Home Entertainment Robert Downey Jr. Used Cue Cards As Tony Stark

Robert Downey Jr. Used Cue Cards As Tony Stark


Indeed, Tony’s sunglasses became the central plot point of the 2019 film “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” After Tony’s death in “Avengers: Endgame,” he bequeathed his shades to the teenage Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland). What Peter didn’t know is that the sunglasses were equipped with a high-tech artificial intelligence that allowed him to access a series of spacebound assassination missiles that Tony had built. It seems Tony went back on his promise of disarmament.

Back in “Iron Man,” though, there were no such bells and whistles attached to Tony’s shades. They were merely a practical acting decision so that audiences wouldn’t notice Downey, Jr.’s eyes swiveling over his lines. As the actor explained:

“There’s a scene where he is doing a weapons test, and he says, ‘Is it better to be feared or respected? Is it too much to ask for both?’ And [director] Jon [Favreau] and I were literally writing that line for line as we went along shooting it that day. And I put on sunglasses because it was all on cue cards. […] It’s more important that we feel like we’re just coming up with this, and we like it, and there’s no trick we can’t employ to cover the fact that we’re kind of making it up as we go along.”

Given how massively over-orchestrated the MCU would become, it’s astonishing to think that “Iron Man” involved an element of winging it. Indeed, Favreau has even said in interviews that the famous “Avengers” tease after his film’s credits was a mere wink to fans, and not a declaration of intent for a cinematic universe. It wouldn’t be until Disney purchased Marvel in 2009 that such plans would be firmly put into place.

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