‘Iron Man’ Becomes First Marvel Movie to Achieve National Honor

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Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in 'Iron Man' (2008)

Credit: Marvel Studios

Iron Man (2008) has made history once again!

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios has made history a few times throughout its existence. With over 30 entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and some of the most ambitious endeavors in cinema, it stands to reason! Marvel is at it again; with a report released just today, one of Marvel Studios’ finest films has achieved a high honor among its peers.

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Fan favorite character, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), was introduced to the world of live-action film when Iron Man hit theaters in 2008. The character would go on to take part in over a half dozen movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and would come face to face with some of the biggest villains in the Marvel Canon, many of which he helped create! Together with Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johannsson), the Avengers saved the world many times over, but not without casualty.

Robert Downey, Jr,. as Iron Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

Robert Downey Jr. exited the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Endgame (2019) in tragic and spectacular fashion, but that doesn’t mean his character is done influencing the franchise. Stark (Downey Jr.) served as a mentor to Tom Holland’s Parker, and many of the villains he helped create are either still around, like The Vulture (Michael Keaton), or have the potential to return like Ultron (James Spader). However, this isn’t the only way Iron Man (Downey Jr.) continues to influence the franchise.

Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark) in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' (2017)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Iron Man 4’ “Trailer” Stuns as Tom Cruise Takes Over as Tony Stark

The Library of Congress announced just today that Iron Man, along with several other films, would be inducted into the National Film Registry as part of the Library of Congress. This will be the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to achieve such an honor and marks a historic event for the entire franchise. Marvel Studios head, Kevin Feige, gave several comments about the distinction:

“Iron Man was the very first film Marvel Studios independently produced…It was the first film that we had all of the creative control and oversight on, and it was really make or break for the studio. All of our favorite movies are the ones that we watch over and over again and that we grow up with…The notion that here we are, almost 15 years after the release of Iron Man, and to have it join the Film Registry tells us it has stood the test of time and that it is still meaningful to audiences around the world.”

Kevin Feige
Source: Marvel Studios

The induction into the National Film registry is significant: for a film to qualify, it must fit the criteria of being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Jon Favreau’s Iron Man joins the ranks of such great films as Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Back to the Future (1985), and many others. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said during the ceremony that film is “central to American culture,” and it’s certainly a great honor for a Marvel film to be counted as central to that culture as well.

What do you think about Iron Man entering the National Film Registry? Let us know in the comments below!

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