Bridges: First Iron Man Had No Script

Posted by No_Name_ (12593 posts) - - Show Bio

Actor Jeff Bridges reveals that they only had a rough outline to work with for the first movie

 

I have to say that one of my absolute favorite actors has to be Jeff Bridges. Ever since watching 'The Big Lebowski' I really thought that there were few actors as good as he. I did not think it was possible to reinforce my opinion of him until I saw him in Iron Man play Obadiah Stane. That performance only solidified his incredible acting abilities in my opinion. But wait, there is more! In a recent interview with InContention, the actor not only recounted his five decade long acting career, but he went into detail of the film process for the first Favreau directed Iron Man film. It was in this interview that the actor revealed that the film only had a rough outline, that it did not have a complete script. I think that was when my jaw hit the floor.

“They had no script, man,” Bridges exclaims. “They had an outline. We would show up for big scenes every day and we wouldn’t know what we were going to say. We would have to go into our trailer and work on this scene and call up writers on the phone, ‘You got any ideas?’ Meanwhile the crew is tapping their foot on the stage waiting for us to come on.”

Bridges, director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. would literally act out sequences during primitive rehearsals, Downey taking on Bridges’s role and vice versa, to find and essentially improvise their way to full scenes, the actor recounts. Bridges says that the entire production was probably saved by the improv prowess of the film’s director and star.

“You’ve got the suits from Marvel in the trailer with us saying, ‘No, you wouldn’t say that,’” Bridges remembers. “You would think with a $200 million movie you’d have the shit together, but it was just the opposite. And the reason for that is because they get ahead of themselves. They have a release date before the script, ‘Oh, we’ll have the script before that time,’ and they don’t have their shit together.

“Jon dealt with it so well,” Bridges continues. “It freaked me out. I was very anxious. I like to be prepared. I like to know my lines, man, that’s my school. Very prepared. That was very irritating, and then I just made this adjustment. It happens in movies a lot where something’s rubbing against your fur and it’s not feeling right, but it’s just the way it is. You can spend a lot of energy bitching about that or you can figure out how you’re going to do it, how you’re going to play this hand you’ve been dealt. What you can control is how you perceive things and your thinking about it. So I said, ‘Oh, what we’re doing here, we’re making a $200 million student film. We’re all just fuckin’ around! We’re playin’. Oh, great!’ That took all the pressure off. ‘Oh, just jam, man, just play.’ And it turned out great!”


All I can say is, wow. I can vouch for having paid to see Iron Man in theater's three times, that is how much I loved the first film. To think that the people behind the film only had a general outline of a screenplay to work with and lacked a structured script is really incredible. If Favreau and Downey Jr. were able to deliver what is in my opinion, one of the (if not the) greatest super hero movie ever, then topping what the first film with the sequel should be no hard task. Does finding out that so much of the script was made up as they went along change your opinion of the film? Are you looking forward to the sequel? 

Iron Man 2 is set to hit theaters on May 7th, 2010.
#1 Posted by Dr. Detfink (459 posts) - - Show Bio

Makes sense now when I think about it, a good chunk of the movie is Robert Downey Jr in a room by himself trying to upgrade his armor. Credit the improv of Downey Jr to carry that film. 
 
It makes me nervous how they are going to approach the second film because so much was added Hammer, War Machine, Whiplash, Black Widow...

#2 Posted by Fantasma Ghost (1452 posts) - - Show Bio

Complete surprise for me, I thought they had put a lot of time to the script, because it was really good. But as he said, apparently the quality of the actors and director, pushed them through. I personally think, that Iron Man is the best superhero movie ever, thanks for this piece of information!

#3 Posted by Darkchild (41467 posts) - - Show Bio

Thats just awesome

#4 Posted by Niko (34 posts) - - Show Bio

It would be kind of funny if the second movie suffers for actually having a script.

#5 Posted by Hellos (8832 posts) - - Show Bio

 
Tony Stark doesn't need a script, he wings it like a pro!

#6 Posted by Whitley (84 posts) - - Show Bio

 
It makes me a lot more nervous about IM2 because it seems like MARVEL is going to insist on a lot more and trying to go cheap with bringing in Cheadle instad of paying Howard what he should be getting.

#7 Posted by Decept-O (7294 posts) - - Show Bio

Whoa, Babs, that is some interesting news to say the very least.   It reveals how much influence the studios have regarding their desire for the $ profit factor, which is understandable, but to push it all through without a script---I'm just amazed that happened.  With the amount of money involved I am just floored by that 4-1-1.  Sheesh. 
#8 Posted by Bruce Vain (1781 posts) - - Show Bio

WOW...I had no idea that Iron Man didn't even have a script . ha ha Interesting news thanks Babs. 
 
And I loved Jeff Bridges in "The Men That Stare At Goats " Ha Ha
#9 Posted by Agent Buttons (12411 posts) - - Show Bio
"Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave!!.........with a bunch of scraps!!" LOL
#10 Posted by Media_Master (2189 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting to hear.

#11 Posted by Decept-O (7294 posts) - - Show Bio

@Babs:  Can you imagine Tobey McGuire's reaction if he had to film Spidey under similar circumstances?  Kirsten Dunst?  
How do you think they'd react if such a scenario happened to them? 
 
The difference between a working actor who works and actors who well....complain a lot.    "Shut up, Donnie!"
#12 Posted by Gregomasta (333 posts) - - Show Bio

Hah, Marvel should get their shit together.

#13 Posted by G-Man (18915 posts) - - Show Bio

This just seems crazy for a movie that is driven by so much special FX that they would just allow them to stand around thinking of what to say.  Rolling the camera isn't exactly cheap.  How come we haven't seen tons of outtakes?  How come no one else has said anything until now?  But maybe they're just wacky enough to do something like this.  I just think we would've heard about it before.  With all the crew on the set, some anonymous dude would've spoken up before.

Staff
#14 Posted by PrinceIMC (5422 posts) - - Show Bio

Just goes to show that with the right cast and a flexible director you can get gold. I'm sure this wouldn't work with lots of movies but sometimes you gotta let the actors do what they do best.

#15 Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir (18976 posts) - - Show Bio

Downey carried the last film and he's carrying the next one
#16 Posted by goldenkey (2920 posts) - - Show Bio

sounds great but that only works so many times.  Lets hope they have a script for the 2nd movie because I doubt Downey is gonna be taling to himself in a room most of the movie and bridges isn't in it.
#17 Posted by goldenkey (2920 posts) - - Show Bio
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
"Downey carried the last film and he's carrying the next one "

he was by far the best thing of the last movie, but Howard and Bridges were great.
#18 Posted by solocup (37 posts) - - Show Bio
@Hellos said:
"

 
Tony Stark doesn't need a script, he wings it like a pro!

"
"The Dude doesn't need a script, he wings it like a pro"
 
fixed it for you...
#19 Posted by Kid_Zombie (822 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man said:
" This just seems crazy for a movie that is driven by so much special FX that they would just allow them to stand around thinking of what to say.  Rolling the camera isn't exactly cheap.  How come we haven't seen tons of outtakes?  How come no one else has said anything until now?  But maybe they're just wacky enough to do something like this.  I just think we would've heard about it before.  With all the crew on the set, some anonymous dude would've spoken up before. "
Actually they have stated this many times before, Jon Fav has mentioned in many interviews how they threw out pages of the script and told them to role with it to get a more natural and real feel. RDJ also has stated about how they improved a lot of it in many interveiws and "sneek peeks" around the time the movie was coming out.
 
This is what i always said when so many people were saying "the original writers did great, why hire a new guy for number 2?" because the original writers didnt do good ha ha there were like 4 different writers and they ended up improving majority of it ha ha ha
#20 Posted by Tamed (29 posts) - - Show Bio

How can he have had a five decade long acting career if he's only 59? Did he start acting when he was 11?

#21 Edited by Dr. Detfink (459 posts) - - Show Bio

Its not like they worked without any references at all.
 
Tony Stark's origin is pretty straight forward. It was just a matter or how to re-imagine it. I'd say the only time you might have been challenged to have a screenwriter was in the Tony and Pepper scenes.
 
Also how much script does it take to re-shoot the CGI scene where Iron Man returns to the desert to finish off the weapons depot and get chased by the two jet fighters?

#22 Posted by Om1kron (1151 posts) - - Show Bio

not to be too overly critical Babs, but Iron Man was one of his WEAKER performances. He's made at least 70 awesome films.

#23 Posted by ~Mystery~ (291 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting

#24 Posted by drawme (423 posts) - - Show Bio

I can´t wait for the movie to hit the theaters.

#25 Posted by G'bandit (13689 posts) - - Show Bio

awesome xD

#26 Posted by DeadPool a.k.a Wade Wilson (979 posts) - - Show Bio

Not The Greatest! But One Of The Greatest!

#27 Posted by MatthewTie (1 posts) - - Show Bio
@Tamed said:

"How can he have had a five decade long acting career if he's only 59? Did he start acting when he was 11? "


Earlier than that.  His first film was when he was still an infant.  He is from an acting family.  He appeared on his fathers' show as a child.  There was never a time in his life when he wasn't in the business.        
#28 Posted by Moomin123 (2205 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved the Iron Monger. If only he had more screen time in the suit...
#29 Posted by Nova`Prime` (4165 posts) - - Show Bio

That's really interesting, but does a comic book movie really need a script? Not really, there is so much reference material for how the characters interact that the actors could just wing it for the majority. But like I've been saying all along, if you have great actors the script doesn't matter, especially when you get actors who are some of the best in their craft

#30 Posted by King Quisling (1980 posts) - - Show Bio

That's incredible. Although, I'm still afraid of Jeff Bridges. 

#31 Posted by Whitley (84 posts) - - Show Bio
@Nova`Prime`: 
 
You know it is that same thought Todd M. said a bout a decade or so ago only it was about artists not needing any writers in order to do a comic book. I think the vast majority of Image comics illustrate that error in judgment.
#32 Posted by AirDave817 (840 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow!  
What was it Jon Lovitz said? "Acting"? "Genius!"

#33 Posted by John_Martone (13 posts) - - Show Bio

That's kind of amazing. I mean, Bridges sounds a bit more bitter than the skew of the article lets on, but the end product was exactly what the movie needed. Here's hoping that somehow they don't have to go through with all of that next time around, but that it still has the same shine.

#34 Edited by jakob187 (988 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't understand how people liked Iron Man but hated Superman Returns.  Seriously.  Both were boring as sin.  I am willing to check out Iron Man 2, but it's just because I see War Machine in the movie poster...and Don Cheadle as War Machine just seems BANANAS! 
 
Also, Babs...have you ever seen The Fisher King?  Bridges has DEFINITELY done better movies than Iron Man...but he DID play a good Obadiah Stone.

#35 Posted by crazywolf (625 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting info to read about

#36 Posted by HaloKing343 (1252 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow that's amazing
 
Have you seen the movie Stepbrothers? Literally 80% of it is improv if not more. That's just intense, probably more improv in that movie than any other movie I've ever seen.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.