ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

If you caught Iron Man 3 recently (and let's face it, you probably have) you may have been surprised to discover references to the British costume drama, Downton Abbey, sprinkled among all the explosions and piano throwing.

During the film, Tony Stark's personal bodyguard, Happy Hogan, is observed watching the Edwardian drama several times. Indeed, Tony notes it as Hogan's "favorite show," while Hogan himself seems to have a bit of a thing for the character of Sybil. But how did a PBS drama ever cross paths with a superhero blockbuster. Well, Downton producer Gareth Neame explained:

They just approached us. [The Iron Man producers] just said, "We think the character should be watching Downtown..." And we looked at the context and thought "That's good. We'll do it."

It seems the success of Downton has surprised no one more than Neame himself. He stated:

I thought we'd make a good show and I thought it'd be popular for a traditional anglophile audience, but what we could have never anticipated was the fact that it was going to be a piece of sort of touchstone content here in the U.S. and that it would be one of the biggest shows in America.

Was it just a fun reference though? Or did Happy Hogan's love of the British drama betray deeper character emotions? The guys over at Vulture have, in their own words, written 'An Embarrassingly Close Reading of the Downton Abbey Clips in Iron Man 3'. Head over there for some deeper insight into Hogan's love of Sybil and aristocratic English shenanigans.

But before you do that, let me know what you thought of the references? Did you find yourself laughing out loud, or did they fly right over your head? Talk to me below. Seriously, don't be shy.


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