CON: Iron Man
As if there wasn't reason enough to be excited about IRON MAN, the always genial Jon Favreau headed over to WonderCon this past Saturday to premiere a ton of kickass footage and answer some burning questions regarding the film.
First up were three clips from the movie, featuring Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) developing and testing various aspects of Mark II armor.
Clip 1 - We see Stark tweaking a raw-looking version of his jet thruster boots. He sets up for a test in front of one of his voice-activated robot arms, which records his first attempt (and also acts as the audience's POV). As Stark announces for the thrusters to go up 10%, he instantly finds himself launched backwards into a wall. One of the robot arms extinguishes him even though he's not on fire. Funny shit.
Clip 2 - Time for another test, this time with both the gloves and boots. Stark exchanges some one-sided banter with the robot arm, telling it that he'll donate it to a college if it sprays him again without him being on fire. Setting his boots and gloves to a 1% thrust, he lifts lightly off the ground, and after amping it up to 2.5%, he gets sent hovering across the room. As he tries to get the hang of it, he finds himself accidentally passing atop his collection of expensive cars and torching the hoods. He flies around the room for a bit, and eventually turns off the thrusters and steadies his weight on the ground. The extinguisher arm aims at Stark, and he yells for it to stop before it sprays him. Then comes the line of the dialogue from the trailer: "Yeah, I can fly."
Clip 3 - This final scene from the film was easily the coolest. We see Stark fully armed in the fully-golden Mark II suit, with various panels from the suit sliding into place and the faceplate slowly covering him up completely. We then see shots of his face inside the helmet as he talks the user interface (called Jarvis), with altering tech visuals to represent the info that Stark can see, kind of like how the robots see in TERMINATOR. He calibrates the suit and tells Jarvis to get ready for a flight test, which Jarvis recommends against. "Sometimes you have to run before you can walk." Cue Iron Man blasting at full speed through a lengthy corridor and flying out into the sky. Badass.
Later on in the panel, Favreau addressed the rumor about there being a 90-second trailer of IRON MAN premiering on LOST, saying that it was actually next week and not this one. He apologized and said he wasn't able to bring that for us to see, but he did bring the new 2 1/2 minute trailer that would be shown before 10,000 B.C. Naturally, this caused raucous cheers from the audience.
New Trailer - "Is it better to be feared or respected?" Tony Stark asks during a demonstration of his military weaponry. "I say, 'Is it too much to ask for both?'" Missiles fall in the background while Stark raises his arms out and dust blasts past him from behind.
Cut to: explosions beside Stark's vehicle as he attempts to rush away but instead gets captured. A menacing voice announces, "Tony Stark... Now you work for me." Then we see some of the same stuff we saw from the other trailers, with Stark building and kicking some foreign ass with the Mark 1 suit.
Then comes a quick clip of Stark talking to Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow), followed by our first real look at the bald-and-bearded Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) arguing with Stark. "I want to protect the people I put in harm’s way!” Cut to: shots of Stark with the armor being assembled on him, testing out the mechanics, flying around outside, etc. One of his thruster boots malfunctions and sends him falling through the roof of his house on top of his cars, and the same robot arm (mentioned in the clips above) extinguishes him.
Cut to: Iron Man being chased by fighter jets. Panels from the back of his suit pop out, sending him flying behind both of them. There's also a quick shot of him holding onto the bottom of one of the jets.
"What's going on here?" Pepper Potts asks as she sees Stark being held up in the air by a large armor-assembling machine. He quips: "Let's face it, this isn't the worst thing you've caught me doing."
Quick cuts of Iron Man fighting Iron Monger. A car spins through the air and Iron Man catches it. I cover my pants to hide my geek boner.
The trailer ends with that Super Bowl clip of Iron Man shooting a missile from his arm at a tank. The CGI looks a little better, too; and by that I mean, not like it belongs in a videogame.
- If IRON MAN makes a lot of money, Favreau will get the chance to direct the AVENGERS movie.
- When asked if the rumors on the internet were true regarding the overlapping characters between IRON MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, etc. Favreau replied, "It's true... *pause*... there are rumors on the internet." He went on to say he didn't want to ruin all the surprises the film has to offer, and added that, "Many of the rumors are true… but many are not true."
- James Rhodes' role is left open for the sequel, hinting at Terrence Howard returning and becoming War Machine.
- It's very likely there would be new armors in the potential sequel, although some of the hokey stuff from the comics (like the underwater suit) would not be appearing.
- Immediately following WonderCon, Jon Favreau is heading right on over to Skywalker Ranch, where he'll be mixing IRON MAN for the next 2-3 weeks.
- Favreau had to fight for Robert Downey Jr. as Stark, but when the fans reacted as well as they did, the studios became comfortable with the casting decision.
- Favreau hates CGI, but after the recent motion-capture techniques used for KING KONG, he realized it could be utilized well. IRON MAN will feature a mix of practical effects and CGI for enhanced realism.
- The effects by ILM and WETA are being done by the same guys behind TRANSFORMERS, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, and KING KONG.
- When asked what inspired Favreau to make this film, he quipped, "I was inspired by the box office returns on ZATHURA."
- Favreau admits the creative process is highly affected by internet response, as it gives an instant connection between audience and filmmaker.
- The studios have been very supportive of the film's commitment to the source material.
- Favreau will appear with Vince Vaughn and Robert Duvall in FOUR CHRISTMASES as a cage wrestler.
Between the very funny and entertaining movie clips, the hardcore badassery of the new movie trailer, and Jon Favreau's undeniably authentic enthusiasm for the movie he's made, WonderCon's IRON MAN panel proves that the film is shaping up to be quite probably one of the best of the year. Stay tuned for more on IRON MAN when we release our interview with Favreau during the week ahead.