Iron Man (2008) – Complete Annotations


The lights go out, as three terrorists run into Stark’s work area. The terrorist to our very right is played by Tom Morello. He is better known as the guitarist in Rage Against The Machine. He played some guitar on this film’s soundtrack, and would also contribute to Iron Man 2. He’s the first person to fight a MCU superhero.

Tom Morello (right) in Iron Man
Tom Morello (right) in Iron Man

And then Iron Man. Mark 1 comes to life.

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Iron Man Mark 1

As Iron Man fights, we hear Fireman, composed by Ramin Djawadi.

Other guards in this scene are played by Daston Kalili, Marco Khan and Ido Mor.

Most of Raza‘s men are presumably killed by Iron Man.

Yinsen dies from his injuries. This mirrors his fate in the comics as well.


Then for the first time, Iron Man takes flight.

Mark 1 is destroyed in the landing.

Stark has landed in the desert. The location is the Olancha Sand Dunes, California. [link]

Helicopters find Stark, we hear Vacation’s Over, composed by Ramin Djawadi.

A deleted scene had Rhodes going over to Afghanistan to look for Stark.

And we’re back at Edwards Air Base.

Then Stark Industries. In real life, it’s the corporate offices for Masimo, a medical technology company. It’s located on 52 Discovery Drive, Irvine, California.

Stark reaches for some Burger King.

Potts is approached by Agent Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg.

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Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson

He was invented for the film, but his popularity led to him appearing in the comics, and eventually his own series Agents Of SHIELD. He was originally just known as ‘Agent’, but after seeing Coulson’s performance, the role was fleshed out.

dd2740362731b55be5b98e6c25553b4dBefore his role in Marvel, Gregg was probably best known for his TV credits, including The New Adventures Of Old Christine.

Strange_Tales_Vol_1_135 Coulson mentions he works for the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. SHIELD, of course, the fictional, fairly vaguely defined government agency. SHIELD first appeared in Strange Tales #135 (August 1965), and were created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. They will play a crucial role in the MCU, and get their own series.

It was apparently Downey’s idea that the journalists sit down.

Stark says he never got to say goodbye to his father. We will see more of this in Captain America: Civil War.


Bald, cigar chomping Jeff Bridges in a segway. Brilliant.

He then discusses the future of the company with Stark whilst looking at a large arc reactor. Not sure of this location.

Stane tells Stark that they’re Iron Mongers. That’s Stane’s super villain name in the comics – The Iron Monger. It is not used again in the film.

Stark shows Stane his chest arc reactor.

A deleted scene here has Stark being alone at home, after his abduction.

Cut to Mad Money, hosted by Jim Cramer, broadcast on CNBC.

Stark Industries’ ticker symbol is SIA.

Cramer mentions the Hindenburg, the name of an airship that disastrously crashed in New Jersey in 1937.


Stark needs Pepper to change the reactor in his chest. The chest is a prosthetic.

Pepper Potts and Tony Stark
Pepper Potts and Tony Stark

And then he visits Rhodes at the air force base. Likely Edward’s yet again.


Back at the desert. Still the Olancha Sand Dunes.

A terrorist finds the first Iron Man mask. And Raza is revealed to be alive.

Stark begins designing Iron Man armour Mark II. The music we hear in the background is Mark II, composed by Ramin Djawadi.

A deleted scene has Tony actually watching parts being created for his new armour.

Stane visit, and plays the piano. It’s a Blüthner, one of the more famous and prestigious piano makers on the planet.

He plays Concerto In Do Maggiore Per Pianoforte Ed Orchestra: Larghetto, composed by Antonio Salieri. And it’s really performed by Ramin Djawadi.

Salieri was the professional rival to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and is said to have been involved in Mozart’s murder. Fitting, then, that Stane is a fan.

Stane brings back pizza from New York – the box says Ray’s. There are several Ray’s Pizzas in New York, not necessarily related.

Stark runs a test in his garage, far too close to some very expensive cars. They include:

The orange car is a 2005 Saleen S7.

The blue car is a Shelby Cobra 427. It’s just a replica.

And a grey 2008 Tesla Roadster.

The motorcycles are apparently custom made for the film.


We get our first shot of Stark, in the suit, talking to JARVIS and using the HUD (Head-Up Display). It is a very inventive idea, one that has been used by many directors since.

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Tony Stark and JARVIS

Then we see Iron Man armour Mark II.

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Iron Man armour Mark II

And he’s off!

As Stark flies in his new suit we hear Driving With The Top Down, composed by Ramin Djawadi. It is the first track on the Iron Man Original Soundtrack.

And yes, he’s definitely flying over Malibu.

He then flies east, towards Malibu, and we see the ferris wheel and rollercoaster on Santa Monica pier (and is described as that in the HUD). [link]

The HUD displays a Lockheed SR-17 Blackbird, the world’s fastest plane. That 85,000 feet record is true for sustained flight – some planes have passed it in climbs. So Stark is cheating.

He survives the freezing and returns home, breaking his piano and the Shelby Cobra.

There is one shot, after he almost crashes, that he flies low near a busy street. One of the billboards there features what looks like a big golden dragon, and considered to be an easter egg for Fin Fang Foom, a massive dragon and an Iron Man foe from the comics.


Back in Afghanistan, the Ten Rings try to rebuild Mark 1.

Stark watches a broadcast from the fictional 10 News.

The reporter is Zorianna Kit, a real life entertainment reporter playing herself.

Stark then reviews designs for Mark III.

 He then looks at his Bvlgari watch.

Stark arrives at the Disney Concert Hall. 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, California. [link]

It might seem like a nice bit of corporate synergy in retrospect, but Disney had not bought Marvel at this point.

That’s Stan Lee that stark calls Hugh Hefner. Not sure if he’s supposed to be Hefner…

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Stan Lee in Iron Man (2008)

By this time, Lee had already cameo-ed in several other superhero films.

Stark meets Agent Coulson. Apparently he’s never heard of SHIELD.

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Tony Stark meets Phil Coulson

Stark and Potts dance. The band music in the background is not identified.

6 thoughts on “Iron Man (2008) – Complete Annotations

  1. In the section 20:00 to 25:00, you stated that The Mandarin will appear in Iron Man 2. He appeared in Iron Man 3.

  2. Amazing stuff, thanks for all the effort you’ve put into this. Just thought I would help with a few music cues;
    The music playing during the entertainment news piece with Zorianna Kit is ‘Groovetronic’ by Terry Devine-King.
    The jazz playing during the first scene in the Walt Disney Exhibition Hall (when Tony dances with Pepper) is ‘Kool Katz’ by Chucho Merchán, and playing when he speaks to Christine is ‘Licorice’ by Emanuel Kallins and Steve Skinner.

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