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When Iron Man 3 ran into some problems with act 3, J.J. Abrams got a phone call

Mar. 6, 2013by: Niki Stephens

When writing the script for a film, not everything falls into place. That's writing in general. You have a few parts that are quick, dirty and easy, then you get to one part that just isn't quite coming together. You stress and stress and stress until-- EUREKA! Or you call your friend, J.J. Abrams and ask him to figure it out.

This is what happened with the third act of IRON MAN 3. Robert Downey Jr. explains:

By the time all was said and done, a million things had changed, but the essential storyline and arc and what it was about and him kind of on the road and this kid and Peppers got her own thing. There were a couple times in Iron Man 3 where our lifeline was wed call Jon Favreau. 'What do we do?' Hed be like, 'Stick with this. Stick with the love story,' or whatever. Then hed say, 'Wait, didnt we used to do this same thing with Shane?' Because we reached out to Shane a bunch, particularly in the first Iron Man, the scene where Tony comes back from captivity and readdresses his public and the press. Shane said it should all be about what his dad would think, and thats why blah, blah, blah. So there was that. Then I think we reached out to J.J. Abrams at one point when we were really confused in Act III, and he helped us, too. Its just interesting. Usually you think, in the legacy of filmmakers that come and go, theres something so evocative about how strange it is that this particular strain of the Marvel universe was so successful, so what are the reasons for that and how do we keep that vital and just have fun?

That's a nice person to have on speed dial. How the hell does Abrams even have the time? I guess when RDJ call you, then you make time.

Extra Tidbit: If you were stuck in a jam with your script, who would you call?
Source: IGN

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+0
2:47AM on 03/08/2013

tidbit

Dennis O'Brien.
Dennis O'Brien.
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10:47AM on 03/07/2013

Oh Hai Robert

There's only one guy to call in Hollywood for script advice ......Tommy Wiseau
Robert Downy Jr. - Tommy, we need some help in the third act where everything comes together
Tommy Wiseau - Have Iron Man play a little football and ask Cheadle how his sex life is going
There's only one guy to call in Hollywood for script advice ......Tommy Wiseau
Robert Downy Jr. - Tommy, we need some help in the third act where everything comes together
Tommy Wiseau - Have Iron Man play a little football and ask Cheadle how his sex life is going
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8:43AM on 03/07/2013
I am a screenwriter, and every time I come across something, I tend to think about Christopher Nolan, or Bob Peterson. He wrote up with Pete Doctor and his style is so creatively simple, just the way i like it.
I am a screenwriter, and every time I come across something, I tend to think about Christopher Nolan, or Bob Peterson. He wrote up with Pete Doctor and his style is so creatively simple, just the way i like it.
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6:28AM on 03/07/2013

SPOILER: JJ Abram's advice to RDJ below...

"Ok, well, see...how about this..the Mandarin summons this really big snaky monster, kinda made of smoke, but it's substantial, but it sounds like Godzilla and a monster truck all together....but it's really this immortal guy from a lost island ... hello? Hello? Robert, are you there?"
"Ok, well, see...how about this..the Mandarin summons this really big snaky monster, kinda made of smoke, but it's substantial, but it sounds like Godzilla and a monster truck all together....but it's really this immortal guy from a lost island ... hello? Hello? Robert, are you there?"
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8:07PM on 03/07/2013
People need to understand that JJ Abrams had very little to do with Lost after the first season. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were the show runners, so they deserve most of the blame (or praise).The only other season Abrams had any real involvement in was season three, and we don't know what he contributed there.
People need to understand that JJ Abrams had very little to do with Lost after the first season. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were the show runners, so they deserve most of the blame (or praise).The only other season Abrams had any real involvement in was season three, and we don't know what he contributed there.
7:05AM on 03/08/2013
You think the smoke monster wasn't in season 1 or something? It was in the very first show. "People need to understand" that J.J. Abrams set the wheels in motion. He approved some of the nonsense.

And to buy into the "it's not his fault logic", then I will sum up his skill set as: "he can start something that seems cool, but he has no capacity to bring it to a logical conclusion"
You think the smoke monster wasn't in season 1 or something? It was in the very first show. "People need to understand" that J.J. Abrams set the wheels in motion. He approved some of the nonsense.

And to buy into the "it's not his fault logic", then I will sum up his skill set as: "he can start something that seems cool, but he has no capacity to bring it to a logical conclusion"
3:57AM on 03/07/2013
Extra tidbit: Michael Bay. Me to Michael Bay - "Hey Michael, I'm having a script trouble. Can you help me?". Bay replies "Explosion. Explosion. Car chase with slow motion and possibly transforming casts. Boom. You're done. Awesome". Then he detonates my script. Great.
Extra tidbit: Michael Bay. Me to Michael Bay - "Hey Michael, I'm having a script trouble. Can you help me?". Bay replies "Explosion. Explosion. Car chase with slow motion and possibly transforming casts. Boom. You're done. Awesome". Then he detonates my script. Great.
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8:25AM on 03/07/2013
You forgot to throw boobs in there twice, but otherwise spot on.
You forgot to throw boobs in there twice, but otherwise spot on.
10:32AM on 03/07/2013
Haha, thanks!
Haha, thanks!
11:06PM on 03/06/2013

I either...

...just saw a major spoiler in what RDJ said, or I'm extremely tired and have no idea what I am thinking:

"...but the essential storyline and arc and what it was about and him kind of on the road and THIS KID and Peppers got her own thing."

So...Pepper's pregnant? Like I said I could have translated what he said wrong...I'm pretty tired right now lol.
...just saw a major spoiler in what RDJ said, or I'm extremely tired and have no idea what I am thinking:

"...but the essential storyline and arc and what it was about and him kind of on the road and THIS KID and Peppers got her own thing."

So...Pepper's pregnant? Like I said I could have translated what he said wrong...I'm pretty tired right now lol.
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11:40PM on 03/06/2013
I think he's referring to a story element that was revealed in an interview with I think Kevin Feige. When Tony's mansion is destroyed, he ends up alone in the woods (probably scene in the trailer with him dragging armor in the snow) and stumbles across a garage where he meets a young boy. That's where he rebuilds his armor before getting revenge on the mandarin if I understand correctly.
I think he's referring to a story element that was revealed in an interview with I think Kevin Feige. When Tony's mansion is destroyed, he ends up alone in the woods (probably scene in the trailer with him dragging armor in the snow) and stumbles across a garage where he meets a young boy. That's where he rebuilds his armor before getting revenge on the mandarin if I understand correctly.
5:32PM on 03/07/2013
Short Round?
Short Round?
10:35PM on 03/06/2013
They should have called J.J. about Act III in Iron-Man 2... Zing!
They should have called J.J. about Act III in Iron-Man 2... Zing!
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8:13PM on 03/07/2013
Personally, I thought the problem with Iron Man 2 was the second act . . . and the hiring of Justin Theroux.
Personally, I thought the problem with Iron Man 2 was the second act . . . and the hiring of Justin Theroux.
11:26AM on 03/08/2013
Fair enough. What in particular bothered you with the 2nd act?
Fair enough. What in particular bothered you with the 2nd act?
+1
10:34PM on 03/06/2013

uh... The Ghostbusters, duh?

After shooting the breeze with Peter Venkman for a while, then I'd call either Frank Darabont, Scott Frank, Gary Ross, Peter Morgan or Jonathan Nolan. I sincerely feel those are five of the finest writers working today, which one of them I called would depend on the project, but honestly I feel that any of them would be able to help me out on virtually any project to at least some degree.

Oh, and yes I fully acknowledge that SuperRO beat me to the Ghostbusters joke, good job bro.
After shooting the breeze with Peter Venkman for a while, then I'd call either Frank Darabont, Scott Frank, Gary Ross, Peter Morgan or Jonathan Nolan. I sincerely feel those are five of the finest writers working today, which one of them I called would depend on the project, but honestly I feel that any of them would be able to help me out on virtually any project to at least some degree.

Oh, and yes I fully acknowledge that SuperRO beat me to the Ghostbusters joke, good job bro.
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10:07PM on 03/06/2013

Tidbit: this fanboy's speed dial would include...

Joss Whedon
Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine)
Ben Ripley and/or Duncan Jones (writer & director of Source Code, respectively)
Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium, Law Abiding Citizen)
& Chris or Jonathan Nolan (hate on me if you wish, but IMO these guys know how how to create a satisfying climax..please watch "The Prestige", it's awesome)
Joss Whedon
Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine)
Ben Ripley and/or Duncan Jones (writer & director of Source Code, respectively)
Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium, Law Abiding Citizen)
& Chris or Jonathan Nolan (hate on me if you wish, but IMO these guys know how how to create a satisfying climax..please watch "The Prestige", it's awesome)
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5:06AM on 03/07/2013
Don't forget that Raimi recently recommended Joss for script doctoring.
Don't forget that Raimi recently recommended Joss for script doctoring.
8:03PM on 03/07/2013
Joss Whedon was a script doctor early in his career, so he has plenty of experience. He is also a natural storyteller who knows how to find story solutions. Some early doctoring work includes Toy Story and Speed.

Kut Wimmer, on the other hand, steals elements from other better movies and incorporates it into his own. He writes action movies without depth. Joss Whedon would have a field day with Wimmer's scripts.
Joss Whedon was a script doctor early in his career, so he has plenty of experience. He is also a natural storyteller who knows how to find story solutions. Some early doctoring work includes Toy Story and Speed.

Kut Wimmer, on the other hand, steals elements from other better movies and incorporates it into his own. He writes action movies without depth. Joss Whedon would have a field day with Wimmer's scripts.
9:30PM on 03/06/2013
Stark gets off the island in Act 3 i guess
Stark gets off the island in Act 3 i guess
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9:04PM on 03/06/2013
I like hearing things like this. Having actors or directors or writers call other directors and writers who have nothing to do with the film in the first place for help.

I would call Joe Carhanan, Quentin Tarantino, Joss Whedon, or Shane Black.
I like hearing things like this. Having actors or directors or writers call other directors and writers who have nothing to do with the film in the first place for help.

I would call Joe Carhanan, Quentin Tarantino, Joss Whedon, or Shane Black.
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+25
8:41PM on 03/06/2013

TIDBIT

Uwe Boll cause i felt like making a nonsense comment
Uwe Boll cause i felt like making a nonsense comment
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10:44PM on 03/06/2013
ROFL!
ROFL!
8:28PM on 03/06/2013
George Lucas and then do the reverse of what he said
George Lucas and then do the reverse of what he said
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8:02PM on 03/06/2013

To ensure success....

I'd call the ghost of Tom Mankiewicz. He fixes everything.
I'd call the ghost of Tom Mankiewicz. He fixes everything.
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7:53PM on 03/06/2013
I'd call Shane Black too.
I'd call Shane Black too.
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7:46PM on 03/06/2013

Tarantino


Me: hey, i'm having trouble with one of my characters and dont know what to do
QT: kill them off

my second choice would be the Coen Brothers, but i'm pretty sure they would give me the same advice

Me: hey, i'm having trouble with one of my characters and dont know what to do
QT: kill them off

my second choice would be the Coen Brothers, but i'm pretty sure they would give me the same advice
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7:24PM on 03/06/2013
Interesting. I'd call Joss Whedon Peter Jackson and James Cameron. In that order.
Interesting. I'd call Joss Whedon Peter Jackson and James Cameron. In that order.
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+5
7:22PM on 03/06/2013

can't remember where but I heard recently

that Sam Raimi had called Joss Whedon for help with the final act of The Quick and the Dead actually. Cool little tidbits that go unnoticed most of the time
that Sam Raimi had called Joss Whedon for help with the final act of The Quick and the Dead actually. Cool little tidbits that go unnoticed most of the time
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10:46PM on 03/06/2013
You probably read it on Joblo.
[link]
You probably read it on Joblo.
[link]
+6
7:21PM on 03/06/2013
The Ghostbusters!
The Ghostbusters!
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7:17PM on 03/06/2013

Tidbit...

Funny cause I'd call Shane.
Funny cause I'd call Shane.
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