The love between Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony Stark and Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts is a slow-burning side plot that proves integral over the Jon Favreau-directed first two films, with the employer/employee relationship boiling toward something much more intimate as the action gets hotter.
But had Favreau had his way, things between Stark and Potts would have been way steamier, way sooner.
"We wanted to open up 'Iron Man 2' with Tony waking up, looking over, seeing that he's laying next to Pepper Potts and that they'd just slept together, and just being really freaked out, like, what's he going to do?" the director revealed during a talk at the LA Times Hero Complex Film Festival over the weekend.
Downey, Jr. also revealed a cut Stark-Potts opening, though this one was a bit less attractive: Stark, drunk, backing out of a mission as he pukes in the back of a transport.
Sadly, both ideas were nixed by their studio. Too much cash on the line, Favreau said.
"Although we had a lot of creative freedom, there was all of a sudden, there was something to protect and the studio was already very well established, there was an 'Avengers' agenda, there was a Tony Stark agenda, and there were all these other movies that were being developed," Favreau explained.
Speaking of "Avengers," the epic superhero teamup film that will feature Iron Man, Captain America, Nick Fury and the Hulk, among others, Downey, Jr. admitted that he's been more impressed than he thought he'd be while filming the Joss Whedon-directed effort.
"I tend to look at a scene and say 'This is absolutely impossible, we can't shoot this, it's horrible. I can tell you 10 other movies its been in, I refuse.' I usually start off the morning by refusing to do what I've signed on to do," the actor revealed. "So I brought that attitude, happily. I just thought 'How are you gonna put all of us clowns together? He's wearing a suit, he's all jacked up, he's so and so and poor Mark Ruffalo, he's gonna out do us'. And we're about six weeks in and I have to say Joss Whedon is nailing it. He's so smart and so good. And it's gonna be great. I can't believe I just said it, I never could've believed this but it's gonna be great."
For much more from the conversation, click over to Collider.