It’s Saturday at Comic-Con and Superhero Hype! has gotten into Hall H and we’re not leaving because in just a few minutes they’re about to start the panel for Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 2 with director Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr. and who knows who else on hand to talk about next year’s most anticipated sequel, and hopefully to show a bit of footage. Stay tuned over the next hour or so as we report live on all of the happenings!
UPDATED FOOTAGE DESCRIPTION: So the craziness of the Iron Man 2 panel has died down and now we’re going to go over our notes and give you a much more detailed version of the footage shown as well as a few direct quotes from Favreau and the cast. They actually showed the footage twice, the second time at the request of Don Cheadle who missed it the first time.
As mentioned before, the footage opened with Iron Man sitting in a giant donut enjoying one of those fine pastries when Sam Jackson shows up as Nick Fury and shouts to him, “Stark, I’m going to have to ask you to exit the donut!” Then they’re in the coffee shop and Stark is telling Fury he doesn’t want to join his “super secret boy band,” and Fury says that he remembers that Stark likes doing everything himself. Stark jokes that he’s not sure whether he should be looking at Fury’s patch or his eye and suggest that maybe Fury is a figment of his imagination, but Fury assures him that he is “very real, I’m the realest person you’re ever going to meet.” “Just my luck,” responds Stark.
The courtroom scene is fairly revealing about one of the main plotpoints, which involves the government wanting to get the Iron Man armor away from Stark, because they consider it a “specialized weapon” that they should own. The scene starts with Shandling’s Senator Stern banging his gavel on the table to call the hearings to order, suggesting they continue where they left off and when he tries to get Stark’s attention, Stark quips, “Yes, dear?” Stern wants to know whether Stark considers the armor a “specialized weapon” but Stark says that he sees it more as a “hi-tech prosthetis.” But Stern insists that it is a weapon, and they go back and forth for a little while with the type of quick dialogue that was all over the first movie. Stark ends the discussion by saying, “I am Iron Man, the suit and I are one” and he suggests that turning over the suit would be “tantamount to indentured servitude or prostitution.” When Stern begins to respond that he’s no expert, Stark says, “In prostitution? Of course not, you’re a senator.” Stern then calls Lt. Col. James Rhodes to the stand and Cheadle walks in, met halfway down the aisle by Stark who says he’s surprised to see his friend Rhodey being called to testify against him. Rhodey responds, “It’s me, I’m here, deal with it and let’s move on.” (That first bit sounds like a response to the fact that Cheadle was replacing Terrence Howard in the role.) Stern asks if Stark is trying to make a point to which Downey gives one of those great speeches from the first movie, claiming to be a “nuclear detterent” who is keeping America safe, saying that he has successfully “privatized world peace.” “What more do you want?” he asks to cheers from the courtroom (and the audience). He gets the senator so riled up that he yells, “F*ck you, Mr. Stark” but it’s bleeped by the CNN cameras.
Watching the scene with Mickey Rourke as Whiplash was much easier to hear and understand a second time as the audience remained a lot quieter, and essentially the voiceover reveals that Whiplash is getting revenge on some of the things that the Stark family has done in the past. The voiceover explains this as Rourke’s character sits at the workbench soldering his own bit of technology that will turn him into Whiplash. The voiceover starts something like, “You come from world of thieves and butchers” and it talks about how Tony is forgetting how many lives the Stark family has destroyed with their actions. It states that there will be blood in the water and the sharks will come, which is clearly referring to himself and the Black Widow, who we see briefly in action, and then Rourke lets out a great laugh. As mentioned earlier, the quickly cut footage leads to the first look at Whiplash in his full costume (similar to the picture that was released a few weeks ago) and he’s whipping these insane energy whips on the ground sending up sparks. That leads into a shot of Iron Man flying through the air and the new “Iron Man 2” logo to the opening chords of the Sabbath song.
The last bit clearly ties into the courtroom scene earlier where Rhodey is remaining faithful to his government like a good soldier and they have called upon weapons expert Justin Hammer, played by Sam Rockwell, to modify the first wave Iron Man armor into something more suitable of either taking on or replacing Stark’s Iron Man. Hammer walks up to the original Iron Man lying on a table asking what they did to it, which Rhodes says is classified then asks what Hammer is going to do for them. “I’m talking about firepower,” he clarifies. Hammer says they’re talking to the right guy and he starts pulling out all sorts of guns and weapons to retrofit on the armor, but doesn’t seem to be getting much reaction from Rhodes or the general, even with something he calls “Uncle Gazpacho or Puff the Magic Dragon.” Cheadle says “I think I’ll take it…” and when Hammer asks which one, Rhodey responds, “All of it.” And then we see our first look at the retrofitted Iron Man armor as WAR MACHINE, which looks BAD-ASS!!
UPDATE: Here are some highlights of the Q ‘n’ A portion of the panel:
First, Favreau on how he plans to make the sequel bigger and better.
“Let me start by saying that everything did start here two years ago, and from the standpoint of marketing, everybody knows about our movie, but what we wanted to do was make sure that we hustled and got something together as a thank you to all of you and you’re the people we wanted to show this stuff to first, so thank you so much for all your support. We just wrapped production literally last week. We had a few days off and came out here and scrambled to get this stuff over here and the people at ILM and Double Negative really pulled it off to put this together with the FX.”
“As far as how we outdo it. We wanted to add characters, but not too many. We wanted to maintain the same tone and dynamic between the characters that you love while adding people that would further move us towards the eventual ‘Avengers’ film.”
Downey on what’s it like playing Tony Stark a second time around:
“I never had it so good. It’s such a great role and it was born out of this opportunity that Feige and Favreau gave me a couple years back. As we move forward, I’m just thrilled to be sitting next to the likes of the talent to my left and if anything, the fact that we nailed it the first time, it really proved to us that other people were interested in coming on board, so that’s the real win for me is these folks.”
Cheadle on joining the franchise for the second movie:
“It’s been a very interesting experience. I’ve never worked on a movie with this kind of scope and these kinds of FX and I didn’t really know what to expect, so I really heavily relied on Robert and Kevin and Jon to help me figure out the right tone and how to play this guy. I was very nervous for the whole shoot, but they gave me really good guidance.” He called wearing the War Machine outfit “heaven.” (Downey joked that he couldn’t believe Cheadle’s rig is cooler than his rig, to which Cheadle joked back that it was “a contractual thing.”)
What Favreau said about directing “The Avengers”:
“I still got another year on this one to go, and they’re getting ready to make ‘Thor’ with Kenneth Branagh next year. I’m watching the stuff come together because Marvel has its own studio location, so I’ve been looking at some of the prep work on that and the artwork is looking fantastic, so hopefully all that stuff comes together. I’ll be involved in some capacity but Kevin and I haven’t really discussed anything like that. What’s fortunate is that it doesn’t shoot until we’re done ‘Iron Man 2’ so hopefully the movies will continue to cross-pollinate with one another and inform one another and I’m really looking forward to being involved with that project in some way.”
Cheadle on the movie’s themes and how they apply to the characters:
“One thing we always talked about was mostly through the Tony Stark character is the idea of needing help and of working with other people and “no man is an island.” We kept referring to that when trying to figure out how that thematically plays through the film and I think we kept our finger on that pulse.”
“There was a lot about the pressures of saying you’re Iron Man and being Iron Man. A lot of people asked us if we are following the ‘Demon in a Bottle’ storyline and we have a tone we’ve established in the first film that isn’t as dark as what’s explored in the books, but we did want to go into what the character would be dealing with all those pressures and how he struggles to maintain his own identity in the face of being such a larger than life character who is in fact saving the world. We did a lot of inner exploration, both with Robert’s character and how it affects the people close to him.”
You can read our liveblogging of the panel below:
*About to start any minute and they’re putting up the signs of who is on-hand for the presentation. The people who are closer by can actually read them and they were cheering as each name was revealed. We’re too far back, even in the reserved press section, to see the names.
*Place is going insane and people are still looking for seats and even the reserved section has no seats left. Here’s hoping it lives up to all the hopes, dreams and expectations!
*Moderator Scott Mantz is being booed by the crowd.
*Kevin Feige just came out and was asked how they were going to raise the bar, and he responded that he does it by bringing him out first. (ha ha)
*Huge round of applause and a lot of people standing for John Favreau, who comes out to the tune of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” “You don’t know how much we’ve been looking forward to this. Nobody cared before we came here two years ago!”
*They just showed a splash reel teaser for the movie that was kind of lame but Robert Downey Jr. just walked out and is giving Favreau a hard time about the crappy footage they just showed. Favreau is giving excuses that they just finished a week ago and that the FX aren’t ready. Favreau says it’s his son Max’s birthday and the audience is half-heartedly singing “Happy Birthday” to him… they’re really juicing it before showing footage.
*Going to take a little time to write up the footage we just saw… the crowd is going NUTS! We got to see Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash in action, as well as Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow…. and holy crap… WAR MACHINE!!!!!!
*Sam Rockwell is here… so is Scarlett Johansson and Don Cheadle… will start writing up the footage while the moderator asks them dumb questions. First question is to Favreau how to make it bigger and better, but we think he’s delivered.
*Footage opened with Iron Man without his helmet sitting in a giant donut on top of the donut shop (which we’ve seen in early pictures). We see the back of Sam Jackson’s head as Nick Fury calls Tony Stark to “Come down from the donut” and the next scene shows the two of them talking inside the donut shop, continuing the conversation that began in the ending scene in the first “Iron Man” about him possibly putting together a group of heroes.
*The second scene takes place in a courtroom where Tony Stark is being grilled by Senator Stern played by Gary Shandling, who is trying to find out why Tony Stark has a specialized weapon that he’s not sharing with the government. We get the same sort of sass and gumption we saw from Downey’s Stark in the first movie and hopefully we’ll have time to share some of the funnier bits. The scene ends with them calling Col. James Rhoads and we get our first look at Don Cheadle in his role replacing Terrence Howard as he comes out and has a few words with Stark, as it’s apparent that the former friends are now on opposite sides of the fence.
*The third scene introduces Mickey Rourke as Whiplash and unfortunately, the voice over was hard to understand because of his thick Russian accent, but we can see him sitting at a workbench working on something that is revealed to be a similar chest plate as Iron Man’s. The scene is cut together fairly quickly with glimpses of Scarlet Johansson as the Black Widow kicking ass. We then get to see Whiplash in his full costume (similar to the picture that was released a few weeks ago) and he’s whipping these insane energy whips on the ground sending up sparks. That leads into a shot of Iron Man flying through the air and the logo, which everyone thought was going to be it…but nope!!
*The last bit is the first look at Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer walking up to the original Iron Man armor lying on a table and asking, “What did you do,” to which he’s told that it’s classified by Cheadle and a general with him, but asking what they’re going to do for them in terms of firepower. Hammer says they came to the right guy and he starts pulling out all sorts of weapons to retrofit on the armor and Cheadle says “I think I’ll take it… ALL OF IT” and sure enough, we then see our first look at the retrofitted Iron Man armor as WAR MACHINE, which looks BAD-ASS!!
*Favreau was very political about whether he might direct The Avengers because he’s been so busy making Iron Man 2, but he says that he’s been seeing Thor come together and liked what he’s been seeing.
*They were asked about working with Mickey Rourke to which Downey Jr. said “I thought I was eccentric” then passed it onto Rockwell who works with him more in the movie. Rockwell was giving his usually short answers but mentioned “smoking a few cigarettes” with Mr. Rourke. Favreau is talking about the origins of the new Whiplash character and how Rourke went into a Russian prison to get into the character after hearing that his character had spent time in one. Downey made a joke about how Rourke’s “9 1/2 Weeks” was one of the first movies shown in Russia after the fall of the Wall and said “Where else do you want to go when you’re a sex symbol in Russia but a Russian prison.” (rimshot)
*Favreau says that they’re not doing the “Demon in a Bottle” storyline and won’t be going that dark even though they’ll be going further into the character and how his decision is affecting his life and the people around him.
*Scarlett Johansson is telling about the training she went into and why she wanted to do as much of the stunts as she could.
*Just showed the footage again and it looked just as impressive as the footage shown two years ago.
*Incidentally, there have now been two shout-outs to Moon, one by the moderator and one to a guy asking questions who said Rockwell should get an Oscar nomination.
*Don Cheadle has been asked how much of Terrence Howard’s performance influenced his own, to which Cheadle responded that he tried to make the character his own although he admits to being a “vampire” who takes something from everyone. There are a lot of questions for Don Cheadle, though most of them are pretty lame.
*Someone just asked how Bob Layton’s work on the comic has influenced the movie and Layton is being brought up on stage, and he’s talking about being invited on stage and he says that he was really proud of the first movie and thinks the new one will “knock your socks off.”
*Sadly, the panel is over very quickly… faster than anyone hoped. I’ll be writing up a more detailed description of the footage right after the panel is over so check back in about a half hour or so and we’ll have some more about the footage and some quotes from the panel.
Source: Edward Douglas