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The MCU exists because a studio said Iron Man was too heavy to fly

It's a miracle the Marvel Cinematic Universe exists at all, but a rival studio could have made an Iron Man movie before it launched the MCU

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark in Iron-Man

The fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe exists is pretty incredible really, when you think about it. The superhero movie franchise could have been very different though, if a rival studio had decided to make their Iron Man movie first, but they were put off because of how heavy the hero is.

Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, there’s been plenty of plans to make comic book movies long before all the cinematic landscape was dominated by MCU movies, but so many of these ideas fell before they made it to the big screen. Turns out, one of the most iconic MCU characters and the guy who started it all back in 2008 very nearly graced the silver screen before his big Marvel movie debut.

In a report from The Hollywood Reporter on the state of the DCEU, there’s a fascinating little factoid about how New Line Cinema bosses pulled the plug on an Iron Man movie because they didn’t quite understand the science behind the character.

The report said: “Michael De Luca (current acting head of the DC movie division) was a comic book collector as a kid, and years ago, at New Line, he made Blade and even had an Iron Man movie in development. A source says Bob Shaye, the New Line chief at the time, let the option lapse, arguing that it didn’t make sense because Iron Man was too heavy to fly.”

Can you imagine fumbling the bag quite so spectacularly? Eventually of course, Paramount and Marvel teamed up to bring Tony Stark to the screen in the original science fiction movie that sparked an entire cinematic universe, and the rest is history.

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The 2000s movie was a huge success, not only for its star Robert Downey Jr, but for the world of comic book movie adaptations in general. If you want more superhero content, check out our guide to everything to come in Marvel’s Phase 5, or take a look at where the Iron Man cast are now.