Way back in 2008, when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was just starting out with Iron Man, audiences got their first MCU villain in the form of Obadiah Stane a.k.a. Iron Monger. Fans will remember Stane’s death at the end of the movie. But, according to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Stane actor Jeff Bridges, that wasn’t always the plan. Bridges revealed back in August:
“No, in the script, the script that I hired onto, my character lives! They open my suit up and I’m gone. But then when we got to shoot that scene, they didn’t open my suit up! I said, ‘Aren’t you going to open my suit up?’ They said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘You’re going to kill my guy?’ And they say, ‘Well, it’s a comic book. You could come back. Who knows?’ You know? But anyway.”
So why the change of heart? Had Bridges’ character lived, fans would have doubtless seen a few more Iron Monger appearances in future Iron Man movies (and who doesn’t want more Jeff Bridges?). Talking recently to Uproxx, Feige expressed his own interest in seeing Bridges return to the MCU, saying:
“Well, that would be awesome to have [Bridges] come back. That would be great.”
On the topic of Iron Monger’s death, Feige explained:
“As you may recall, when he was hired, he was a secondary villain to the Mandarin. And as we were prepping the movie we realized we didn’t want to do the Mandarin in that movie. And when we took him out and made Obadiah the lead villain, Iron Man became what Iron Man became. But what was required is that Iron Monger [Obadiah Stane] had to go down into that arc reactor.”
Feige obviously felt that, given full breathing room as primary antagonist in Iron Man, it didn’t make sense to keep Iron Monger hanging around in the wings for a second go-round. Fans will know that the Mandarin eventually appeared in Iron Man 3, though he was far from what audiences had been expecting.
Would you want to see Jeff Bridges make a comeback as Obadiah Stane? Did you think Iron Man would have benefited from Stane surviving? Share your thoughts in the comments below.