Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man helmet was not CGI and it blinded the actor whenever he put it on.
The first-ever helmet that Iron Man wore in 2008 distorted Robert Downey Jr.‘s vision whenever he put it on. Iron Man was the first movie in the MCU to launch a wide-ranging franchise that has evolved into an unprecedented success.
The film, directed by Jon Favreau, starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, and Terrence Howard. The movie showcased Iron Man facing off against Iron Monger, performed by Bridges.
The first Iron Man began the incredible journey of the Marvel Cinematic Universe while Downey Jr.’s depiction of the character was lauded as one of the reasons the film performed brilliantly.
Robert Downey Jr. struggled to see with the original Iron Man helmet in 2008.
Source: Film Affinity
As an arrogant tech billionaire, Downey Jr. flipped around a turbulent career rife with controversies linked to his drug problems. His performance as Iron Man came to an emotional end, however, with his sacrifice using the Infinity Stones to overcome Thanos and his armies in Avengers: Endgame.
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Speaking with David Letterman for his program My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Downey Jr. discussed the production of the first Iron Man film and how he struggled to see anything with the helmet the designers got for him.
Initially, it was — everything was really there. They wanted to spend as little as they could on CG replacement. So I remember this helmet went on… I put this helmet on and it slammed closed and I couldn’t see anything. And then these LED lights went on, and it was like Manchurian Candidate. I was absolutely blinded.
The Tony Stark star stated, by the last Avengers film in the franchise, if he was asked to wear a helmet, he would resist. During post-production, he would make them redesign the helmet using CGI. However, to save costs at the start of the project, Marvel did not use CGI to build the suit.
Throughout the movies, Iron Man’s suit got more and more complicated as Tony Stark made significant improvements to it. Eventually, the suit became entirely automatic, emerging at the click of a button.
CGI was appropriate for this, and at this point, Marvel could certainly afford visual effects. The MCU unarguably became the biggest franchise in the world during Downey Jr.’s time as Iron Man.
With Tony Stark’s tragic death in Avengers: Endgame, his involvement in future Marvel movies is unknown. Downey Jr. said he’s had his swan song, ditching the notion of a character emerging in flashbacks or prequel.
Only a select few guys have donned Tony Stark’s Iron Man in the comics. One of these people is James Rhodes aka War Machine. Don Cheadle is currently playing the character in the MCU after Terrence Howard departed.
While Marvel remains hush-hush on just what they’ve got in store for the fourth phase in the franchise, it’s doubtful we’ll see another version of Iron Man after Downey Jr.’s legendary portrayal of the comic book character, which is almost impossible to top off now.