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While most of the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have managed to survive their dangerous adventures, the same can’t be said for the villains. With a few exceptions (like Loki and Abomination), most of the bad guys have been killed off during their evil escapades. Of course, what happens in the final product doesn’t always match what was planned in scripts or story boards. In the case of the MCU’s first primary antagonist, originally he wasn’t even supposed to have been killed off.
In an IGN Facebook Q&A, Jeff Bridges revealed that his character Obadiah Stane wasn’t originally supposed to die at the end of Iron Man. However, the script was changed and Tony Stark’s mentor ended up biting the dust. Said Bridges:
When I was hired on, it was scripted that Obadiah would live, that when they opened his Iron Monger suit...he was not in it. Then, they decided to kill my ass off. Telling me 'it's a comic-fantasy, so who knows, your character could come back.' I guess we'll see…
Obadiah met his demise when Pepper Potts overloaded the Stark Industries arc reactor. Knocked unconscious by the energy blast, he fell into the generator and was incinerated by the explosion. If it makes Bridges feel any better, his version of Obadiah met the same fate as his comic book counterpart, although that was a suicide (he took his own life to avoid being arrested) rather than just getting killed off. Although viewers never saw Tony or Obadiah remotely pilot their suits in Iron Man, auto-piloted armor would later make an appearance in Iron Man 3 when Tony piloted the Mark 42 (XLII) to save the crew of Air Force One from falling to their deaths. Obadiah not only holds the distinction of being Tony’s first nemesis as Iron Man (who would later go on to battle Whiplash and A.I.M. in his solo movies), but also being the first primary villain introduced in the MCU, so Bridges has left a unique mark on this film universe.
Resurrections are common in comic books, with most characters, whether they’re heroes or villains, rarely staying dead. The MCU has hasn’t been doing this as often, although they did being back fan favorite agent Phil Coulson for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. With no more Iron Man movies on the horizon and Tony Stark taking on a more prominent role in the MCU with Captain America: Civil War and the Avengers: Infinity War movies, it extremely unlikely that we’ll ever see Obadiah rise from the dead. Tony has enough challenges ahead with his ideological conflict with Captain America and fighting Thanos. There’s no need to bring back the blue-collar industrialist back for another round since he served his purpose of inadvertently setting Tony on his hero’s journey.