A list of trivia related to Iron Man 2.
References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Many scenes in the film explicitly foreshadow The Avengers (2012): - When Tony Stark goes through his father's case an old Captain America comic book can be seen inside; later he uses a replica of Captain America's Shield, previously seen lying on a desk in Iron Man, to build a particle accelerator - a news report of The Incredible Hulk (2008)'s campus battle is seen near the end of the film - Stark and Nick Fury discuss Stark's membership throughout the film - and Agent Phil Coulson finds Thor's Hammer, Mjølnir in a crater in the post-credits scene.
References to Marvel Comics
- Robert Downey, Jr. recommended that an Iron Man suit be designed that would fit into a suitcase, like in the comics and Iron Man (1994). This idea was changed to the suit transforming into a suitcase.
- Black Widow's alias of "Natalie Rushman" is inspired by "Nancy Rushman", a S.H.I.E.L.D. cover identity she has used in the comics.
- Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff is never referred to as "Black Widow" throughout the entire film.
- In the comics, Justin Hammer was a shrewd but elderly businessman. He was re-worked as a younger character in the film to make him a contemporary rival to Tony Stark. The original purpose of the character in the comics was to explain why the various enemies Iron Man fought somehow gained unique and extremely advanced weapons, but usually kept them for themselves to commit violent crimes instead making money by bringing them to market. Iron Man eventually discovers the reason is because Hammer gives the weapons to various criminals as part of their contracts to become his mercenaries with the agreement that they hand over a percentage of the loot from their crimes.
- When first talking with Senator Stern, Tony Stark says he would gladly accept the position of Secretary of Defense. In the comics, Tony Stark actually was appointed the Secretary of Defense.
- The character of Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) is a combination of Iron Man's enemies Whiplash (who possesses a specially-designed razor/acid whip) and the Crimson Dynamo (who wears armor that can control electricity).
- In the comics, Whiplash was an identity taken by both Mark Scarlotti (who would later appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Leeann Foreman. In the movie his name is Ivan Vanko which is the last name of the first Crimson Dynamo (another Iron Man villain). Also Ivan's father's name is Anton Vanko, which is the name of the first Crimson Dynamo.
- The name on Vanko's fake passport is Boris Turgenov, the name of the second person to use the Crimson Dynamo armor in the comics.
- Just like in the movie, Rhodey's reason in the comics to don the Iron Man armor is because of Tony's alcoholism, though under different circumstances.
- Only one time Rhodey's comic alter ego, 'War Machine' is mentioned. Rhodey gets into the Mark II suit to stop Tony and just before the final blow of their fight, Tony says "You wanna be a war machine? Then take your shot".
- Rhodey's armor is introduced by Justin Hammer as a Variable Threat Response Battlesuit, which was the original name of the armor in the comics.
Demon in a Bottle
- The film's basic storyline (Stark must cope with the government confiscating his armor and a mid-life crisis of depression and alcoholism, with his manipulative rival Justin Hammer scheming to ruin him) is inspired by the Iron Man comic 'Demon in a Bottle'.
- Tony Stark is seen getting drunk at his birthday party. This is a homage to how in the comics Tony Stark has a recurring problem with alcoholism as a way of dealing with stress, particularly in the storyline Demon in a Bottle.
- Vanko taking control of the War Machine armor is reminiscent of when Justin Hammer did it to the Iron Man armor during Demon in a Bottle.
- Pepper is seen talking to a lawyer, on the phone, by the name of Bert. The name is an allusion to Bert Hindel, the Stark Enterprises lawyer during the Armor Wars story.
- Al Pacino was considered for the role of Justin Hammer.
- Fann Wong, Ziyi Zhang, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, and Deepika Padukone were considered for the role of Rumiko Fujikawa.
- Emily Blunt was set to star as Black Widow but had to pull out due scheduling conflicts with her movie Gulliver's Travels (2010). Before Scarlett Johansson replaced Emily Blunt as Black Widow, Jessica Biel, Gemma Arterton, Natalie Portman, Jessica Alba, and Angelina Jolie were considered.
- Edward Norton was rumored to reprise his The Incredible Hulk role as Bruce Banner, in a cameo for this film, as a foreshadowing of The Avengers, but this did not happen.
- Tim Robbins was considered to play Howard Stark, Tony's father.
- Scarlett Johansson dyed her hair red before she even got the part of Black Widow because she wanted the role so badly. To prepare for her role, Scarlett Johansson trained six weeks before the movie started principal photography and the entire six months of shooting the movie. Scarlett Johansson was influenced in her performance by the femme fatales Nina Ivanovna Yakushova of Ninotchka (1939), and Anya Amasova of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
- Cameo: Larry Ellison The CEO of Oracle Corporation (a billionaire playboy, who has often been compared to Tony Stark) is glimpsed briefly at the Stark Expo. As he walks past, Stark says, "It's the Oracle of Oracle". Oracle's brand is prominently placed at several points in the film, including the climactic showdown at a fictional "Oracle Biodome".
- According to Don Cheadle, he tried to make the role of Stark's right-hand man, James Rhodes, his own, but eventually stole as much as possible from Terrence Howard's performance in the first film to bring him to life.
- Sam Rockwell, who was one of the original choices for the role of Tony Stark/Iron Man in Iron Man (2008), plays Stark's antagonist Justin Hammer in the film.
- Director Jon Favreau stated that the role of Senator Stern was a nod to Howard Stern, as was the casting of Garry Shandling, whom Stern is a big fan of, for the part.
- Writer Shane Black recommended that Tony Stark's characterization be inspired by J. Robert Oppenheimer, a scientist who had worked on the atomic bomb but after witnessing his creation's destructive potential defamed himself as "the Destroyer of Worlds" and sank into depression.
- According to director Jon Favreau, the Mandarin in this film allows for "incorporating the whole pantheon of villains". The main influences on the Mandarin's characterization were J.R.R. Tolkien's Dark Lord Sauron; Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars (1983) and The Godfather: Part II (1974)'s Michael Corleone.
- Renowned animator Genndy Tartakovsky was hired to storyboard the film's action sequences.
- Robert Downey, Jr. recommended screenwriter Justin Theroux, who did Downey's Tropic Thunder (2008), to Jon Favreau to write the film's script.
- To prepare for his role as Whiplash, Mickey Rourke paid a visit to Butyrka Prison, Moscow.
- Samuel L. Jackson was promised that Nick Fury would be given more screen time by director Jon Favreau. Jackson almost didn't return to play Fury, due to problems with contract negotiations, but secured a landmark nine-picture deal to play Nick Fury not only in this film but in many other Marvel Studio productions.
- This is Jon Favreau's first sequel as a director and as an actor.
- Inspired by their use on The Dark Knight (2008), director Jon Favreau considered the possibility of shooting some scenes using IMAX cameras, but eventually decided against it as he figured that the film's visual effects would not look convincing at such high resolution.
- The design of Ivan Vanko's whips were heavily inspired by the Star Wars lightsaber. A similar device is already made in the Star Wars Universe called the lightwhip.
- Composer John Debney recorded the score in only four days.
- According to Mickey Rourke, he carried out a lot of research in Russia choosing what tattoos Ivan Vanko should carry on his body. He wanted authentic Russian tattoos, which would represent Vanko's Russian heritage, prison societies, and special clubs he might be in.
- A tattoo on Vanko's torso shows a Russian schooner, bordered with Russian script reading: "Give me a blond, a bottle and a boat and I'll sail away..." This particular tattoo is Mickey Rourke's favorite.
- In an interview with MTV.com, Don Cheadle revealed that he is a comics fan, but hasn't previously appeared in any comics-based movies due to the small number of black superheroes.
- The vintage automobiles seen in Stark's private collection, the 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe by Ghia, once owned by Rita Hayworth (a present from Prince Aly Khan); a 1949 Mercury "lead sled" customized by Sam Barris (brother of George Barris, was provided by the Petersen Automotive Museum. The 1932 Ford flathead roadster there belonged to Jon Favreau.
- According to Jon Favreau, the technology in this film was portrayed as more futuristic: "After the first film, a number of tech companies talked about how uncanny a lot of our depictions of technology had turned out to be, and how many different films and videogames ended up being inspired by the imagery we used. This forced us to go a bit further into the future and try and change the nature of this technology; if we'd just duplicated what happened in the first one we would be behind the curve. So now we're dealing with holographs, the interface within the suit and the suit being upgraded too."
- To keep various aspects of the production secret, the official fake working title from Marvel Studios was "Rasputin". Two more fake titles were also used during additional photography: "Murphy's Law" (named after John Francis Murphy, the recently-deceased father of Susan Murphy) and "The Adventures of Angus McDonald" (named after William Angus McDonald, the great-great-grandfather of Scott Trimble).
- The medals presented at the end of the film are actual military medals. LTC James Rhodes is awarded a Meritorious Service Medal, and Tony Stark is awarded what appears to be the Army's Distinguished Service Medal.
- The 35mm prints were shipped to US theaters with the code name "Glow". There were 3 separate cans shipped. Can #3 held reels 1 & 8 and was locked. The combination to the lock was not sent until a few hours before the midnight premieres.
- In Stark's mansion, Alberto Giacometti's bronze sculpture entitled "L'Homme qui marche I" can be seen. On February 3rd, 2010, the second edition of the cast of the sculpture became one of the most expensive works of art ever sold at auction to Brazilian philanthropist Lily Safra. Safra paid US$107.3 million.
- In the scene showing Vanko's collection of covers and articles about Tony Stark, there is one article about Iron Man stabilizing East and West relations that has the byline attributed to "Rob Downey" - an obvious reference to the starring actor.
- Howard Stark's presentation of his idea for a futuristic city is heavily influenced by Walt Disney's television revelation of his new EPCOT Center and the accompanying Florida Project. The 3D map of the city heavily mimics that of EPCOT's, and the posters behind Stark are from World's Fairs in which Disney had a great influence, like Stark may also have been. In addition, one of the very few real-life 1964 World's Fair buildings included in the Stark Expo is a replica of the General Electric pavilion, which famously featured Disney's Carousel of Progress. Richard M. Sherman contributed the song "Make Way for Tomorrow Today" to the movie, a song similar to "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," which Richard and his brother Robert B. Sherman composed for the Carousel of Progress, among many other classic Disney tunes.
- Ivan Vanko is not once called Whiplash.
- Pepper Potts' (Gwyneth Paltrow) line "The fundamentals of our company are strong" regarding the Stark Technology stock crash is a parody reference to Sen. John McCain's comment "The fundamentals of our economy are strong" made after the 2008 stock market crash which is widely believed to have contributed to McCain's loss of the 2008 United States Presidential Election.
- Howard Stark's (John Slattery) presentation of the city of tomorrow is modeled after Walt Disney's presentation of Epcot, which was originally planned as a city before redevelopment as a theme park. The music that plays during Stark's presentation was also written by Richard M. Sherman who frequently composed music for Disney films and theme parks.
- The DJ at Tony's birthday party is DJ AM (Adam Goldstein) who died after principal photography had wrapped, making this his last film project.
- As Justin Hammer is introducing each group of Hammer Drones, the anthem of each respective branch of the military plays in the background: The U.S. Army's "The Army Goes Rolling Along (The Caisson Song)," the U.S. Navy's "Anchors Aweigh," the U.S. Air Force's "The U.S. Air Force (Into the Wild Blue Yonder)," and the U.S. Marine Corps's "Marines' Hymn."
- Vic Armstrong shot the teaser scene after the end credits.
- Six Formula One cars were provided by the Historic Grand Prix Association.
- Stark's Grand Prix racer was partially based on a 1978 Walter Wolf Formula One car. Of the 19 built, two were running models powered by a 320 bhp, 350ci Chevrolet small-block engine.
- Tanner Foust took the role of driving Stark's racing car.
- The action sequence of the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco had to be shot at the parking lot of the Downey Studios in California as though initially allowed to film at the Grand Prix circuit, Bernie Ecclestone retracted permission. By the time permission was retracted, one Rolls-Royce Phantom was sent there where driving sequence on the circuit was filmed.
- Two identical Rolls-Royce Phantoms built especially for the film were destroyed during filming.
- In one scene Tony Stark refers to the government who wants his suit technology as the 'Freak Brothers.' This is a reference to a 1970s underground comic called The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, a drug culture comic with three brothers named Phineous, Franklin and Fat Freddy.
- The layout and many of the buildings of "Stark Expo 1974" were based on the 1964-65 New York Worlds Fair. In the 16mm film, young Tony Stark picks up the Bell System Pavilion.
- The Navy Hammer drones are marked "VX-23". VX-23 is a US Navy Aircraft Test Squadron out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River that conducts research, testing, and evaluation of fixed wing tactical aircraft and UAVs.
- When Tony Stark asks Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff if she actually speaks Latin, she responds with the phrase "Fallaces sunt rerum species" which is a quote from Seneca meaning "The appearances of things are deceptive."
- During Stark's birthday party, partygoers begin throwing items into the air for a drunk Stark (suited up as Iron Man) to blast; one girl throws a watermelon, and Stark comments "Oh, you want the Gallagher." This is a reference to Gallagher, whose famous Sledge-O-Matic comedy routine splatters produce (usually juicy items, like melons and tomatoes) onto the front rows of the audience.
- Numerous news clippings shown in the film show Tony Stark and Ivan Vanko when they were younger men. Most of these are actual photos of Robert Downey, Jr. and Mickey Rourke, both of whom came to fame in the 1980s.
- The rooftop where Tony and Pepper kiss at the end of the movie is located on an apartment building overlooking Flushing Meadows where Jon Favreau lived as a child.
- According to Jon Favreau, the Asian man who hands Vanko false papers in order to get to Monaco is a member of the Ten Rings, the terrorist organization Stark encountered in the first film. This organization is reportedly headed by Iron Man's nemesis, the Mandarin.
- Five authentic vintage formula one race cars were used in the Monaco race. Among them is a 1976 Lotus type 77 owned by collector Chris Locke. In the starting list of drivers shown on the television, one of the drivers names is Locke while another is Chapman, after Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus and their F1 team manager until his death in 1982.
- Tony Stark refers to the suitcase armor as "the football," a reference to the briefcase with nuclear launch codes that accompanies U.S. President.
- The final confrontation takes place in the Oracle dome. The decor resembles a Japanese tea garden, including a Japanese gate (that gets destroyed). Oracle's CEO, Larry Ellison, has a well-known affinity for all things Japanese, especially landscaping and decor.
- The Dallas Record newspaper describing Anton Vanko's defection is dated Wednesday October 16, 1968.
- The map locations on the monitors in the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters at the end of the film correspond to characters and events from the Marvel Comic books. The location in Africa is a reference to Black Panther. Other locations refer to Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and others.
- The names seen on the blueprints for the Arc Reactor that Tony removes from his father's box are the names of crew members associated with the Iron Man films - William J. Law, Sharon Davis, and Walt Hadfield. They all worked in the art or construction departments.
- The slate on the film of his father that Tony watches lists "Johnny Libatique" as the cameraman. Matthew Libatique is a cinematographer on the Iron Man films.
- Seth Green can be seen briefly in the scene while Tony is leaving the Expo and meets Larry King and Larry Ellison. Seth Green featured and provided the voice for Iron Man (including "Little Iron Man") in several episodes of his TV show "Robot Chicken" (2005). He would later provide the voice of Howard the Duck in Guardians of the Galaxy.
- In regards to Hammer saying "If it were any smarter, it'd write a book, a book that would make 'Ulysses' look like it was written in crayon", the writer James Joyce's eyesight was failing so bad during the writing of 'Ulysses', that he had to write in large letters with a crayon on huge sheets of paper in order to see what he was writing.
- The promotional film of the Howard Stark character spotlighting his EXPO vision for the future, apes the promotional films of Walt Disney presenting his EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) plan for a city of the future.
- While meeting with Nick Fury in the diner, Black Widow injects Stark with a shot of adrenaline to stop the side effects from palladium. This small segment was based in verbatim from a small scene in the Marvel mini-series 'Secret Invasion', on which writer Brian Bendis did some uncredited script revisions.
- Mickey Rourke's Oscar-nominated performance in The Wrestler (2008) was the main reason why the producers wanted him to play Vanko.
- Although Mickey Rourke spent several months on treadmill and weight training, he initially was still unable to move around and use the whip prop in the Whiplash outfit test due to its sheer weight. To get around this problem, Rourke would wear heavy vests in subsequent physical training sessions to accustom his body in moving while wearing heavy armor.
- Hammer's factory is really Elon Musk's SpaceX facility. The people walking in the background are actual employees even though filming there took place at night.
- The dance Sam Rockwell does before presenting the drones at the Expo is something he does to help him get into character.
- The bonus scene of Thor's hammer after the credits was not filmed just for Iron Man 2, it is an actual scene filmed for the movie Thor (2011).
- The after credits scene where Agent Phil Coulson discovers Thor's Hammer, was not directed by Jon Favreau, but by Thor (2011) director Kenneth Branagh on that film's New Mexico set.
- This is Scarlett Johansson's third foray into comic book films; her previous comic-book films were Ghost World (2001), and The Spirit (2008), which had her role working for the Octopus played by Samuel L. Jackson). In this film, Johansson is again working under Jackson (as Nick Fury).
- Tony Stark creates a new arc reactor with an item that resembles Captain America's Shield. This shield was earlier seen lying on a desk at Stark's office in Iron Man (2008). This is an easter egg to reference Captain America who was a founding member of The Avengers along with Iron Man in the comics. In the movie Nick Fury refers to something called "The Avengers Initiative".
- In the comics, Tony Stark would drive on a racetrack and suffer a car crash, from which Happy Hogan rescued him. This event has been replicated in the film, with the minor change being that Whiplash's attack causes the crash, and Hogan saves Stark by getting to him his suitcase armor.
- The new element Stark creates comes from the Zeeman effect (a magnetic field) and the Stark effect (static electric fields).
- Actors Garry Shandling and Don Cheadle share the birthday November 29.
- The boy seen at the Stark Expo wearing a Iron Man helmet and glove saved by Iron Man himself in the film has been confirmed by Tom Holland to be in fact a young Peter Parker in an interview with the Huffington Post.
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