The Incredible Hulk (16)
Iron-Man 2 (8)
Captain America: The First Avenger (15)
The Avengers (2)
Iron-Man 3 (7)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (14)
Thor: The Dark World (10)
Guardians of the Galaxy (12)
The Avengers: Age of Ultron (4)
Captain America: Civil War (1)
Doctor Strange (17)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 (11)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (3)
Thor: Ragnarok (6)
The Avengers: Infinity War
So today, let's begin with where it all started: Iron-Man
Billionaire, Philanthropist, Playboy. Those are the three words best used to describe Tony Stark, also known as Iron-Man. The first film in the MCU has quite a deep background. Originally, this was meant to be a product of Universal Studios; however, in 1996 20th Century Fox acquired the rights to Iron clad hero. However, once 20th Century acquired the rights, Nicholas Cage expressed interest in playing Tony Stark; the following year, Tom Cruise said he wanted to be Iron-Man as well. Thankfully, neither one of those came to fruition. Many other companies acquired rights to Iron-Man, tired to make a film, and failed. Not until 2006 (at which Paramount owned the rights to Iron-Man) when Jon Favreau was hired to direct the film, did production on an Iron-Man film begin. In September 2006 it was announced that controversial actor Robert Downey Jr would be Iron-Man. Favreau said he chose RDJ because "his highs and lows of his personal life have been seen in the public eye." Later that year, Terrence Howard would be cast as James Rhodes, Gwyenth Paltrow would be Pepper Potts, and Jeff Bridges would be Obadiah Stane.
Kevin Feige was one of the producers of the film, and before filming even began, Feige and Stan Lee had this great idea. Iron-Man would be the first film in a universe that co-exists within each other, a universe where films intertwine and go along with each other: The Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the time, there wasn't really an end point to the films; however, they did know that they wanted to feature a team up film, and that the MCU would be separated into three phases. Iron-Man was the first time audiences would be able to see the character in a movie, so it made it a little hard to incorporate hints to other films. But there are a good amount of nods to future movies, including the introduction of the S.H.I.E.L.D. These little nods are called easter egss and it's impossible to have a movie in the MCU without easter eggs, or post credit scenes.
Let's begin with the big post credits scene. At the end of the film, Tony announces to the world he's Iron-Man, going against the advice of a certain agent Phil Coulson (we'll get into his cameo shortly.) After the credits pass, we see Tony coming home and looking out his window is a man, presumably a villain. However, when the man turns around, he introduces himself as Nick Fury and tells Tony he's not the only superhero in the world; saying he needs to talk to Tony about the Avengers Initiative. Now back to Agent Coulson. He is introduced by wanting to schedule a meeting with Tony's assistant, Pepper Potts and can come off as annoying; however, Coulson is there to talk about how Tony got out of the prison in Afghanistan because he knows Tony is Iron-Man. Potts ends up having the meeting with Coulson, who in turn ends up saving her from Obadiah Stane. In Avengers, we see how much Coulson meant to Stark after he appears to die from a stab by Loki.
Iron-Man begins the MCU and without it, it's safe to say the MCU wouldn't be as monumental as it is today. While other heroes such as Captain America or Hulk may be more recognizable and have more fans, Iron-Man actually relates to a lot of people. He's someone who clearly has problems, which results in heavy drinking and reckless behavior; another reason Robert Downey Jr is the perfect Iron-Man. We see that darker side of Tony's behavior in Iron-Man 2 more vividly. However, he has a caring and leadership that we can see clearly in Avengers, Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War. So let's talk about where I rank this film in the MCU...
Of the 17 films currently in the MCU, I have Iron-Man higher than most others do. I have it at number 5 on my list because I literally love Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man and think this is by far his best work of his career. It's impossible to imagine anyone else playing Tony Stark and I think that's because of how great RDJ has made Iron Man. It's also the first MCU film, so I tend to think without it, the MCU wouldn't be the same. Either way, I love the movie, love the acting, love it all. It's easily one of my favorite movies!
Kevin Scott is a contributing writer for The Mouse Knows Best Podcast. He is self proclaimed Disney addict and oftentimes annoys his family with how much he talks Disney. He enjoys walking around all Disney Parks and taking as many pictures as he can in one day. When he isn't at Walt Disney World, he is working to get back or re-watching Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars movie. His spirit animal is a mix between Simba and Kylo Ren with a dash of Tony Stark. You can find him on Twitter @doubleoh_kevin and on Instagram @waltdisneyduo.