Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Iron Man details

At the Marvel Studios panel at Comiccon 2006 this weekend, it was obvious that fans thought Jon Favreau was the right man to bring the saga of the armored Avenger to the big screen.

Throughout the panel, the director shared his vision for the story arc of the film, the character of billionaire playboy Tony Stark, the man behind the armor, and the look of the suit itself. "We'll start with the gray armor," he said, citing that "you can't build a Lamborghini in a cave." This is in reference to the origin of the original suit, which Stark will be piecing together during his imprisonment in Afghanistan. From there, Favreau wants to evolve the look to the red and gold comics fans have become accustomed to, and ultimately incorporate the idea of the suit as weapons platform, a la War Machine. The director foresees several suits of armor throughout the film, and the look will evolve if multiple installments of the saga are told.

Talking about the feel of the armor, Favreau stated, "There is a sort of Robocop-like quality this character could have… I like the weight and mass and power," adding that this Iron Man would never be about martial arts Power Rangers moves, and instead all about heavy metal and heavy weapons.

For guidance on the suit design, Favreau turned to Iron Man artist Adi Granov. The digital painter designed a special teaser image exclusively for the Con that shows an idea of what the armor might look like. Of import is the center light on Iron Man's chest, which is round, rather than triangular, like in some designs. In the teaser image, most of the character is shrouded in shadow, as the final design has not yet been determined.

Favreau got a round of applause for stating that he hates the overuse of CG in films, but went on to say, "I always stay away from CG, but if there's any character that lends itself to CG… it's Iron Man." The trick, he said, is that "you have to treat something false as real in order to make it real."

To help inform the project, the director has been re-reading the comics and using anime sources like Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed and Neon Genesis Evangelion to get an idea of how technology interacts with an organic environment.

Favreau described the storyline as a combination of James Bond and a Tom Clancy novel, deeply embroiled in the geopolitical issues of our time. Since he sees the project as a number of films, he has opted to incorporate the "demon in a bottle" alcoholism storyline in future films after the character has been introduced and developed.

Finally, Favreau revealed that the villain that Iron Man will face in the film is the Mandarin. He also hinted that he might reprise his Daredevil role of lawyer Foggy Nelson for this film. The movie will be the first released by the newly-formed Marvel Studios, and it is set to hit theaters in May, 2008.


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