very same arc reactor, still surrounded by that message, floated out on the lake. In all my experiences seeing the movie in theaters, that moment brought on emotional laughter through the tears and sniffles of the audience. It was one of the most powerful visuals in the movie.
7.”I shouldn’t be alive, unless it was for a reason.”
During an emotion talk with Pepper in Iron Man, Tony says he “shouldn’t be alive, unless it was for a reason.” Obviously, in the moment he means getting back his weapons from the wrong hands and making this right. There was always a much bigger reason though. As Doctor Strange said in Avengers: Infinity War, there were 14,000,605 possible outcomes to the struggle with Thanos and only one in which the Avengers would win. That one had to end with Tony snapping his fingers. That’s the reason he was sill alive.
8. “Next time baby.”
One of the best things about Iron Man was that it didn’t rush to include all of the comic book characters we know and love. Col. James Rhodes is in the film but he never puts on the suit to become War Machine. We do get a tease of that though as he looks back at an unfinished suit and pauses before saying “next time baby.” Ironically, for actor Terrence Howard, there was no next time. He was replaced by Don Cheadle in the sequel.
9. “I am Iron Man.”
The last two are the most obvious ones. Tony’s last line of the movie was memorably “I am Iron Man,” as he addressed a room full of reporters. Of course, his last line before snapping his fingers, defeating Thanos and ultimately bringing about his own death, was also “I am Iron Man.” That line brought us full circle and really wrapped up Tony’s character arc nicely while also creating what is sure to be looked back on as an iconic cinematic moment.
10. “You think you’re the only superhero in the world?”
And of course, the first MCU post-credit scene that set up the biggest cinematic universe we have ever seen. Nick Fury sneaks into Tony’s home and introduces the “Avenger Initiative.” Just before that though, Fury asks Tony, “you think you’re the only superhero in the world?” Let’s take a closer look at that question. At this point, Cap is still on ice, the Hulk hasn’t yet destroyed Harlem and Thor hasn’t visited Earth. So who is Fury referring to? The answer to that question didn’t come until the film just before Avengers: Endgame, when Captain Marvel was introduced to the MCU. Set in the 90s and featuring a heavy dose of Nick Fury, Captain Marvel actually laid som retroactive groundwork itself. Carol Danvers would be the other superhero Fury is referring to here.