Set Visit: Iron Man!
Count me among the many who were deeply skeptical when Jon Favreau was chosen to direct IRON MAN. Jon's a great guy, but let's just say that there wasn't exactly a whole lot in ELF that shouted, "big-time action director." And when it was announced that Robert Downey Jr., a guy who seemed to have the title "troubled actor" permanently affixed to his name for much of his career, would be playing the title character, I was doubly concerned.
But then Comic-Con happened and, like the majority of folks who attended the Paramount panel, I was completely bowled over by the footage Favreau unveiled. All it took was a two-minute clip to transform me from an angry skeptic to a drooling acolyte.
Recently, Paramount invited a small group of online journalists to visit the Iron Man set in Playa del Rey, California, where we got a chance to talk to Favreau, Downey Jr., Terrence Howard and Marvel Films president Kevin Feige. In addition, we were able to catch a glimpse of Downey Jr. in action. While we're still embargoed from running the interviews, I am allowed to provide a quick description of what we saw.
The scene being shot that day involved an exhausted Tony Stark returning to his Malibu home after what appeared to be quite a long absence. While my limited knowledge of interior decorating (my house is currently furnished primarily with items picked up on various street corners and garages left unattended) prevents me from describing the motif in detail, I can say that it's exactly the type of decor one would expect from a billionaire bachelor with a reputation for playing the field. This being Tony Stark's pad, it's also equipped with the latest technology, like a computerized voice that greats him when he arrives and notifies him, among other things, that he has an ungodly amount of voicemails. We were stationed in what I assume is Tony's living room, which features a wall of glass with a pretty impressive view of the beach. After entering the room and removing his tie, Downey walks over to the window, where he starts manipulating what I assume to be some sort of touch-sensitive computer screen a la MINORITY REPORT. And...cut. The screen, obviously, will be added in post-production.
Space was scarce in the room where press was stationed, so when Downey Jr. walked in during each take, he would pass right by us, often looking directly at our group as he interacted with the disembodied voice. That Robert was able to maintain a straight face while looking directly at us is a testament to his acting ability. What can I say -- the guy's a real professional.
Stay tuned this week with more from the set of IRON MAN including interviews with Terrence Howard, Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr.!