The technology behind Tony Stark’s progressively more advanced Iron Man suits has come a long way since the first clunky grey armor he built in a cave, but some of his coolest devices we saw in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War had their origins in one scrapped scene from Iron Man 3’s co-writer Drew Pearce.
In a recent conversation with Pearce about Hotel Artemis — his directorial debut — he told Inverse about how his original vision for Tony Stark in Iron Man 3 (2013) once included a watch and pair of glasses virtually indistinguishable from the ones we eventually saw in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018), respectively.
After Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, breaks loose from containment midway through Civil War, every available Avenger attempts to stop him. Stark doesn’t have a full Iron Man suit with him, so he activates a watch that unfurls into a single glove. It allows him to hold his own against the supersoldier in a thrilling fight scene. But, we almost saw this kind of device in action three years earlier in a nightclub sequence included in Drew Pearce’s original Iron Man 3 pitch.
“That glove — I don’t think I’ve ever said this — that glove was in my very first pitch about Iron Man 3,” Pearce told Inverse. “My original pitch had a nightclub scene in it. Tony isn’t in the suit but he’s wearing his watch.” When Stark wields the watch-glove in Civil War, he’s also wearing a pair of flashy sunglasses, a common accessory for the genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist. A similar pair would’ve also been included in Pearce’s scene, but with an extra feature Infinity War fans might also recognize.
“I had him in his douchiest indoor sunglasses and a giant watch because that’s all you can take into a nightclub,” Pearce said. “And what it actually was, was the HUD in the glasses and the single repulser in the watch.”
Stark used his single repulsor watch-glove against the Winter Soldier in Civil War. Much more recently in Avengers: Infinity War, we saw him use sunglasses with a HUD allowing him to communicate with the artificial intelligence F.R.I.D.A.Y. as part of his nanite-powered Mark L suit. This was in New York City, just before he took on Cull Obsidian.
“To be honest, I’m sure Markus and McFeely simply had the same idea as me rather than actually knowing about it,” Pearce rationalized, referencing Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who’ve written all three Captain America movies along with Infinity War and its untitled sequel. “Those boys really know what they’re doing.”
Whether or not that’s actually true, Tony Stark will forever be remembered as an innovative man with plenty of useful accessories after he totally dies in Avengers 4. It’s just too bad we never got to see him fight assailants in a nightclub with a single glove and high-tech sunglasses. Hey, maybe it happened in another timeline?
Avengers 4 will be released in theaters on May 4, 2019.