Last night I watched the first film in the Marvel Movie Marathon – Iron Man – and, like promised, I’m back with some filming locations from the film.
Iron Man was the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was released in 2008, directed by Jon Favreau, and stars Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, alongside Terrence Howard as Rhodey, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, and Jeff Bridges as big bad – Obadiah Stane.
The film was almost entirely shot in California – a single scene took place in Nevada. Below is every location I could find – have you ever been to any of them? Make sure to check out the map at the end of the post for exact locations.
Alabama Hills, California
Kunar Province, Afghanistan
At the beginning of Iron Man, Tony Stark’s convoy in Afghanistan is ambushed by the Ten Rings terrorist group. The road they are driving down is in fact Route 395, north of Lone Pine, in California. You can see the Alabama Hills in the background, which doubled up as the Kunar Province. The hills can be seen again later in the movie, when Tony Stark is giving the US Army a demonstration of his missile – Jericho.
Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas
Apogee Award Ceremony & Casino
The hotel that hosts the Apogee Ceremony to award Tony Stark, along with the casino where Rhodes finds him after he doesn’t turn up to receive the award, was filmed in a real Las Vegas hotel and casino – the infamous Caesar’s Palace. It’s the only location that wasn’t shot in California.
Point Dume, Malibu
Tony Stark’s Mansion
Stark’s impressive, high tech Malibu mansion isn’t actually a real building – the interiors were built on set in a California studio, and the exteriors are nothing more than CGI. However, it’s cliff face location is the very real Point Dume Bluff. Editors superimposed the mansion there after all the filming had taken place.
Pacific Coast Highway, Los Angeles
Not far from Point Dume in Malibu lies another location used in the film – the Pacific Coast Highway – which is the road Tony Stark races down in his Audi R8 to get to the Airport after finding out he’s late for his flight. The exact part of the highway he drives down is close to Point Magu, which you can see in the shot.
Edwards Air Force Base, California
Stark Industries Aviation Division / Bagram Air Base
The airport in which Tony board’s his private jet with Rhodes was actually the Edwards Air Force Base in California. This doubled up as Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan as well – where Stark is met by General William Gabriel – and the airport where Pepper greets Stark after he returns home from captivity.
Olancha Sand Dunes, California
Kunar Desert, Afghanistan
The sand dunes in Afghanistan, where Stark crash lands his first prototype of the Iron Man suit after escaping from Raza’s camp, were filmed in the Olancha sand dunes, just south of the Alabama Hills which were used to portray other parts of Afghanistan in the movie. The dunes are east of Olancha, and about 20 miles south of Lone Pine.
Massimo Headquarters, Irvine
Tony Stark, finally back in California after his kidnapping, gives an impromptu press conference – to the surprise of Obadiah. The conference is held at Stark Industries, which is actually filmed at the Massimo Headquarters in Irvine. The massive building was used to film scenes within Stark HQ, including shots of the massive arc reactor.
Santa Monica Pier, California
Having built his new suit, Tony Stark decides to take it for a test drive in the California skies. You can clearly see the Santa Monica Pier in this scene, as Iron Man flies down the Malibu coast.
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
The Charity Ball Stark unexpectedly turns up to, discovering Obadiah Stane’s plan, is the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. The Frank Gehry designed landmark opened in 2003 and is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra.
Blue Cloud Movie Ranch, Santa Clarita
The final filming location in Iron Man is the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita, which was used to shoot the scene’s of Afghanistan town Gulmira, where Iron Man rescues civilians taken hostage by the Ten Rings. The studio has a Third World town set up on their ranch, along with caves and tunnels, crash sites, and an array of military vehicles.