The death of Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) in Iron Man set off a chain of one-time villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but his death was not always part of the plan. Bridges helped fortify a recognizable cast for Marvel Studios' first film, bringing his presence to Tony Stark's first villain that he would encounter as Iron Man. His stern yet crazy approach to Stane was a great counter to Tony's calm, cool, and collected persona. In fact, their dynamic on screen is one of the many reasons Iron Man worked so well.
For those who were enjoying Bridges' portrayal of the villain, his time was ultimately cut short. After just dawning the Iron Monger suit for the first time, Tony still found a way to out smart his mentor, zapping him with the unleashed power of Stark Industries' biggest arc reactor. Audiences last saw him falling into the reactor, effectively killing him, but Bridges says that was not the original ending.
While speaking to Cinema Blend, Bridges revealed the original ending to Iron Man and how his character's arc closed out his first film. The events appear to play out in a similar fashion, but one key sequence was taken out - possibly due to the script difficulties the film experienced. In this sequence, S.H.I.E.L.D., Tony, Pepper, and maybe others were going to open up the Iron Monger suit only to find that Stane had somehow managed to escape:
In the original script they were supposed to open my suit after, and I was gone! But then, no. I read the scene we were shooting, and they said, 'No, you're dead.' And I said, 'Oh...' Then they said, 'Well, it's a comic! Maybe you'll come back!' I don't know.
For Bridges and the crew, the change was definitively known, but the movie only makes a passing reference to Stane actually being dead. In the closing moments of the film, Tony asks Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) about the story they'll spin for Stane and Coulson simply says, "That's being handled. He's on vacation. Small aircrafts have such a poor safety record." This line the only indication audiences get that Stane is in fact gone, but the old trope no body, no death could be applied here as well.
Since audiences never actually had the chance to see what happened to the Iron Monger suit after it fell into the arc reactor, Marvel Studios could find some work around to bring Stane back if they so desired. Maybe S.H.I.E.L.D. found him alive and secretly locked him away in the same hidden and secure base that is housing The Abomination. But, with it being nearly 10 years since Stane's last appearance, it does not appear that a revival is in the cards.
Source: Cinema Blend
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