How Transformers Influenced the Marvel Cinematic Universe

transformers iron man header

The original Iron Man, which kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, owes a debt of gratitude to Michael Bay’s Transformers, of all movies, for its VFX success.

In a YouTube video celebrating Iron Man‘s fifteenth anniversary, director Jon Favreau and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige reflected on the challenge of adapting Tony Stark’s iconic armor at that point in time. Transformers‘ advancements in computer graphics, Favreau noted, were a missing piece of the puzzle. “…So hard surface CGI was looking really good, and so it’s like, ‘okay this might be the moment where this all clicks together,'” he said.


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Feige and Favreau also delved into the latter’s practical effects filmmaking — which he previously showcased directing 2005’s Zathura adaptation — and how it accommodated Iron Man‘s CGI moments. “So remember, the reason I got there was, you saw in it, ‘Oh Jon understands how to do visual effects,'” Favreau added, with Feige recognizing how the movie’s blend of casting, dialogue, and tone, “became the template in a way for much of what the MCU became.”

The Legacy of Iron Man in Marvel Studios

As Marvel Studios’ first movie, Iron Man proved a critical and commercial success, marking the first entry in what’s now known as the MCU’s Infinity Saga. The film also helped revive Robert Downey Jr.’s career following years of drug addiction and arrests, with his Tony Stark performance remaining a centerpiece of the MCU until Avengers: Endgame. Additionally, Iron Man‘s original post-credit scene would influence the way MCU films set up future installments, with Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis calling these moments, “a reflection of a Stan Lee storytelling device, which is ‘We’re never letting you go.'”

RELATED: Marvel Boss Confirms Robert Downey Jr. Once Almost Played Doctor Doom

What’s Coming Up in Today’s MCU

Following Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s release, Marvel Studios’ last film of 2023 is The Marvels, which comes out in November. Marvel’s 2023 TV lineup will consist of Secret Invasion next month, followed by Loki Season 2 and Echo in October and November respectively. Other Phase 5 release dates have yet to be announced, with the Mahershalla Ali-led Blade film in particular getting delayed by the Writers Guild of America strike.

Meanwhile, Michael Bay’s five Transformers films — released between 2007 and 2017 — each proved massive box office hits, despite receiving largely negative reviews from critics. The franchise eventually semi-rebooted itself with 2018’s Bumblebee, a Transformers prequel centered on the fan-favorite Autobot character. Its upcoming sequel, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, will not only mark a crossover between the Generation 1 and Beast Wars characters, but bring back longtime Transformers villain Unicron, confirmed in its official trailer.

Iron Man is currently streaming on Disney+.

Source: YouTube


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