Black Panther screenwriter doubts 'disrespectful' Iron Man would work today

Ben Arnold
Tony Stark (Credit: Marvel)

Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark is – with respect – a bit of a tool.

But while for some his charm may lie in his swaggering around the place womanising and being unfeasibly wealthy, for others, all that kind of thing already feels a bit dated.

And one of those is Joe Robert Cole, co-writer of Black Panther.

“Think about where we are now, with this very vapid, unintelligent president and our world is crackling on the edges because of that,” he told an audience at a panel discussion at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas (via Indiewire).

“Think back to Tony Stark, him being douchey and being okay. If that character, Stark, was created in a movie today, I wonder if the response would be like, ‘Oh, it’s cool that he’s douchey and disrespectful to women … that’s fine.’

Joe Robert Cole (Credit: Rex)

“I think we’re at a different place. I think it’s a better place.”

All that said, the Iron Man remains very much his old self even now, as seen in his appearances in Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

And he’ll soon be back amongst his fellow Avengers in Avengers: Infinity War, out on April 27.

But would his character have been a bit more of a nuanced multi-billionaire than the cock-sure one we were introduced to in 2008, the first in Marvel’s now established ‘cinematic universe’.

Quite possibly.

Black Panther, meanwhile, with its utmost respect for women, is going great guns, having just passed the $1 billion mark at the box office, showing that you can be a billionaire and respectful to the opposite sex with consummate ease.

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