Which Super Hero Movie Went Into Production Without A Full Script?

Iron Man promotional photo featuring the principle cast and the Iron Man suit
Paramount Pictures

Answer: Iron Man

Iron Man was a 2008 smash-hit superhero flick that raked in nearly six hundred million dollars at the box office. Not a bad return on a hundred and forty million dollar budget and an even better return when you consider Jeff Bridges’ admission in a 2009 interview with InContention:

“They had no script, man. They had an outline. We would show up for big scenes every day and we wouldn’t know what we were going to say. We would have to go into our trailer and work on this scene and call up writers on the phone, ‘You got any ideas?’ Meanwhile the crew is tapping their foot on the stage waiting for us to come on.”

Bridges was hardly exaggerating. The script for an Iron Man film had been in the works at various studios since 1990 and had been worked over, revised, scrapped, rebuilt, scrapped again, and otherwise left in limbo for over a decade. By the time filming actually started, the cast wasn’t even given a complete script, they were given an outline of the story and an entirely incomplete script. The actors themselves would meet with the writers and people from Marvel to hash out what characters would say, how their improvisation ideas fit into the comic book canon, and other issues.

Despite the chaos of it, the experience of the major players in the movie like Robert Downey Jr. and Bridges himself really carried the film, and audiences were treated to a fun superhero romp packed with dialogue that seemed witty, candid, and organic (because, frankly, most of it was).

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