Jeff Bridges Reveals Chaos BTS Of IRON MAN; "We Were Making A $200M Student Film"

Jeff Bridges Reveals Chaos BTS Of IRON MAN; "We Were Making A $200M Student Film"

Though he praises both director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man star Jeff Bridges has now revealed how chaotic an experience making the movie was, with no firm script in place and days where they would just make it up as they went along. Read on for details!

Jeff Bridges recently took part in a reddit AMA, and was quizzed by one fan about his time playing Obidiah Stane/Iron Monger in 2008's Iron Man. The movie is still rightly considered one of Marvel Studios' best releases, and is credited with kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With their tenth movie - Guardians of the Galaxy - receiving extremely positive reviews, things at Marvel seem to run far more smoothly these days, but that wasn't always the case...

"We were so fortunate to have Robert and that team, and also Jon Favreau, both those guys are incredible actors and improvisers. And that movie was so much fun to make. It was unusual because it was very expensive, close to $200 million or something, and you would think that a movie that had that high a budget, they would have had their script tighter. But that was not the case. And we would very often find ourselves, at the beginning of the day, going into our trailers with little tape recorders with the suits from Marvel & Jon & Robert, and we would try to come up with what we were going to shoot that day! We would trade parts, I would play his part, or he would play my part, Favreau would be calling up writer friends of his, and meanwhile the crew is tapping their foot, waiting for us to come back to work. That was very frustrating for me, because I like to be very prepared and let it go in front of the camera, so that you know your lines and stuff, until I made a small inner adjustment that was: realizing we were making a $200 million dollar student film. And just to relax and have fun, do your best, don't worry too much, and I think that the film came out terrifically! And again, that's largely because we had Robert and Jon onboard."

Luckily, Bridges still clearly enjoyed the finished product as much as the rest of us and it's interesting to see how much things have changed for Marvel since they first decided to start their own studio. The actor doesn't look back on his time on the set of R.I.P.D. anywhere near as fondly, as you can see by clicking here. What do you guys think? Sound off below!
Posted By:
Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "Iron Man" 7/25/2014 Source: reddit
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
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Abary - 7/25/2014, 6:27 AM
He's a great actor, one of the best parts of the first Iron Man film.
JusticePourTous - 7/25/2014, 6:34 AM
Would have loved to see behind the scenes of that. But we're so lucky it worked out. Could so easily have ended up a huge stinking mess.
Doopie - 7/25/2014, 6:35 AM
one of the best student films ever. gotta love Jeff
yossarian - 7/25/2014, 6:35 AM
I made a 20 dollar student film once.
Nomis - 7/25/2014, 6:39 AM
He was such a awesome villain in the first Iron man movie.

Every other villain in the following movies were just pathetic and weak by comparison.
Rico1983 - 7/25/2014, 6:41 AM
Clickbait link? JB doesn't slate his time on the set of RIPD at all.
arsonjack - 7/25/2014, 6:46 AM
im3 was the worst
MexicanSexyman - 7/25/2014, 6:47 AM
@yossarian, an orgy with only you, Nomis, Cipher, Gusto, McGee, and JoeMomma doesn't count as a student film.
dethpillow - 7/25/2014, 6:50 AM

that's rad. makes a lot of sense.

But on the other hand, I think this is what made Iron Man 2 the way it is.
I think they probably counted on this process working again, and it's not gonna work every time.
MsDarkPhoenix - 7/25/2014, 6:50 AM
I made a 0 dollar music video once. My friend lost that contest but whatever, I'm gonna call myself a director :P
GodzillaKart - 7/25/2014, 6:50 AM
That is amazing that they improvised their way to one of the best CBM to date!
TheGambitFreak - 7/25/2014, 6:51 AM
I think this is the case with nearly all of the films of in the MCU.
DeathAdder - 7/25/2014, 6:51 AM
I made a $200 amateur porn once. Involved two girls a cup, and the effects of Taco Bell the night before.
yossarian - 7/25/2014, 6:53 AM
@Mexican - But we screened it for students.
DrKinsolving - 7/25/2014, 6:53 AM

Haha, this reminded me of that clip
GodzillaKart - 7/25/2014, 6:53 AM
The way Bridge's toggled between quiet threat, deceit and moments of explosive rage made him a fantastic villain, and believable sociopath. Good stuff.
GodzillaKart - 7/25/2014, 6:58 AM
@dethpillow: "But on the other hand, I think this is what made Iron Man 2 the way it is.
I think they probably counted on this process working again, and it's not gonna work every time".

I could be wrong, but I don't think that was it. It seems to me Marvel had their hands in the pot too much in IM2. Rourke has expressed much frustration at the vast majority of his scenes, and the arc of his character, ending up on the cutting room floor to make room for Avengers tie in stuff. That's really too bad, because his performance is great.

Also, IM2 has some fantastic scenes. (the congressional hearing comes to mind). It seems the improve was's the pacing and character arcs that hurt it.
Desrow - 7/25/2014, 7:01 AM
One of the best comic book movies of all time, IM1 was awesome.
Nomis - 7/25/2014, 7:01 AM
@ TheMexicanSuperman - And it got an nomination at Cannes for best buttocks. :)
MrCBM56 - 7/25/2014, 7:01 AM
It's always so impressive to me hearing about this. Great movie.
MrBlackJack - 7/25/2014, 7:04 AM
I for one wouldn't be pissed in the slightest if I was making a $200,000,000 student film.
Null - 7/25/2014, 7:07 AM
One of the best! Makes you wonder why can't they get that same magic back.
SuperCat - 7/25/2014, 7:08 AM
Best Iron Man movie.
MercwithMouth - 7/25/2014, 7:11 AM

ChrispyG - 7/25/2014, 7:13 AM
Yep, this ended up working out very well for the first Iron Man, unfortunately, the 'unprepared' approach ended up taking a serious toll on The Incredible Hulk. The finished film was still good, but they entered production with no finished script, and picked Norton over Ruffalo(The director's top choice) purely because he could touch up the script, he was doing re-writes on-set, etc etc

If only they had aimed for a 2009 release with TIH instead of 2008...the finished film might have been a lot stronger.
Tetrahedron - 7/25/2014, 7:14 AM
All great movies are made this way, I remember watching a making of documentary for The Shining, where they would literally stop shooting the movie so that Stanley Kubrick could go sit at a typewriter and write the next few lines of dialogue. This is how you keep the atmosphere electric and you keep the creative energy from stagnating and you keep the actors on their toes.

yossarian - 7/25/2014, 7:14 AM
@merc - Pretty much. It was banned in France and Iran.
TheGambitFreak - 7/25/2014, 7:16 AM
Yeah, watching the Joss Whedon commentary currently and he talks about filming the scene where Coulson, Hill and Fury are talking about what they're going to do about Loki before they show the Avengers logo and he says they kept writing multiple conversations whilst filming. He also said his assistant would be looking up scientific terms for Banner during shooting. Plus there's all those "Apartment cellphone pics" of Joss writing lines on a paper for the actors to memorize real fast.

And that's not a bad thing. Improvising makes dialogue more real and normal. Look at Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. 2 of the greatest shows of all time. Both highly improvised. Just saying.
Hulksta - 7/25/2014, 7:17 AM
Macksimus - 7/25/2014, 7:19 AM
IM1 is a great example of what can happen when you let the TALENT make the creative decisions.

Amazing Spiderman movies is a great example of what can happen when you let the studio execs make the creative decisions. get watered down gimicky crap.
CaptAmericaSux - 7/25/2014, 7:20 AM
I noticed from the jump that this is a studio that doesn't operate like others :)! They dont seem to have their act together as far as bringing CGI talent in to do stuff. They seem to want to avoid CGI enhancement of their fantasy films as much as possible. Put Green Lantern and John Carter NEXT to Guardians of the Galaxy and the two Thor solos. You studios that brought the CGI guys in and created alien univereses...and another studio doing just enough to get the production done.

Marvel Studios has made billions selling made for tv material and you cant knock them. But their PRODUCT, at least to me, has seemed superficial and cheap. Maybe its just me! I've seen way too many sci fi and fantasy movies to see Marvel Studios' films as anything more than made for tv material.
MercwithMouth - 7/25/2014, 7:21 AM
I just realized that I've been watching MrBlackJack's avatar for a full 3 minutes...

Love Iron Man, almost as good as Iron Man 3.

Yeah, I said it...

MercwithMouth - 7/25/2014, 7:25 AM

I bet if you edited out the donkey, France would love it!
kinghulk - 7/25/2014, 7:28 AM
odinson2k14- "Put Green Lantern and John Carter NEXT to Guardians of the Galaxy and the two Thor solos. You studios that brought the CGI guys in and created alien univereses...and another studio doing just enough to get the production done."

both of those films are shit, you cant rely on cgi to sell a film.
so give it a rest we get it you think for some reason that marvel's animation in films is terrible. there is no need to bring it up in every thread every time you post.
dethpillow - 7/25/2014, 7:30 AM
@drkinsolving - haha, yeah, you were the one who showed me that, yeah?
right on. i wish there was more like that. real interesting stuff.

@godzillakart - see the reason tho that it seems that way to me more than studio interference and editing... is that there's no clear tight story going on in it. like if Favreau and RDJ had a clear idea of where they were going with it, it would be edited down to where something was missing. or something didn't pace right. but Iron Man 2 is like this big jumble of different pots of spaghetti thrown against the wall it feels like, and i don't see how editing could make that happen.

I think Marvel's partly to blame for it tho, for sure, cuz they jumped the release date on them, and it was already a little rushed in the first place I think. that's how i remember it. and they probably also forced in stuff like you're saying.

but in situations like that, i almost always hold the director to task for it. I think part of it is I just don't like the idea of people using excuses for not getting art done right. so in a blanket way, I'll think well this is ultimately your fault, there's something you could've done, some idea you could've had to make this all work. or some way you could've gotten along with the people you're dealing with better and used what they demanded in an interesting way. or something, I just think that's your job as an artist is to make things work no matter what. it's will to power, it's gangsterism, but I hate the idea of anyone ever saying... "they didn't let me do what I wanted to."

that's a total admission of failure to me. i mean it's more complicated than that, and when people are asked about situations, yeah, it makes sense to tell the pressures involved in the situation, that's what is interesting about it a lot of times. and i don't think it's any shame to fail at something like that either. I don't mean failure like "loser!", but it's better to actually look at it as a failure tho. everyone's life is made up of many failures and few successes, it doesn't make the failures any less meaningful. so i don't mean it harshly or judgmentally. but Iron Man 2 was Favreau and RDJ's fault ultimately. Spider-Man 3 was Raimi's fault. Thor 2 was Alan Taylor's fault.

I'd rather live in a world like that. it's especially difficult tho with movies, i guess, cuz so many people end up being involved in it. it's a tough job tho. i pity film makers, totally. i pity actors even more. that's gotta be hell. to always depend on someone else to get to do anything. it's crazy.
Atumbem - 7/25/2014, 7:32 AM
Jeff played such a great villain, you could see that Stane had a conflicted relationship with Tony. On one hand he cared about Tony because he raised him, on the other hand he felt Tony was wasting his talents, not living up to his potential and he wasn't in synch with the vision Stane had for the company so Stane plotted to have him killed. It was a nuanced performance but Stane is one villain they shouldn't have killed off.
DylansMyDog - 7/25/2014, 7:32 AM
@OdinSon2k14 Wait, are you saying Green Lantern and John Carter looked better than Thor 2 and GotG?

I'm not sure if you are trolling or just 12 years old...
DrKinsolving - 7/25/2014, 7:33 AM
You can definitely see this process in Iron Man 2 & 3, Iron Man 1 was so much more creative and the story came together a lot better, in my opinion. I have to admit though, Iron Man 3 has grown on me, and once you get over the Mandarin twist, Tony's PTSD symptoms make sense out of the movie, he's not the same person after The Avengers. I still don't like how Pepper saved the day though....

I'm really hoping that he incorporates or tweaks Extremis into his armor or something in AOU....
GodzillaKart - 7/25/2014, 7:36 AM
@dethpillow: I agree that it is responsibility for the films shortcomings fall on Favreau's shoulders. I guess the reason I suspect that there was originally a strong story is that Rourke talked about the great arc of his character in the original script, how he spent time in a Russian prison for research, and how the film was edited so drastically that it gutted that. He actually specifically calls Favreau a pussy for not having the back bone to stand up to Marvel's pressure to change the film.

Of course, Rourke could be full of shit as well. But it makes sense after the strong political themes in the first film, Rourke's character's family could have been an interesting evolution of that.
GodzillaKart - 7/25/2014, 7:42 AM
@MercwithMouth: You just inspired me to go see what MrBlackJack's avatar was...and I totally got lost down that rabbit hole as well.
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