Comic-Con 2007: Iron Man

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Oh hell yeah! Fuckin' Sabbath! YES! Thith ith cool, huh-huh, huh-hu, DUN DUN DAH DAH DAH, DUNANUNANUNA DUN DA DA DAH!

Pardon momentary lapse into Butt-head-dom, but considering that the Transformers live-action movie failed to use the obvious theme song, one can never be too sure with Hollywood. But the clip from Jon Favreau's new Marvel movie Iron Man has the Black Sabbath tune of the same name, and all is right with the world.

Clip: Arms manufacturer Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is in a mountainous area with the military, probably Tora Bora. Telling troops that while some say it's better to be feared than respected, he wants both. Respectfully disagrees that the best weapon is one you never have to far; best weapon is one you fire only once. Says that's how America does it, and it's worked out pretty well so far (audience laughs). Next scene he's riding in a convoy, soldier asks if it'd be cool to get a picture with him. Stark says yes, it would be very cool. Tells soldier he wants to see the photo on his Myspace page. Soldier makes peace sign. Stark tells him no gang signs in picture, then says he's totally kidding, gang signs are fine. Basically Downey being Downey.

Convoy gets attacked, and Stark wakes up in a cave with his heart hooked up to a car battery. French-ish sounding guy says it's an electromagnet keeping the shrapnel from entering his heart. Then Stark starts to build the suit.

First Iron Man suit -- more complex, more "steampunk" than Golden Age costume from comics. Think Golden Age crossed with modern War Machine. Irfon Man kicks ass on some Taliban-looking dudes, then gets his arm stuck in a cave wall. Bad guy comes up to shoot him in the head, but bullet ricochets right back and kills the baddie.

Back in U.S., Stark surrounded by hot women, tells a Vanity Fair reporter he shouldn't be compared to Da Vinci because he doesn't paint, but "Merchant of Death" is an okay nickname.

Several Iron Man costumes are shown, ending with the modern one. Looks pretty much just like the 12" Marvel Icons action figure by Toy Biz. Final scene is him flying alongside jet fighters. No indication who the villain is as yet. Clip ends with Sabbath intro "I am Iron Man!" Crowd goes nuts.

Panel: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow (Stark's assistant Pepper Potts), Terrence Howard (Jim Rhodes pre-War Machine), Stan Lee, Avi Arad, Marvel Films president Kevin something-or-other.

Is this the first Comic-Con for the stars? Downey: "I don't remember, I'm awash, I see a sea of faces...Dad?"

Stan Winston studios did the coswtumes -- most are practical, not CG, except for the flying shots.

Terrence Howard, is this a different kind of movie for you? "You mean a movie with a buidget?" Crowd laughs. "That ain't funny." Crowd laughs more. Howard says it isn't much different, because "every script is a comic book." Says no matter the material, it's still the same process as playing superhero when you're a kid. His opinion of Downey: "That one person that's able to be himself no matter who else is around."

Favreau calls this a big independent movie, financed by Marvel rather than a studio. Says "Chis Nolan opened the door a lot with Batman Begins" as far as letting directors cast who they want for comic roles rather than forcing a big-name star in the lead.

How did the actors prepare? Downey: "Gwyneth was my personal assistant for two months. [pause] That was after we wrapped principal photography. Sometimes you do prep after." Audience laughs, Gwyneth is confused. Downey tells her if it gets a laugh, just go with it. Says of Gwyneth, "she was running the acting department at the end of the day."

"Such bullshit!" she replies.
"I had to say that for a certain demographic" says Downey, winking at the ladies in the crowd.

Terrence jokes about how his acting process is lazy -- uses just the script, and says the way other people react to him is what creates his character.

Stan Lee talks about having lunch with Downey at the Grill in Beverly Hills, where Downey asked about the character. Stan goes there a lot, but his table's always in the back.

Lee: "When I told them I was coming with Robert Downey Jr., you should have seen the booth they gave us!"
Downey: "Stan, they were just happy I wasn't in the bathroom the whole meal."

Favreau likes the idea of pushing a character into unlikability but still gaining audience sympathy -- compares it to Han Solo shooting Greedo first.

Asked if Avengers/superhero team up movies could happen, Kevin says it's "definitely a plan."


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