Producer Peter Billingsley on Forging Iron Man’s Future

One of the advantages of maintaining the youthful looks of his child star past is that it makes it easier to spot Iron Man producer Peter Billingsley in a red carpet crowd – even one as distracting as the one at Spike TV’s Guy’s Choice Awards amid unarmored eye candy like Marisa Miller and Tila Tequila. But spot him Hype! did, and we managed to unbolt a taste of the plans he and director Jon Favreau have for the 2010 sequel to this summer’s smash superhero hit.

CS/SHH!: Are you guys already working on your plans for the next one?

Billingsley: Absolutely. I guess that Marvel kind of controls a lot of that stuff and they seem to have a plan about these things and how they’re laid out. I think “The Avengers,” now that we can speak publicly about it, will be coming out as well. So we’re just thrilled at how much people are loving the film and how well it has done.

CS/SHH!: Any “Iron Man” storylines from the comics that you’re primed to adapt for the sequel?

Billingsley: Nothing has really been decided yet, but I’ll tell you that there’s just such a wealth of great stories. We tease The Ten Rings in the first one for all the comic book fans, so there MIGHT be something there. There’s so much to take advantage of, but the most exciting part is that, always, when he’s in the suit it’s going to be great, because you’ve got the technology to do it and with Robert and this cast there’s so much we can do when he’s not in the suit. So I think exploring Tony Stark, his father and sort of more of the dark side of Tony, it’s a great opportunity.

CS/SHH!: Jon has said previously he’d be interested in directing the “Avengers” film that’s planned for release after the “Iron Man” sequel. Have you started down that road at all?

Billingsley: No. There’s been nothing officially discussed. I think that “Iron Man” would be a pretty fun thing to do again and there’s really a lot to do with that title. And having Robert and that great cast, Gwyneth [Paltrow] and Terrence [Howard] – there’s really, really a LOT to do.

CS/SHH!: Watching this phenomenal success happen for Robert, seeing him embraced by the public and the film after such a long and rocky ride – what’s that been like to witness?

Billingsley: It’s pretty great. I think he really is THAT guy. I think he’s been around for a long time and it couldn’t happen to a nicer or more talented guy, and I think we’ve really just seen the tip of the iceberg with him now. He’s in “The Soloist,” he’s in “Tropic Thunder” and everyone in town wants him. He’s just as good as it gets.

CS/SHH!: Are you working on anything else with Jon and Vince Vaughn? You guys have been friends since the early days, the pre-“Swingers” days.

Billingsley: I’m producing “Four Christmases” with Vince and Reese Witherspoon now, which will be out Thanksgiving Day weekend. So a lot of fun stuff going on with that. It was awesome, a lot of fun. Reese and Vince have a great chemistry and it’s a big, funny, romantic comedy Christmas movie.

Iron Man 2 is scheduled for an April 30, 2010 release. Marvel Studios is targeting a July, 2011 release for The Avengers.

Source: Scott Huver