Director Jon Favreau participated with in a live web chat today with the readers of the The Los Angeles Times:
Director Jon Favreau participated in a live web chat today with readers of The Los Angeles Times wherein he spilled a few beans about what fans can expect from Iron Man 2.
“We’re playing with who the villain should be and what we should incorporate from the comic book. And how it will lead into The Avengers,” Favreau said, adding later, “I think we need some version of ‘classic villains’ in these movies. Many don’t hold up well to time and to the big screen, but their essence should inspire the characters.”
The Iron Man helmer said the Mandarin “is still an important figure in the Iron Man universe. We have an interesting take on him that allows us to incorporate the whole pantheon of villains. The whole 10 Rings thing in (Iron Man 1) was a good tease for it.” When asked by a fan whether a female adversary such as Madame Masque might be used in the sequel, Favreau replied, “Female villain… Now there’s an interesting notion.”
So what might Iron Man 2 be about? “The sequel is shaping up to incorporate Tony’s vision for the future. What happens after he says ‘I am Iron Man?’” Favreau said. He later added, “Iron Man is indeed a celebrity. He announced who he was and we have now officially departed from the standard secret ID superhero. Tony was already famous before the announcement. What would really happen if this went down? Fun to explore.” As for Tony Stark’s alcoholism, the director said “I don’t think we’ll ever do the Leaving Las Vegas version, but it will be dealt with.”
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Jon Favreau sits down with a group of journalists to talk, indepth, about the sequel to Iron Man:
IGN and a small number of journalists were able to sit down with writer/director and Iron Man mastermind Jon Favreau this afternoon for a lengthy and in-depth discussion on the upcoming sequel. The conversation was packed with fresh Iron Man news, including Favreau’s thoughts on War Machine, the Mandarin and the art of the comic-book sequel.
On Iron Man’s success…
FAVREAU: I was surprised by everything. I was surprised that the reviews were so strong, that it made so much money. I was surprised that Dark Knight had better reviews and made so much more money. On the one hand, it was a really unexpected, serendipitous summer. Oddly, when Dark Knight finally came out and was received the way it was, it was such a relief for me because I really felt like we went from nobody expecting anything to people starting to expect something…First, it was, “Who the hell cares about Marvel’s b-level heroes,” to Comic-Con where began building momentum, to this fever pitch where we were afraid that we’d disappoint and fail to meet expectations. And then Dark Knight comes in and makes history and all of a sudden, we felt the relief of that spotlight moving off of us from the guard tower. And now we have two years to lay low and work on the movie.
On what changed the tide of the superhero movie…
FAVREAU: I think 9/11. I think that was a game changer. I think people were looking for emotional simplicity, for escapism. There were superhero movies before Spider-Man, but Spider-Man hit at just the right time. It was the first way that we could get to those emotions. You couldn’t say anything about politics, about war, but you put somebody in a costume and say, “This is the good guy, this is the bad guy,” and you set that in a fantasy world or the Marvel universe, all of a sudden you allow people and kids and adults to experience those emotions. They’re dealing with real emotions in an escapist way. And that’s become more complex as we’ve become more comfortable seven years later, and you can have a movie like Dark Knight that shows people those things. There’s a line you can’t cross, but that line’s moving. But I’m glad that I was able to hit the crest of the genre and I feel safe now that we have a built in audience. But you wonder how that is going to change. Whoever gets voted in, I think there’s going to be an incredible transformation. I don’t know what it’s going to be, how the economy will affect that, or what the politics will look like. But change is coming, regardless, within our political system and our culture. And I wonder, as a moviemaker, how that’s going to effect audiences and what the national attitude is. It’s not something that turns on a dime.
On The Avengers movie…
FAVREAU: It starts off as, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if we stuck the Captain America shield in the background,” or “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if we had Sam Jackson play Nick Fury.” That’s a nod to our fans. But now, between the shield and Nick Fury and the final scene of The Hulk, I’m like, “Wow, we’re really forming a team.” That scene is clearly not the day after Iron Man ended, so where does it fit? I don’t want to ignore it or say, as Marvel does, “It’s an alternate universe.” So how do you make it all work within that world? And Hulk was successful in keeping a tone that was not inconsistent with our film… In this case, you have Kevin Feige who wants to solve this puzzle. All that brain power makes you come up with interesting solutions. We have a pretty good gameplan. And there are conversations I’m having with them about The Avengers, where you’re not just dealing with tech; you’re dealing with inter-dimensional portals and all the shit that makes you jump the shark if you don’t handle it right. We were very restrained in how we used our superhero-ism in our movie, and we did that by keeping it all tech-based. Hulk was fairly tech-based. And then you get to Cap, where it’s a guy frozen in ice and you say, “Yeah, OK., I can buy that.” But then you get to Thor and it’s all out the window. So how you make that all feel of the same world is the challenge.
On The Mandarin as a live-action movie villain…
FAVREAU: The Mandarin is such a tricky character because everywhere you turn, it’s a minefield. You get into the mystical, Asian, dark arts and interdimensional travel and all the rings, and you say, “That’s cool; maybe we can make it authentic.” And then you see the trailer for The Mummy movie. That’s as authentic as it’s gonna get, but does it fit our film? I don’t know. What are your rules and how do you stay consistent? Because that’s what happens – people get desperate. How do you up the ante? And people start breaking their own rules and lose their identity. The Mandarin is the main guy, but we always remind ourselves that nobody likes the Emperor compared to Darth Vader. When the Emperor was this figure that you only saw obliquely, you’d say, “Shit, Darth Vader’s bowing to someone?” But then as he talked more, enough was enough. So the Mandarin, to have that kind of weight to him, it’s really a matter of using all the narrative tricks. But if you’re shooting these rings that have powers that could throw off the balance of the universe – how do you keep the whole thing together yet fulfill the expectations from the book? And a little bit goes a long way. There are a lot of other characters and countries that fit very well into our universe. The Iron Man cannon is becoming incredibly cogent and applicable once again.
On the script for Iron Man 2…
FAVREAU: The writing is coming along quite well. We’ve got Justin Theroux, who did Tropic Thunder. He echoes Downey’s tastes a lot. He’s an actor. He brings a real sense of fun. He’s never worked in the genre before, so he has that great newcommer’s enthusiasm. Then it’s about, here are the books. We’re breaking the story and pages are coming out, but it’s more of a conversation than actual writing…We’re looking – not so much for story, but for tone – at the Matt Fraction stuff. That series seems to be informed as much by our movie as by what happened with Iron Man before. It’s informed by current events. I’m very impressed by what he’s written.
On storytelling in comic-book films…
FAVREAU: There’s always a sense of “let’s save something for another movie.” But I think there’s a way to wade into it. In Spider-Man, he seems to be dealing with different issues in each film because they’re very modular. But we want to stretch our movie out like three chapters of the same story… These are smart audiences now with the capacity to understand long-form, complex storytelling, and you’re starting to see it more in TV and videogames. Movies are kind of what they are. It’s like a rock and roll song – you’ve got your thing, your bridge and your end. So how do you keep making rock and roll songs, but also do the White Album? How do you put it all together with other movies and make it something that’s a larger experience for people who are paying attention, but yet not so complex that if you’re not paying attention you’re going to not have fun? I’m a pretty smart audience member and I just don’t have that attention span, so I want to figure out if I can get a better version of that while still upping the ante of what you’re putting on the screen and the humor and the dialogue.
Click on the link below to read the entire indepth interview. It’s a good one
IGN has the scoop on who will fight alongside the Mark III in the sequel to Iron Man:
With the DVD and Blu-ray release of Iron Man right around the corner, IGN had the opportunity to visit the studios of the legendary Stan Winston. While you can expect our full account of the jaw-dropping experience, Iron-fans will be glad to know that we were able to squeeze a small bit of information on the upcoming sequel.
Artist Chris Swift said of the casting for the follow-up:
“The most I’ve heard is that there’s a possibility of the War Machine. That would be Terrance Howard in this next one. I talked a lot with him on set and I said, ‘Get ready. In the comic books, you end up in the suit.’ And I think he’s going to get his opportunity.”
Jon Favreau is already working on the Iron Man sequel due to open in theaters, 2010.
On Tuesday, August 19, 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that Jon Favreau is already hard at work on Iron Man 2, the sequel to this summer’s first comic book blockbuster. Speaking to Times blogger Geoff Boucher, Favreau said “we’re working on it now, which hasn’t been officially announced. It will be released in 2010.”
The film’s 2010 release date was previously announced by Marvel Studios, who intends to include the sequel in their forthcoming slate of films. But even though the time crunch will challenge Favreau to finish the film on time and budget – a goal he has met with every previous film he shot – the limitation may mean an unexpected opportunity for sites like IGN, and ultimately, the fans themselves: Favreau will likely be shooting a lot of the film in California. Currently Favreau is partnering with California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to set up tax breaks and incentives for filmmakers who elect to shoot in the state, and that may mean that Iron Man 2 will make its home there as well – which might make it easier for journalists to attend set visits and see shooting as the production gets in full swing.
Jon Favreaur= speculates on whom might be the villain in Iron Man 2.
Although he has not yet been signed to direct the sequel, Iron Man director Jon Favreau has been blogging who fans might expect to see menace Shellhead in Iron Man 2.
In a posting at his MySpace blog, Favreau revealed that “The Mandarin is Iron Man’s nemesis and will be incorporated in the sequel. It’s true that I am apprehensive about how he is to be presented. In the tech based modern world that we created for (Iron Man), a Fu Manchu style villain with magical/alien tech rings would seem out of place.”
Favreau added, “There were early drafts of (Iron Man) where the Mandarin was the main villain, so we’ve already explored the character to some extent. I am curious to see how he has been treated in his latest books and how that might influence our direction.”
He also said, “I’ve already mentioned War Machine and Mandarin. I have some ideas, but I really need to sit down with Downey and the Marvel guys before we say much more.” And when asked about the chances of Obadiah Stane returning (SPOILER ALERT) despite his apparent death at the end of the first film, Favreau quipped, “Stane’s death? Do characters ever really die in Marvel? Isn’t it like a soap opera?”
When asked about this report that claimed the Hulk might pop up in Iron Man 2 (just as Tony Stark did in The Incredible Hulk), Favreau replied, “There are no plans to do so.”
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Robert Downey jr. delivers in the upcoming summer blockbuster, Iron Man.
With Iron Man, the character, you get a different kind of intellectual, emotional and moral complexity than you get from the likes of Spider-Man or other spandex-clad supermen. Unlike ol’ web-head, whose adventures not only provide the most consistent comic-themed film franchise to date but mirror the coming of age experience of the series’ core audience, Iron Man is indeed a man, with man-sized experiences and man-sized problems.
Mind you, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins brilliantly initiated (and this summer will presumably continue) its own darker, more adult-oriented exploration of the hero myth – essentially the “book” without the “comic.” But directed by Jon Favreau, Iron Man the film has retained both that maturity and adolescent mischievousness, in the process creating one of the more tonally successful if somewhat insubstantial adaptations in the history of superhero movies.
Robert Downey Jr. (Zodiac) is perfectly cast as Stark, a billionaire industrialist who awakens to find an electromagnet strapped to his chest after his convoy is attacked in Afghanistan. Escaping his kidnappers by building a crude armored suit, Tony returns home and announces that Stark Industries will cease production of all military technology. While this deeply worries Stark stockholders, particularly Obediah Stane (Jeff Bridges), who founded the company with Tony’s father, Tony becomes obsessed with building better and more sophisticated suits of armor. Before long, Tony and Obediah find themselves in a power struggle for the future of Stark Enterprises, with significantly more at stake than a couple of hundred billion dollars.
It was the casting of Downey that seemed to appease fan fears about adapting Iron Man, and truth be told he’s the best thing about the film. As an actor who’s been around the block and played plenty of characters beneath his talent (just two years ago he appeared in The Shaggy Dog), Downey lends the character experience and depth – two things which are essential to the transformation that must occur for Stark to go from complicity to consciousness. That Downey himself has failed in Hollywood almost more times than he has succeeded only adds an extra degree of dimension to the role, since more than half of the time Stark seems to be flying by the seat of his pants. But as always there’s clearly something going on inside his (and his character’s) head, and he plays Stark as an aging movie star who discovers one day that he can make “serious” films, and does so in the only way he knows how – namely as flashily as possible.
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