11 things you probably didn’t know about the 1st Iron Man movie

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May 1, 2013, 11:24 AM EDT

The first Iron Man film was a $140 million gamble for Marvel, but it definitely paid off. In honor of Iron Man 3 opening in the U.S. this weekend, here are 11 crazy things surrounding the production that you might not know.

It’s crazy to think it took so long for this film to finally happen, and to see all the stars and directors attached throughout the years that almost got it done. Considering the full-scale revolution it kicked off, it’s amazing to see how different it all could’ve been.

Iron Man 3 is already blowing up the box office internationally, and it opens in the U.S. this weekend. So as we prepare to get wowed by Shane Black’s first installment, take a walk down memory lane and remember how it all got started.

(Via IMDB, etc.)