Saturday, September 13, 2008

Favreau Talks Iron Man 2 & 3

It's no secret that Iron Man was a huge success even in the shadow of The Dark Knight and Jon Favreau had alot to say about his next two films in the series and why he's happy The Dark Knight took alot of the buzz away from Iron Man. Favreau recently sat down with Superhero Hype and talked about the series and what Marvel and he have in store for the franchise.

Favreau first talked about how he has relished all the success of Iron Man but is happy that The Dark Knigt has taken some of the spotlight away. "So we're there sort of teetering on the brink, and then "Dark Knight" comes in and just makes history. All of a sudden the relief of that spotlight moving off of us from the guard tower and now we have two years to lay low and really work on the movie without the type of scrutiny that we were feeling right in that white hot moment after we came out." That said, Favreau should know that the buzz is still there for the next films in the series. He is right that The Dark Knight has taken away some of the buzz, but fans are still eager to know what Favreau plans to do moving forward.

Favreau talked about the writing process and where he and Justin Theroux are in regards to penning the script. "The writing is really coming along quite well. We have Justin Theroux working on it, who Downey knows. He echoes Downey's tastes a lot," Favreau said. Continuing Favreau added, "I come at it writing it the same way that he does and so he brings this real sense of fun. He's never worked in this genre before and so he has that great newcomers enthusiasm that I think we still share." At least Theroux and Fav's are in a good working relationship, but what are their intentions with the film. Fav's added, "Okay, here are the books. Here's what we've got. Here's the story. So we're breaking story and pages are coming out, but it's really more of a conversation than actual writing right now. The pages come, but the pages are never really what they are going to be in the movie up until the day you're shooting, even on ours."

Favreau is wise to not let the cat out of the bag with his script and all the details. He did however add that this is his own script and that they may perhaps use influences from the books, but it is a original story. Favreau said, "We're making our own story. Although, I'll tell you which ones we're looking at very closely, not so much for story, but for tone and the way it's been executed – it's the Matt Fraction stuff." For those of you who do not follow the comics Matt Fraction has been working on the current Iron Man books since 2008. Favreau added, "The Fraction series is informed by current events and what's going on in the world. I'm very impressed by what he's written." So has the comic book readers, so Favreau is smart to seek his input.

Reading this interview I begna wondering if Fav's would give anything of importance away regarding the next film in the series. I started wondering what about Mandarin, War Machine, and the "Demon in the Bottle" storyline Fav's had talked up in the past. Superhero Hype felt the same way and quickly asked about Mandarin. Favreau had this to say regarding the mystical character, "The Mandarin is such a tricky character for us because everywhere you turn it's a minefield. So we get into the mystical Asian dark arts and inter-dimensional travel and all the rings that do the different things and psychic abilities and stuff and it's like, "That could be cool. Maybe it's cool. Maybe if we make it really authentic." " Clearly, Fav's is think alot about his character and wants to keep the tone of his film real and not make it a fantasy film. Favreau added, "So where do you go with it? What are your rules and how do you stay consistent with them? What happens is that people get desperate as they're looking for inspiration to up the ante and so you start breaking your own rules, and that's when the movies start to lose their identity."

So how does Mr. Favreau intend on pulling off Iron Man's biggest nemisis? Favreau explained his take on Mandarin, "He's the main guy, but we always remind ourselves that nobody liked The Emperor compared to Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" movies. He's got the same lightening bolts, but when The Emperor was this figure that you just saw obliquely it was like, "Shit, Darth Vader is bowing to someone? That guy must be really cool!" But then as he talked more it was like, "Alright, enough." In "The Clone Wars" he was like a sidekick. So it's really all how you treat the person and that's what informs what it's going to be." Favreau continued, "So the Mandarin, to have that kind of weight to him is really a matter of using all the narrative tricks to do it, but a dude running and jumping around in robes shooting these beams and rays that have powers that really, if you take them literally, would throw off the balance of the whole universe." Favreau finalized the Mandarin talk by saying, "We do have him and I think it's something where I feel a little bit goes a long way." Favreau's comments show why he is such a talented director and why Iron Man had so much acclaim, he is really thinking these storylines through and the characters out to their full potential.

Terrence Howard who plays Rhodey in Iron Man and hinted at next time as a couple of different layers. One Rhodes, in the "Demon in the Bottle" storyarc, wears the Iron Man armor because becomes an alcoholic and unable to perform his duties. Two, Rhodes becomes War Machine. Favreau was asked if he planned on including War Machine in either of the sequels and he had this to say, "I want to do it. We're drawing War Machine. We're figuring it out. I think that Terrence and the character of Rhodey was smaller in the first movie than we had anticipated, but that's how it worked for the movie. But it does set the table very well for this character. War Machine is fun and, again, you look for ways to up the ante."

Mr. Favreau went on to talk a little bit more about the role of the lead actors in the upcoming films. Favreau said, "Of course we'll see more of Robert and then we'll see how that basic group of four people (Terrance Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr, and himself) moves forward towards the inevitable "Avengers" that's coming, and how The Mandarin, how largely he looms in this next one. These are the types of things that we're doing, but mostly from a perspective of tone." Jon Favreau adds the fact the he will play a larger role in the upcoming films as well. Fav's added, "what we can do is really have a lot of fun with our family, our main characters and that includes myself. I expect to have more to do in this one or I will walk [Laughs]."

What was more important was Fav's comments before on the upcoming Avengers film! Favreau spoke about the Avengers and how to incorporate it, "We have a pretty good game plan...with "Avengers" you're not just dealing with tech. You're dealing with inter-dimensional portals and all the shit that makes you "jump the shark" if you don't handle it right. So we were very restrained in how we used our superhero-ism in our movie and we did that by keeping it all tech based. Then "Hulk" went a little the same way. It's still kind of tech-based. You get to Cap and you say, "Okay, he was frozen in that thing –" and it's like, "Okay, I could maybe buy that, with the super-soldier thing." Then you get into Thor and it's like, "Okay, well now..." and so how do you make that all feel like it's in the same world as our movie is? That's going to be the challenge moving forward." Personally, the obvious link is Mandarin! Mandarin has the ability to use inter-dimensional portals thus introducing Thor! A origin Thor story set in Asgard with a small scene eluding to Mandarin opening the portal. Which the Thor film is also set to release in 2010. Just a thought!

One last bonus Favreau revealed is his ideas for 3-D for the next film. Favreau said, "For this one. I would love to do 3-D because just think of the HUD. Just think of that virtual space and what that would be like, the layers and what you could get away with and how much fun it could be." 3-D sounds pretty fucking cool and after what Favreau did with the first film, I have blind faith that he will deliver yet again a kick ass sequel and trilogy!

Favreau definately spoke at length on alot of issues regarding Iron Man's future but he assured that a quality film would be made. Marvel Studios wants the sequels to do as well the original so the will spend the money. Fav's summed it up by saying, "Supporting these movies the fan has ensured that you're going to have another crop of well-made sequels." Why didn't that shit happen in the past? Remember the first batman series of films? Oh god, that was what we were rewarded with? Nolan, Raimi, and Favreau have definately set a new precedent that hopefully continues!

Thoughts on Fav's comments? 2010 can't come quick enough! Strike back...

For the full interview (click here).