Think you know everything there is about the big screen adaptations of Marvel comics? Test your knowledge with this list of interesting facts.
Iron Man (2008)
1. Roughly 450 separate pieces make up Iron Man’s suit.
2. Director Jon Favreau wanted Robert Downey Jr. for the title role because he felt that the actor’s past was perfect for the part. He has said, “The best and worst moments of Robert’s life have been in the public eye. He had to find an inner balance to overcome obstacles that went far beyond his career. That’s Tony Stark.”
3. JARVIS, standing for “Just A Rather Very Intelligent System,” is Tony Stark’s computer system. This is a tribute to Edward Jarvis, Stark’s butler from the comics. He was changed to artificial intelligence to avoid comparisons to Batman/Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
4. Right before the final press conference, Tony Stark is seen reading a newspaper with a poor-quality photo of Iron Man on the cover. This is actually from a video shot by onlookers hiding in the bushes during the initial filming.
5. Agent Phil Coulson, portrayed by Clark Gregg, was originally a much tinier part, only having the name “Agent.” As filming went on, his chemistry with the other actors became apparent and he was given more scenes.
6. Favreau set the film in California because he felt that too many superhero films were already on the East Coast, especially in New York City.
7. Hugh Jackman was offered the role of Iron Man. He was also offered the role of the Hulk.
8. Nick Fury was reimagined in the Ultimate Marvel Universe in 2000, where the Marvel heroes were updated for the 21st century. Fury’s likeness was actually based on Samuel L. Jackson, who gave Marvel permission to do so. Based on this and his star power, Jackson was cast as Fury in all Marvel superhero films owned by Marvel and Disney, starting with Iron Man.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
9. Ferrigno recommend Edward Norton for the role of Bruce Banner because he reminded him of the late Bill Baxby, who acted beside him as David Banner (same character, different name) in The Incredible Hulk (1978).
10. Director Louis Leterrier liked Hulk (2003), but he agreed with Marvel Studios that in order to continue the franchise, they would need to depart from Ang Lee’s style in the first film and focus on a more action-packed tone.
11. Edward Norton, notorious for rewriting scripts for films he stars in, rewrote a substantial part of the script. He was credited under the pseudonym Edward Harrison on some movie posters, but this was later denied by WGA, stating Zak Penn was the only writer.
12. The Hulk speaks a total of six words: “Leave Me Alone”, “Hulk Smash”, and “Betty”.
13. Zak Penn felt the name “Abomination” sounded too silly, so Emil Blonsky is referred to by his proper name in the film. Although, Samuel Sterns uses the word when he warns Blonsky that the mix of Banner’s mutated DNA with his injections, “could be…an abomination.”
14. You can see that Bruce Banner’s email to Mr. Blue is being tracked through the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.) database.
15. According to Louis Leterrier, the final scene where Banner is grinning as he turns green, was a deliberate shot meaning that Bruce has finally learned to control the Hulk. In The Avengers, he reveals his secret for staying calm – he’s always angry.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
16. The live news footage from Culver City in the S.H.I.E.L.D. office is from The Incredible Hulk (2008) showing that the events of the second half of that film happen after the events in Iron Man 2.
17. A handful of Whiplash’s noticeable features were suggested by Mickey Rourke himself.
18. Scarlett Johansson dyed her hair red before she even got the part of Natasha Rominov/Black Widow because she wanted the role that bad.
19. Howard Stark’s idea of a futuristic city is heavily based on Walt Disney’s television reveal of his EPCOT center. The 3D map mimics EPCOT’s and the posters behind Stark are from the World’s Fair, which Disney had an influence in.
20. Not being tech literate, Rourke found the most challenging part of his role as Whiplash was pretending to know his way around a computer.
21. The dance Justin Hammer does before his presentation of the drones at the Expo is something actor Sam Rockwell does to get into character. Coincidentally, Rockwell was almost cast as Iron Man.
22. Director Kenneth Branagh asked Anthony Hopkins to improvise his role of Odin during Thor’s banishment scene. Members of the cast/crew were crying during the shoot and later both Hemsworth and Hiddleston said it was difficult to keep their composure during this scene.
23. Dr. Erik Selvig mentions a companion who got involved with S.H.I.E.L.D., whom he described as a “pioneer in gamma radiation,” which is an allusion to Bruce Banner. He also mentions Hank Pym, better known as Ant-Man one of the founding members of The Avengers in the comics, during a deleted scene.
24. The final decision for Thor came down to brothers Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth. Tom Hiddleston also auditioned before getting the role of Loki.
25. The Norwegian village shown in a flashback is the same one the Red Skull invades to steal the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger.
26. After researching Loki, Tom Hiddleston chose to base his portrayal of this multi-dimensional character on Jack Nicholson (edgy and slightly-insane persona), Peter O’Toole (enigmatic reckless persona), and Clint Eastwood (simmering anger persona).
27. According to Branagh, Odin is the ruler of the Marvel Universe. It was Odin that hid the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger, and the Infinity Gauntlet in The Avengers.
28. Stan Lee claimed he always wanted to play Odin, but admit that he was happy with Anthony Hopkins casting and performance.
29. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that picks up a bow when Thor attempts to retrieve his hammer is referred to as Agent Barton, and appears in the credits as Clint Barton, also known as Hawkeye.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
30. Chris Evans was initially uninterested in Captain America. He declined the role 3 times before accepting. It took the director and producers to convince him to take the part.
31. At the exhibition, there is a mannequin dressed in a red jumpsuit under a glass dome, which is a reference to the original Human Torch, the first superhero created by Timely Comics (later Marvel Comics) in 1939. Marvel recycled his abilities and name to use in Fantastic Four for Johnny Storm in 1961, which Chris Evans portrayed in the films.
32. In the film we see that the serum stolen by the Hydra agent is broken, but another one shows up later in The Incredible Hulk (2008) with “Vita-Ray” clearly written on the refrigerator storage container. According to many, there were several attempts to recreate the Super-Solider experiment, but for unexplained reasons, it has only ever worked on Steve Rodgers.
33. Even though he is deemed “The First Avenger,” this film was the last solo Avenger film to be released before the team-up collaboration of The Avengers.
34. Originally cameos had been planned for James Logan Howlett (Wolverine) and Erik Lensherr (Magneto) due to their existence during World War II (Logan as a solider and Erik as prisoner). However, because of rights issues these cameos were scrapped.
35. At one point, Sebastian Stan was considered for the role of Captain America, but instead got the role of Bucky Barnes.
36. The Captain America comic book shown in the movies bears the cover of the actual Captain America #1 released in 1941.
37. At the end of the film, Howard Stark finds the lost Tesseract, which leads him to create the blue print designs about the cube’s structure and power. This is seen in a case of paperwork that Tony Stark is searching through in the midst of Iron Man 2.
38. Red Skull’s deformed appearance has been explained as his body rejecting the serum because he is not worthy – it instead made him crazier. This is exactly what happens to Emil Blonsky in The Incredible Hulk (2008) leading to his transformation to the Abomination, with the help of gamma rays.
The Avengers (2012)
39. After Thor removes Loki from the Quinjet onto the mountain side, you can see two large ravens flying overhead as they are talking. In Norse mythology, their father Odin had two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, that would bring Odin information from Midgard (Earth).
40. On the set, Robert Downey Jr. kept food hidden everywhere and no one could ever find it. When his character Tony Stark offers Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) blueberries, that moment was completely unscripted. He was just hungry.
41. You see Captain America’s shield is scratched in the film, but according to the comics it can only be damaged on a molecular level because it is made of an adamantium/vibranium alloy.
42. The scene where Bruce Banner confesses he once attempted to kill himself by shooting himself in the head is an exact reference to a deleted scene from The Incredible Hulk (2008) where Edward Norton’s version of Bruce Banner tried this in the middle of Alaska’s wilderness, only to be stopped by his transformation into the Hulk.
43. Since 1978, Lou Ferrigno has played almost every live-action version of the Hulk. He played the Hulk in The Incredible Hulk (1978) and the subsequent TV specials, he voiced the Hulk in 2008 film, and he was the voice of the Hulk in this film. He had a brief cameo as a security guard in Hulk (2003) and The Incredible Hulk (2008).
44. In the film, Captain America is the founding member, but in the comic-verse, he was unfrozen in Avengers #4, when he was accidentally discovered by the team as they searched for Namor the Sub Mariner.
45. Edward Norton had been set to reprise his role of Bruce Banner/the Hulk, but negotiations between him and Marvel Studios broke down, leading to his replacement with Mark Ruffalo.
46. Dr. Banner does not transform into the Hulk until 74 minutes into the film, though they constantly elude to his imminent transformation in each of his scenes.
47. Hawkeye is an ambidextrous archer in the comics. In Thor, Jeremy Renner only shot with his right hand. To prepare for The Avengers, Renner trained with Olympic archers to use both hands.
48. The motion capture process used on Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers was so intricate that the Hulk even has the actor’s finger prints.
49. The reason Spiderman was not invited to The Avengers is because Marvel (comics) had sold the rights to Sony.
Iron Man 3
50. In true Tony Stark humor, he tells a young child with glasses he loved him in A Christmas Story. Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in that film, was an executive producer for Iron Man and even had a small role.
51. The attack at the Chinese Theater holds significance because Firepower is sitting directly next to Robert Downey Jr.’s hand-prints and signature.
52. The Mandarin has a tattoo on his neck, which is Captain America’s shield, but it has an anarchist “A” symbol in the center instead of a star.
53. Pepper briefly wears the Iron Man armor, which is a nod to Pepper Pott’s one-time career as the superheroine Rescue. According to Gwyneth Paltrow this moment changed her relationship with her son, who thought it was the best thing to ever happen to him.
54. The dragon tattoos featured on Aldrich Killan’s chest are a homage to another Iron Man villain, Fin Fang Foom.
55. The original post-credits scene was Tony Stark blasting off to space, where he meets the Guardians of the Galaxy. Iron Man was intended to have a cameo role in that film, but due to Robert Downey Jr.’s announcement he might hang up his suit, they opted for the scene with Bruce Banner. Which Robert suggested.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
56. Chris Hemsworth improvised the scene where he hangs the hammer on a coat hook.
57. Loki was not planned to appear in the film, in order to allow for a greater focus on Malekith and the Dark Elves. Due to his popularity in The Avengers, he was written in the script and given a large role.
58. Josh Dallas was set to return as Fandral, but due to his commitment with Once Upon a Time, he was replaced with Zachary Levi, the producer’s original choice for the role.
59. There were about 30 hammers made for Thor of various weights for different uses. The main hammer was made from aluminum but it is replicated in different materials and weights, including a ‘soft’ version for stunts. Of the 30, five versions were used most often, including the ‘lit hammer,’ that emits light when lightning strikes.
60. According to Natalie Portman, she was unavailable to film the post-credit scene where Thor and Jane Foster finally get to kiss. Instead, Chris Hemsworth’s wife, Elsa Pataky, gladly stepped in to film it.