More than ten years ago, Marvel Studios - a fledgling set-up reactively set up when someone realised it maybe wasn't best to let go of every property they owned - gambled on a B-list superhero, a relative newcomer of a director and Hollywood's most famous wayward wildchild to make Iron Man. It's a wonder they even got out of pre-production to be honest.
After years of flirtation with an adaptation - some of which was spent with Tom Cruise perilously close to putting on the shell-head costume - everything clicked into place, with Jon Favreau apparently having to work particularly hard to get the greenlight on Robert Downey Jr. And what a gamble it all turned out to be.
Without Iron Man, there would be no MCU. Sure, there's probably be other Marvel films, but there wouldn't be this sprawling cohesive narrative nor the brave moves that have been made possible because of the financial successes his movies have brought. There wouldn't be an Infinity Saga, in other words, and with the world waiting the conclusion, it's time to go back to where it all started...
12. The Soundtrack Is Exceptional (The Score Less So)
The decision to start with the tub-thumping "Back In Black" by ACDC was a brilliant one. After all, Tony Stark is a swaggering rockstar when we first meet him, and even as he mellows and moralises, he still occupies that space. And long before Guardians Of The Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok did it, dropping in commercial rock music here offered a genius model that the MCU has employed way too little since.
On the other hand, despite having Game Of Thrones and Westworld's Ramin Djawadi composing (and guidance from Hans Zimmer apparently), the score is pretty uninspiring. There are good ideas, but it all lacks personality, which unfortunately set out a trope that the MCU did follow a little too much.