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While Jeff Bridges' Obadiah Stane was the first supervillain established by the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he didn't exactly have the longest tenure. To date, the first Iron Man is the only movie in the franchise to feature the character... which makes sense given that the blockbuster concludes with him being fried like a key on a kite string. What you probably don't know, however, is that the original drafts of the film had a very different ending. Speaking with Bridges earlier today, he told me,
In the original script they were supposed to open my suit after, and I was gone! But then, no. I read the scene we were shooting, and they said, 'No, you're dead.' And I said, 'Oh...' Then they said, 'Well, it's a comic! Maybe you'll come back!' I don't know.
Jeff Bridges will soon be back on the big screen starring in the Marc Webb-directed drama The Only Living Boy In New York, and it was at the movie's Los Angeles press day this morning that I had the opportunity to sit down with him. Keeping the wide variety of characters who will be uniting in next year's The Avengers: Infinity War, I used the last question of my interview to ask him if there had been any conversations with Marvel Studios about the return of Obadiah Stane. It was in his response that the actor told me how the script for Iron Man was originally going to end -- and concluded telling me that he really doesn't know if he will have a future with the franchise.
As Jeff Bridges pointed out in his answer, it wouldn't be an extreme challenge to bring Obadiah Stane back from the dead given the science-fiction/fantasy rules that are in play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Wearing the fully-assembled Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos could blink and revive the former Stark Industries executive. Or maybe someone could cast a magic spell. Or maybe characters go back in time and run into him. There are plenty of possibilities, and it would be great to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe utilize one of them.
Certainly one simple way to get around the fictional death of Obadiah Stane would be to have him featured in a story set before the events of the first Iron Man (say, for example, the upcoming Captain Marvel, which will be set in the 1990s). I asked Jeff Bridges what he thought about the prequel idea, and his response was a simple one:
You never know. You never know.
Only time will tell if Obadiah Stane returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the good news is that there will continue to be plenty of opportunities to see Jeff Bridges on the big screen. Fans will be able to see The Only Living Boy In New York in theaters on August 11th, and stay tuned for more from my interview with the actor!