Iron Man is a 2008 American superhero film directed by Jon Favreau and based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The film was produced by Marvel Studios and Fairview Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Released on May 2, 2008, the film is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first installment in the franchise, followed by Iron Man 2 on May 7, 2010 and Iron Man 3 on May 3, 2013.
Genius, billionaire, and playboy Tony Stark, who has inherited the defense contractor Stark Industries from his father, is in war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and military liaison Lieutenant Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes to demonstrate the new "Jericho" missile. After the demonstration, the the convoy is ambushed by terrorists. Stark is critically wounded by one of his own company's rocket-propelled grenades, and is captured and imprisoned by a group of terrorists known as the Ten Rings; another prisoner, a doctor named Yinsen, implants an electromagnet into Stark's chest to prevent the shrapnel shards that wounded him from reaching his heart and killing him. Ten Rings leader Raza offers Stark freedom in exchange for building a Jericho missile for the group, but Tony and Yinsen both suspect that he will not keep his word.
Stark and Yinsen secretly build a small, powerful electric generator called an arc reactor to power Stark's electromagnet and a suit of powered armor to aid in their escape. They keep the suit in secret almost to completion until the Ten Rings discover what the pair are doing and attack the workshop. Yinsen sacrifices himself to divert them while the suit is completed. Now completely armored, Stark battles his way out of the cave to find a dying Yinsen, burns the Ten Rings' weapons in anger and then flies away before crashing in the desert and destroying the suit. Stark is rescued by Rhodes and returns home to announce that his company will no longer manufacture weapons. Obadiah Stane, his father's old partner and the company's manager, advises Stark that this may ruin Stark Industries and his father's legacy. In his home workshop, Stark builds a sleeker, more powerful version of his improvised armor suit, as well as a more powerful arc reactor for his chest. Personal assistant Pepper Potts places the original reactor inside a small glass showcase. Having grown suspicious of his company, Stark keeps his work to himself, though Stane requests details.
At a charity event held by Stark Industries, reporter Christine Everhart informs Stark that his company's weapons, including the Jericho, were recently delivered to the Ten Rings and are being used to attack Yinsen's home village, Gulmira. Stark then learns that Stane has been arms trafficking to criminals worldwide, and is staging a coup to replace him as Stark Industries' CEO. He then dons his new armor and flies to Afghanistan, where he saves the villagers. While flying home, Stark is shot at by two F-22 Raptor fighter jets and reveals his secret identity to Rhodes over the phone in an attempt to end the attack. Meanwhile, the Ten Rings gather the pieces of Stark's prototype suit and meet with Stane, who subdues Raza and has the rest of the group killed before having a massive new suit reverse engineered from the wreckage. Stark, seeking to track his company's illegal shipments, sends Pepper to hack into its database, where she discovers that Stane hired the Ten Rings to kill Stark, but the group reneged. Potts meets with Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D., an intelligence agency, to inform him of Stane' activities.
Stane's scientists cannot duplicate Stark's miniaturized arc reactor, so Stane ambushed Stark at his home and takes the one from his chest. Stark manages to get his original reactor to replace it. Potts and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents arrive to arrest Stane, who dons his suit and attacks them. Stark fights Stane but, without his reactor to ruin his suit at full capacity, is outmatched. The fight carries on to the top of the Stark Industries building, where Stark instructs Potts to overload the large arc reactor powering the building. This unleashes a massive electrical surge that causes Stane's armor to to fall into the exploding reactor and kill him. The next day, at a press conference, Stark defies suggestions from S.H.I.E.L.D. and publicly admits to being the superhero the press has dubbed "Iron Man."
In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury visits Stark at home, telling him that Iron Man is not "the only superhero in the world", and explaining that he wants to discuss the "Avenger Initiative."
- Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/ Iron Man
- Terrence Howard as James "Rhodey" Rhodes
- Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane
- Shaun Toub as Yinsen
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
- Faran Tahir as Raza
- Paul Bettany as the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S.
- Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury