Iron Man is a 2008 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures, is the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was directed by Jon Favreau from a screenplay by the writing teams of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, and Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, and starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man alongside Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub and Gwyneth Paltrow. In the film, following his escape from captivity by a terrorist group, world-renowned industrialist and master engineer Tony Stark builds a mechanized armor and becomes the superhero Iron Man.
A film featuring the character was in development at Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and New Line Cinema at various times since 1990, before Marvel Studios reacquired the rights in 2006. Marvel put the project into production as the first self-financed film, with Paramount Pictures being distributed. Favreau signed on as director in April 2006 and faced opposition from Marvel when he attempted to cast Downey in the title role; the actor signed in September. Filming took place from March to June 2007, mainly in California, to set the film apart from countless other superhero stories set in New York City-like environments. During filming, the actors were free to create their own dialogue as the pre-production focused on the story and the action. Rubber and metal versions of the armor, made by Stan Winston's company, were mixed with computer-generated graphics to create the title character.
Iron Man premiered in Sydney on April 14, 2008 and was released in the United States on May 2 as the first film in Phase One of the MCU. It grossed over $ 585 million on its $ 140 million budget, making it the eighth highest-grossing film of 2008. The film was praised by critics for its acting (most notably Downey's), screenplay, directing. , visual effects and action scenes. It was selected by the American Film Institute as one of the top ten films of 2008 and received two nominations at the 81st Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects. It was followed by two sequels, Iron Man 2 in 2010 and Iron Man 3 in 2013.