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Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige and Jon Favreau Celebrate 15th Anniversary of ‘Iron Man’

15th Anniversary of 'Iron Man'

With “Iron Man” celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige and director Jon Favreau recently sat down together to discuss making “Iron Man,” the film that would launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The Conversation

In a wide ranging conversation about the film, Feige and Favreau discuss the birth of Marvel Studios, after the popularity of films like Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films at Sony and the early entries in the “X-Men” franchise at 20th Century Fox, and how they worked hard to come up with the “Marvel Formula,” which blends comedy with the action.

They also agreed that back then, neither one of them could have ever dreamed dozens of films later they would still be exploring the larger Marvel Universe together.

“I remember saying something to you like, John, we’re going to be together, you know, every day for the next two years,” Feige recalls. “And you said, no, if this works, we’re going to be together for the next ten years. And you were wrong because it’s now been 15 years.”

Iron Man - Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige and director Jon Favreau

The wide-ranging conversation touches on everything from casting Robert Downey Jr. in the titular role, planting little Easter Eggs here and there for future installments, and even how future MCU director Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther” films) was at one of the very first “Iron Man” screenings and watched Feige and Favreau intro the movie for the crowd.

“[Ryan] told me a story— this was months and months if not a year into working with him,” Feige recalls. “He said, by the way, I want to tell you something…he said that he saw us walk past him. He’d been getting popcorn and was running and late as we were going [into the theater] and he said, ‘You guys look confident. I knew the movie is going to be good, you looked confident.’”

They also talk about how they started those MCU post-credit scenes as a way to get Marvel fans excited without alienating their more casual audience.

You can watch the full conversation (it runs about 21 minutes) in this video:

About the Film

“Iron Man” hit theaters on May 2, 2008, and brought a new type of superhero movie to the fans.

At the time, Marvel Studios was a year out from being acquired by Disney, so the movie was distributed by Paramount Pictures.

It starred Robert Downey, Jr, as Tony Stark/Iron Man, and the actor made the character his own. The film also starred Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, and Shaun Toub.

Directed by Jon Favreau from a screenplay by the writing teams of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, the film grossed over $585 million, becoming the eighth-highest grossing film of 2008.

It also was selected by the American Film Institute as one of the ten best films of 2008.

Iron Man

Fifteen years later, Marvel is still going strong, with the recent release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” earlier this month. Next on the schedule is “The Marvels,” which will be in theaters on November 10, 2023.