In the spirit of Christmas, we're looking back at a little-known tie between Iron Man and cherished holiday movie classic A Christmas Story.
After years of outsourcing their famous comic book characters to studios like Sony, Fox and Universal, Marvel set out to make their own live-action movies based on lesser-known Marvel Comics properties like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.
Iron Man's producer credits included Marvel Studios' resident creative overseer, Kevin Feige, X-Men and Spider-Man producer Avi Arad, longtime Marvel Studios producers Victoria Alonso and Louis D'Esposito, and executive producer Peter Billingsley — best known for his role as four-eyed Ralphie Parker in 1983's A Christmas Story.
A frequent collaborator of Favreau's, Billingsley co-produced 2001's Made — Favreau's feature directing debut — before co-executive producing Favreau's Dinner for Five, for which Billingsley was nominated for an Emmy in 2001.
Billingsley appeared onscreen in Elf — a modern Christmas classic in its own right — as toymaker Ming Ming in 2003. Billingsley co-produced sci-fi space adventure Zathura in 2005 and appeared again onscreen alongside Favreau in 2006's The Break-Up (directed by Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp's Peyton Reed).
Iron Man followed in 2008, where Billingsley cameoed as William Ginter Riva, a scientist working beneath Tony Stark rival Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).
Billingsley and Favreau would appear again as actors in Vince Vaughn-lead comedy Four Christmases, and Favreau would co-star in Billingsley's directorial debut, 2009 comedy Couples Retreat.
Marvel Studios' shared cinematic universe franchise has since gone on to become the highest-grossing franchise of all time, and the first franchise to cross $5 billion at the domestic box office.
Marvel will celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Iron Man in 2018 with the release of Avengers: Infinity War, assembling its major franchises — The Avengers, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy — for the first time.
A Christmas Story is arguably the most famous Christmas movie of all time, airing each holiday season as part of an annual 24-hour marathon on TBS.