Jeff Bridges’ Iron Monger to Return to the MCU?

Jeff Bridges joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Iron Man’s adversary in the first-ever Tony Stark-led movie with Robert Downey Jr. at the forefront. He took on Obadiah Stane, AKA Iron Monger — a villain with an iconic history in the comics. Yet, he joined the landscape at a simpler time; he joined when there was less to be a part of, fewer people and places in existence for wreaking havoc upon. 

Jeff Bridges MCU
Jeff Bridges visits SiriusXM Studios on September 27, 2018 | Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Bridges joined the MCU before it became the expansive film franchise it is today. Though Iron Man is considered an MCU movie, the “MCU” as we know it didn’t exactly exist back in 2008 (when RDJ’s turn as the hero was a make or break moment for Marvel Studios). RDJ rose to the challenge, as did Jon Favreau and the other creative minds behind the production, laying the groundwork for massive expansion. Yet, Obadiah Stane — Iron Monger — receiver the short end of the stick. 

Who is Obadiah Stane?

In the comics, Iron Monger is a name that several fictional characters use, but Obadiah Stane is the first one to take on the name. Stane is one of the first villainous masterminds to stand up against Against Stark with a suit similar to his own. Stane also goes into business with Howard Stark after kickstarting a company — Stane International — as a munitions dealer. 

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When papa Stark dies, Stane’s greed and corporate maleficence get the best of him, and he aims to seize the Stark corporation out from under Tony. Obadiah Stane has a shattered moral compass, yet an intellect that makes him a perfect Stark foil, and a perfect threat to future Avengers. Thus, he may just return — with more people to threaten and with more at risk in a post-Endgame landscape. Based on information available, Obadiah Stane may have a place via an Ant-Man connection. 

Iron Monger was supposed to be alive at the end of ‘Iron Man,’ initially 

In the original script for Iron Man, Jeff Bridges’ character was supposed to survive — and the audience was supposed to get a loud and clear indication of such. Jeff Bridges noted, according to GeekTyrant

No, in the script, the script that I hired onto, my character lives! They open my suit up and I’m gone. But then when we got to shoot that scene, they didn’t open my suit up! I said, ‘Aren’t you going to open my suit up?’ They said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘You’re going to kill my guy?’ And they say, ‘Well, it’s a comic book. You could come back. Who knows?’ You know? But anyway

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How Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane could reenter the MCU 

Jeff Bridges’ character Obadiah Stane may still have a chance in the MCU; what if he turns out to be Sonny Burch’s so-called benefactor? Nerdist.com explained: 

Right now, odds are that Burch’s mysterious benefactor has been purposely left a mystery because everyone’s concerned with Thanos, and when it comes time to revisit this particular plot strand…Stane would be a solid comics-based choice, and a Stane with all the resources of a post-Infinity War world would be a much bigger and more fun threat than ever before…

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Obadiah Stane was a solid threat at the start, but Tony was still growing into his own, so the villain could only be so strong, so intense, so glamorous, so powerful. Now that Stark has gotten his fair share of the spotlight — with a character arc integral to the entire saga — it’s time for a great actor behind a great villain to return to take the revenge-seeking reigns.