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A True Original
One of the original Marvel Comics, Iron Man has enjoyed a long and prosperous run dating back to the character's first appearance in the Marvel comic Tales of Suspense in April 1963. Iron Man's alter ego, Tony Stark, became an overnight film sensation on May 2nd, 2008 when the film grossed $98.6 million in its opening weekend on its way to an eventual take of more than $572 million worldwide. Fans and critics of all ages were enamored with the red and gold super hero. The film received many awards and accolades, including two Academy Award® nominations, and "Iron Man” has since become part of the pop culture mainstream.

"We always want to stay true to the characters as written in the comics, but we also don't want to be afraid to take risks occasionally with our characters,” notes Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios and producer of "Iron Man 2.” "We believe our stories and characters are so strong that we can take chances. It was a risk to take a billionaire playboy and put him in an iron suit and have him fly around and save the world. That was not your typical story back in 1962, nor is it a typical story today. Those were factors that we knew we had to rise above and we couldn't have been prouder of the response that the fans had to the Iron Man character and film.”

"What triggered me to create a character like ‘Iron Man' was that I wanted to see something different from the usual super hero,” explains executive producer Stan Lee. "The character of Tony Stark is so glamorous, so successful, so virile, yet he has a very vulnerable side to him. When we first started writing and publishing the Iron Man comic books, we had more fan mail from females than any other comic book we had ever created. In those days, I think the women who read the comic books felt the same way about Tony Stark as the women who went to see the film and loved Robert Downey Jr. and the vulnerability that he brought to the character. People of all ages connect to the human side of this character.”

"The biggest compliment we received from people when the film came out was ‘I don't usually like comic book movies like these, but I loved ‘Iron Man'” says Feige. "I don't believe in ‘A' tier, ‘B' tier and ‘C' tier characters; it's up to us to make all the Marvel characters into successful film franchises because in the comic book world they already enjoy that status. We were thrilled with the success of ‘Iron Man' and that we were able to introduce the character in a way that was just as interesting and engaging outside of his costume as he was inside his suit of armor. That is a great compliment to Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau who were able to create a character who was an iconic film personality from the beginning of the film.”

The film's runaway worldwide box office and critical success even caught director Jon Favreau, and the outstanding cast of the film off-guard.

"I think the first sense that we had something special was when we went on the international press tour and both the feedback and film reviews were extremely positive,” recalls Favreau. "But it really didn't hit us until we went around to movie theaters on opening weekend and watched how well audiences were reacting to the film. It was inspiring and extremely gratifying to see Robert beat the odds and, with the success of the film, come back bigger and better than he was before. That's the ultimate success story and it was oddly parallel to the character of Tony Stark. Sometimes when art imitates life, you can really catch lightning in a bottle.”

"The reason I decided to do the first movie was because I always wanted to work with Robert and I love Jon Favreau,” says Gwyneth Paltrow. "People initially questioned why I would be in a comic book film, but I thought it felt really natural and it

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