Marvel Studios Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding today revealed a new concept art image for the movie Iron Man, which depicts a very different ending from the one that eventually made its way to the screen. The illustration shows an unmasked Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) attempting to save the film’s antagonist, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), also known as Iron Monger, from falling to his death in the largescale Arc Reactor below.
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This was an idea for an alternative ending for Iron Man. There was going to be a moment between Tony and Obadiah when Tony was going to try and save him. #ironman #tonystark #obadiahstane #marvelstudios #marvelcinematicuniverse #marvelstud10s #conceptart #blackandwhite #blackandwhiteart
The scene in the film played out quite differently, as the electrical surge from the Arc Reactor, triggered by Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), pushed Tony away from the gaping glass ceiling. The surge renders Obadiah unconscious and he, still in the Iron Monger suit, falls into the fully-charged Arc Reactor. Obadiah is killed when the reactor explodes.
The proposed concept art ending is a somewhat more heartfelt farewell to Obadiah, whose death is covered up by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson and only ever spoken of again in loose terms within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The concept art shows Tony seemingly engaging in a heroic attempt to save his former business partner, which is more in keeping with the hero Downey Jr.’s character has become since his debut in Iron Man.
Meinerding also posted another concept art image from the film, this one an alternate version of the scene in which Pepper helps Tony remove an old arc reactor from his chest so that a new one can be inserted. The concept art illustration shows that the scene, which was originally conceived by the film’s director, Jon Favreau, was originally going to be less personal.
The illustration appears to show Tony removing the miniaturized reactor from his chest by himself, manipulating a robotic arm using two massive controlling devices. Three displays, one overhead and two not facing Tony, appear to show readouts regarding the surgery in progress. While perhaps not as engaging from a cinematic perspective, the scene doubles down on Tony’s line to Pepper about him living an isolated life.
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Another look back at the first Iron Man. This was an idea that @jonfavreau had for when Tony is working on his RT. Instead this moment in the movie ended up being when Pepper removes his RT. #ironman #tonystark #robotics #marvelstudios #marvelcinematicuniverse #conceptart #marvelstud10s #robertdowneyjr #blackandwhite #digitalpainting
The actual scene from the film leans heavy on the body horror elements of Tony’s original arc reactor design, as Pepper effectively must shove her whole fist inside Tony’s chest to remove the device. The experience thoroughly weirds her out and Tony tells her to just throw the reactor away. Instead, she gets the device engraved with the following epitaph: “Proof that Tony Stark has a heart.”