Oof! Jeff Bridges calls the first Iron Man movie a "$200 million student film"

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Jul 25, 2014, 2:02 PM EDT (Updated)

Hey, you know the movie that was sort of, kind of responsible for launching the Marvel movie universe as we know it? AMATEUR HOUR.

Iron Man -- as vehicles for ongoing movie franchises, it kind of stands out. If that first Jon Favreau joint hadn't been a success, there may never have been a Captain America movie, or Thor, or Avengers, or ... you get it. In fact, if not for Iron Man, we'd probably all be sadly looking at 2014's box-office numbers, resigned to the certainty that Tran4mers will be the #1 movie in the world, rather than collectively planning to see Guardians of the Galaxy as many times as humanly possible in order to ensure it wrecks those robots in disguise.

So, yeah. Iron Man -- important.

But, according to Jeff Bridges, all was not ideal during filming of that seminal movie. It's not that he's got beef with Favreau or Robert Downey Jr. It's just that the production in general wasn't quite what he'd anticipated for such a high-budget picture. He talked about this in pretty significant detail during a recent Reddit AMA.

We were so fortunate to have Robert and that team, and also Jon Favreau, both those guys are incredible actors and improvisers. And that movie was so much fun to make. It was unusual because it was very expensive, close to $200 million or something, and you would think that a movie that had that high a budget, they would have had their script tighter. But that was not the case. And we would very often find ourselves, at the beginning of the day, going into our trailers with little tape recorders with the suits from Marvel & Jon & Robert, and we would try to come up with what we were going to shoot that day! We would trade parts, I would play his part, or he would play my part, Favreau would be calling up writer friends of his, and meanwhile the crew is tapping their foot, waiting for us to come back to work. That was very frustrating for me, because I like to be very prepared and let it go in front of the camera, so that you know your lines and stuff, until I made a small inner adjustment that was: realizing we were making a $200 million dollar student film. And just to relax and have fun, do your best, don't worry too much, and I think that the film came out terrifically! And again, that's largely because we had Robert and Jon onboard.

There's a little bit to unpack here, because Bridges isn't calling it a bad experience exactly, just not his preferred way of doing things. And, in some ways, isn't this preferable to executives in suits micromanaging every single aspect of a film? Sure, it sounds like some people should have been a little better prepared, but that might be better than knowing that everything you're doing is being completely controlled by people who believe that intense focus grouping is the key to cinematic success.

What do you think?

(via Comic Book Movie)

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