Iron Man (2007) - Early War Machine concepts

In one of the earliest scripts for the original Iron Man, the "Mandarin" was going to be a descendent of Ghengis Khan who was trying to establish a new empire in a fictional "-stan" country, funded by his massive oil reserves. The plot had him sending Stark-designed WMD's through pipelines that ran to the major western cities, holding the world hostage from his bunker-like oil refinery base. The final confrontation would have been between Crimson Dynamo and Tony in an upgraded Mk3 suit, built up with an outer layer of armor cladding and weapons, all of which would be stripped from him in the ensuing battle, leaving him to win by ingenuity.

I did a number of concepts for this proto-"War Machine" idea, until the entire script got the third-act overhaul that we all know and love. It was also wisely decided to keep War Machine for another movie, and to give him back to Rhodey where he belongs.

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My first pass at the War Machine cladding. This one was done before the Mk3 was finished, so doesn't bear much resemblance.

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Another War Machine cladding sketch, this one started in pencil, then scanned and painted over in Photoshop.

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Another pencil sketch I took into Photoshop to color.

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Yet another version, this illustration highly influence by my friend and colleague Adi Granov's clean and graphic style.

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My last and best pass at the "War Machine" cladding over the Mk 3, still in Iron Man colors.

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Back view. I scavenged some ideas from this design when working on the Mk3, such as the ejectable arm SMG's and the enclosure for the Gatling gun.

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Final pass at War Machine in his traditional colors. Near the end of the project they wanted to see what the design would look like as an actual War Machine design, anticipating Iron Man 2.