Robert Downey Jr. used cue cards like Tony Stark

In fact, 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 sunglasses to teenager Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland). What Peter didn’t know was that the sunglasses were equipped with a high-tech artificial intelligence that gave him access to a series of space-based killer missiles that Tony had built. It seems Tony has gone back on his promise to disarm.

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

“There’s a scene where he’s 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] Day [Favreau] and I was literally writing that line by line as we were shooting that day. And I had my sunglasses on because it was all on cue cards. […] It’s more important that we feel like we’re just making something up, that we like it, and that there’s no trick we can’t use to hide the fact that we’re kind of making it up as we go along.”

Considering how massively orchestrated the MCU would become, it’s surprising to think that “Iron Man” would have involved an element of improvisation. In fact, Favreau has even said in interviews that the famous “Avengers” teases after the credits of his film It was just a wink to the fans, not a statement of intent for a cinematic universe. It wasn’t until Disney bought Marvel in 2009 that such plans would be firmly put into action.

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