Today marks the tenth anniversary of the premiere of Iron Man 2. The film is the third in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and first sequel. Set six months after the first film, the film follows Tony Stark deals with the United States government trying to take his Iron Man technology, deal with a shrewd corporate rival, and fight off a new enemy using his innovations all the while dealing with failing health.
The sequel was put into production by Marvel Studios immediately following the massive success of the first film, and was the second in the intended trilogy by director Jon Favreau. The film also explored Tony's alcoholism, a loose adaptation of the famed comic story Demon in a Bottle. The film also marked a notable change in that the first film combined a practical and computer generated Iron Man suit while the armor in this film, and all subsequent features, were entirely computer generated.
The film was a major financial success. It had the fifth highest grossing opening weekend at the time and became the seventh highest grossing film of the year. While the film was well received by critics, it did not do as well as its predecessor. Most critics felt it failed to recapture what made the first so beloved and was far behind the standard of most superhero sequels such as Superman II, X2: X-Men United, and Spider-Man 2. The film was nominated for numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, and won several. The success did lead to another sequel, though Favreau was replaced as director and the original plans for a trilogy conclusion were abandoned.
The film gave writing credits to Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, and Don Heck for creating the characters. It features the talents of Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, Seth Green as an Stark Expo fan, and Stan "The Man" Lee in one of his famous cameos as Larry King. Lee was credited as executive producer. Kevin Feige was producer. Joe Quesada, John Romita, Sr., John Romita, Jr., John Byrne were given special thanks.