Robert Downey Jr. improvised Iron Man’s most iconic line

"I am Iron Man" was ab-libbed by Robert Downey Jr. and has since become one of the most famous lines of the franchise

It has been revealed that one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most iconic lines was improvised by Robert Downey Jr.

Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, said Downey’s famous line – “I am Iron Man” – was ab-libbed when the first film in the franchise was released ten years ago.

In an interview with Deadline, Feige said the impact the line had on The Marvel Universe at large was also far-reaching.

“That success inspired us to go further in the trusting ourselves to find balance of staying true to the comics and the spirit of the comics but not being afraid to adapt and evolve and to change things.”

He also said part of the success of the line came from how it developed the character of Tony Stark further.

“If you’re changing something for no reason, that’s one thing, but if you’re changing something because you want to double-down on the spirit of who the character is? That’s a change we’ll make.”

“Tony Stark not reading off the card and not sticking with the fixed story? Him just blurting out ‘I am Iron Man?’ That seems very much in keeping with who that character is.”

According to Joe Russo, director of Avengers: Infinity War, Iron Man was pivotal to the subsequent success of the franchise saying: “When you talk about Marvel’s rise, Iron Man set the tone of all of it.”

Marvel released Iron Man ten years ago on May 2, 2008, launching Marvel as a studio. The film grossed $585 million on it’s release.

This year, Marvel’s blockbusters Black PantherAvengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp have earned $3.7 billion worldwide.