After seeing Iron Man, we were all hooked: Robert Downey Jr. was perfect as the playboy industrialist, Gwyneth Paltrow wasn't hated yet, and Jon Favreau had proven his directing credentials. Regardless of The Incredible Hulk's poor casting decisions, what we really wanted was the next Iron Man, with Tony starting to deal with the pressures of being publicly unmasked. Jon Favreau even told us that he'd be adapting the famous "Demon in the Bottle" story arc for the sequel, which saw Tony as an alcoholic.
It was all going great until we received the shocking news: Disney had acquired Marvel for $4 billion. Disney are a company that have built up their successes by delivering mature and family-friendly animation titles, yet that was just the problem; superhero films were meant to be different, geared towards teenagers/young adults (hence why PG-13 became the favoured rating).
Still, there was some hope, right? Stan "the Man" Lee assured us that things would be perfect, and it was true that Disney had a ton of money to back up future franchises. Unfortunately, it all went the opposite way: Iron Man 2 was so obviously tweaked with from its original concept that anyone could see that the new intention of the film was to be massive propaganda for the Avengers. The promised Demon in the Bottle arc? Dumbed down to a couple of p*ss jokes and a live action version of Rock'em Sock'em Robots.
This was the poor tone precedent Disney set up for its future franchise, but it wasn't just the atmosphere they got wrong. They also ensured that we got a....