Quint visits the IRON MAN production offices! Art! Favreau speaks about sequels (?!?), casting and more!!!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Last Tuesday I ventured from my shitty little LAX area hotel to Playa Vista where Jon Favreau has set up his IRON MAN offices.
I had visited this particular location once before when I walked around the ruins of Oliver Stone's WORLD TRADE CENTER (Click here to read that report!). The place is loaded with history, on a large piece of land once used by Howard Hughes to build the Spruce Goose. The hanger there is forkin' huge and, interestingly, made completely of wood since it was built during the war and no steel could be spared.
The offices are in these little structures that remind me of portables from junior high... or a built out trailer. Quite unassuming for a movie as high profile and massive as IRON MAN.
Once I got past the security guard, I was waved in by Favreau's friendly and beautiful assistant, Karen. I was pretty early, so I took a seat outside of Favreau's office next to a 3 foot tall clay maquette of Iron Man himself. After a few minutes of trying not to stare too obviously at the maquette while chatting with Karen and Peter Billingsley's equally beautiful and friendly assistant, Laura, Favreau arrived.
After a quick handshake he pointed to the maquette and asked how I liked his "decoy." It was one of the first maquettes based almost 100% on Adi Granov's IRON MAN design. Less bulky, more streamlined... high cheek-bones on the helmet. They loved having it around, but it wasn't what IRON MAN was going to look like in the film. If I wanted to see the design they were going with... I had but to enter Favreau's office.
He led me into his office where I saw some pretty pieces of production art, including the Mach 1 design (ie Grey Suit) and the classic Red and Gold design. Let's start with the Mach One. Here's a picture of the classic comic version of the armor:
I saw 2 pieces of art on the Mach One. One was a character study, three figures lined up giving a front, back and side view of the suit.
The chest-piece and helmet are very recognizable. It's not quite the classic grey suit, but it's very close. The helmet is flat and round, like a half of a Tylenol, with eye slits and a mouth slit cut into it. The chest is very much classic Iron Man, with the glowing centerpiece. The joints were hastily welded, as they would have been if welded in secret.
In the comics, Tony Stark was in Vietnam seeing how Stark Industries could help the American war effort when he was injured and taken prisoner. He was forced to build weapons with another prisoner, a brilliant physicist Yinsen, with a piece of shrapnel dangerously close to his heart. On the down low Yinsen helps Stark build a chest plate to keep him alive, which evolves into a makeshift suit of armor to help him escape his captors.
Vietnam is replaced with Afghanistan in the film. I brought up this change from the original comic and Favreau said he wouldn't make a change unless he felt like he needed to. He said keeping it to the comic book origin would require him to make a period film, which is not what he wants to do. I do know that Yinsen is still in the movie, though Favreau wouldn't spill on who was playing him. If they're placing this in Afghanistan I was thinking a perfect Middle Eastern version would be Omar Sharif. I didn't even float that idea out to Favreau, so don't go spreading it around as fact... pure dream casting on my part, but wouldn't it be great?
The radical differences with the grey suit were bulkier arm and leg pieces. Favreau said he wanted to make sure that the fantastic in this film is grounded and a realism brought to all aspects... In other words, he doesn't want to make a cartoon. The trick is sticking close to the source material while achieving that grounded realism. It seemed like Favreau embraced the fun, actiony aspect, but he wants to keep people involved... help them suspend their disbelief a little. In the case of the grey suit, he wanted to make it look like something you could covertly build in a prison (cave, in this case) under the watchful eyes of your captors. Well, if your captors had you building bombs in your cell, but you know what I mean.
One of the more detailed pieces of production art I saw was of the Grey Suit Iron Man hulking down a cave, catching a group of his captors by surprise. The look of terror on their faces (in the art) was great. Iron Man, in the Grey Suit, looked a little bigger than I imagined, with him being at least a couple feet taller than the Afghani captors, the suit backlit making it look more monstrous as it stalks down the cave.
I was later walked through the cave set, one of the first nearly completed sets built in the Spruce Goose hanger. It'd estimate it at being maybe 150-200 yards long, one giant room with movable branches, forks in the cave. There was only one room of any size and that's where we entered. This is the room where Stark and Yinsen are put to work. It was a giant, rounded cave room, tools littered about. It was still under construction, the set dressing not complete, but it looked good already. I particularly liked the addition of two round, metal vents in the cave ceiling, just poking out of the rock.
Favreau promised much flame-throwing (from an arm-mounted fuel tank) and much steel on flesh beat-downs while bullets ricochet off the Grey Suit during this escape. He also said that Stan Winston hasn't finished the Red and Gold armor, but he has finished the Grey Armor and Favreau had just seen it in action, fully practical, and said it looked amazing.
The two other black and white production art pieces I saw (by the incredibly talented Ryan Meinerding) were also very impressive. So impressive that I told Favreau it's kind of a pity he's shooting in color because the tone of the images are that striking. However, with a brilliant cinematographer like Matthew Libatique (Aronofsky's go-to since PI... he also shot PHONE BOOTH, EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED and INSIDE MAN) and just to see that beautiful Red and Gold armor sparkle... I'm sure I won't cry too long about the never-to-exist black and white Iron Man movie.
The other two pieces of black and white art: One was of Tony Stark, wearing very mechanic-like clothes, balancing about 2 feet off the ground, testing out the rocket boots in a parking garage. The boots were big, but not outlandish, with large rubber tubes connecting the boots to a belt-piece. In these pieces of art, Tony had a goatee, by the way. (Having now seen ZODIAC, the art is very close to the goatee Downey has in that movie.)
The other was probably my favorite piece of art that I saw on the visit. It wasn't an action piece, but it really captured the character of Tony Stark and gave the armor that icon stature it deserves. This piece of art was set in Stark's cluttered lab... although it looked more like an auto repair garage. Tony Stark is sitting, reaching under a tangle of wires wearing a wife-beater... sweat from exertion, covering his body, smudged grease on his clothes and skin.
Hanging above him is the Red and Gold suit, built only from the waist up, thick chains connected to the ceiling attached at the shoulders. Thick rubber hoses spill out of the suit, like guts as Stark reaches up, connecting something or other. This just struck me as real. Stark wasn't a scientist in a cold lab. He looked more like a 50s mechanic working on an engine hanging above him. He was dirty, his work-place cluttered.
Favreau said that in these super hero movies you don't ever get to see the construction of the suit. I mentioned BATMAN BEGINS as taking a good, realistic avenue of compiling a suit. He agreed, but said even then they pretty much just pull it out of storage and slap a coat of paint on it. Here, Stark's armor is as much a representation of the man as it is a piece of cool looking tech and Favreau believes it's important to see the nuts and bolts of the creation.
The color piece I saw of the Red and Gold armor was an early design by Adi Granov featuring Iron Man flying in front of 2 US jets, assisting in some attack. The suit looked like an amalgam of the suit I grew up with (ie the '80s design) and the newer, sleeker suit. The face was more aerodynamic, the big anime-ish cheekbones of the newer designs gone. It's not completely smooth, of course, but just not as exaggerated. It wasn't radically different in any way. It was Iron Man.
Phil Saunders was the other artist whose work I was shown on the visit. I only saw a couple pieces of his work, the rest hidden in a room with a sign from Marvel proclaiming: NO QUINT ALLOWED. Saunders' work was in color and was a design of Stark's home on the ocean. It was very retro cool. It's modern, but looks like some pop-art home of the '60s. Something that would feel right in a Brad Bird film. I saw some other pieces of work from both Saunders and Meinerding, but I'll talk about that in a minute.
Let's go through some newsworthy gems learned on this trip:
- The biggest and best news is that this film is one of three. That's right. Favreau is building a three-film arc, with all the actors signed for all three of them. The impression I got was that he's going to make this first one fairly stand-alone, but containing threads that will be continued in future films, throwing in little hints at what's to come, some set-ups that will pay off later in the story. I don't know if screenwriters Hawk Ostby, Mark Fergus(CHILDREN OF MEN), Matt Hollowway and Arthur Marcum are scripting all three or just have a detailed outline for the next couple of movies, but I like that they're already thinking ahead.
-This three picture plan has been planned since the beginning and played a large role in casting... I don't know if it'll be in the first film (I'm guessing not), but Jim Rhodes as played by Terrence Howard WILL be War Machine and that was a key factor in casting Howard. In fact, Favreau said he loved hearing the speculation when Howard was first rumored, people already accepting him as Tony Stark. He's a great actor and a commanding one. He'll be able play through the armor.
-Another departure from the comic has Tony Stark based on the West Coast instead of the East Coast. Favreau said that was mainly a stylistic choice. He said we're used to seeing SPIDER-MAN swinging through New York and the Fantastic Four flying between New York buildings. He didn't want IRON MAN to fall into that familiar pattern.
That's about all I saw on my visit... at least IRON MAN related. I mentioned previously that I saw some more artwork from both Saunders and Meinerding. Favreau called them in and had them bring along a portfolio of their work for JOHN CATER OF MARS.
The pain of losing the project was obviously still fresh for Favreau, but he seemed happy John Lassetter and Pixar/Disney had it. He didn't know what they were going to do with it, but speculated on a great animated version being made. He said he would have had to MoCap a good deal of the movie if he had made it and noted that animation seems to be going in that direction with BEOWULF and films like MONSTER HOUSE.
The artwork, in short, was breathtaking. Edgar Rice Burroughs' world was realized beautifully. I saw everything from Carter on horseback escaping the Indians to Tars Tarkas towering over Carter, easily double his size. They realized the Tharks as more human that I imagined, but without a nose. The tusks protruded from the joints in the jaw, not the mouths, which I thought was an interesting way of approaching it. The eyes, brow and mouth were human. The expressive parts of the face. Favreau wanted the performance to show through the computer effects, find that soul in the pixels that the best CG work can do.
Most of the art was from Meinerding, who did the black and white pieces for IRON MAN. His work was black and white here, too. I freaked out a little when he said he works 100% in computer because the art looked painterly... kind of an Alex Ross mixed with Frank Frazetta. Meinerding's John Carter looked great. Very stoic, young... heroic.
I asked who Favreau was going after for John Carter before the plug was pulled. He looked a little hesitant to say, but then spilled that he wanted Eric Bana, which I think would have been a fantastic choice.
Saunders art was in full color and was more landscape than character or action driven, but his concept of Mars and the cities on Mars was amazing. He envisioned an obsidian-like landscape, but instead of black glass rock it was variations on red glass. Sharp and curving natural glass structures were semi-transparent at different light points. The majority of the swords and daggers were made of this beautiful red glass, with metal being extremely precious on the planet, so only a few metal swords exist.
There was a city (Helium) built completely out of this material, giant glass buildings stretching out to the heavens, refracting light in different shades and hues.
It would have been absolutely beautiful and it's a shame we won't see that movie.
As of my visit, Favreau was trying to find out the legality of making the art public. I hope he can work it out. If the film can't be made, at least the vision of the film should be seen by us geeks.
That's about it. Everything I saw was better than I expected and I expected good things. I hope the flick lives up to the art and the excitement I witnessed. Thanks for sticking with me through this big ol' report. I'm finally back home after over 3 weeks of film festivals... I have some Sundance interviews to transcribe and a few Santa Barbara FF movies left to review before the fun really begins... I just found out I'm going to the New York Comic Con where I'll be moderating a HOSTEL 2 panel as well as interviewing a legend and a personal idol of mine. Good stuff on the horizon, squirts. 'Til then this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu!
PS: Here's an interview with Mark Fergus (screenwriter) over at Flmlvr's favorite site, JewReview.net... if you want more Iron Man info!!
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Feb. 9, 2007, 8:29 p.m. CST
Wow....I guess I'll go back and read the article now. I hope it's a good one.
Feb. 9, 2007, 8:30 p.m. CST
I'm drunk as fuck! That suit looks lame!
Feb. 9, 2007, 8:30 p.m. CST
don't know much about Iron Man but I had an Iron Man and a Dr. Doom action figure as a kid and he's laways been kinda of planted in my mind since then. Sounds like Fav's making good progress
Feb. 9, 2007, 8:46 p.m. CST
thanks quint but nobody wants to READ about art, we'd much rather SEE art.
Feb. 9, 2007, 8:47 p.m. CST
Anna Nicole would have wanted it that way.
Feb. 9, 2007, 8:49 p.m. CST
I was pretty disappointed that JF lost the John Carter project right up until i read that bit. Bana is booooring. Oh... looking forward to Iron Man though... sounds cool.
Feb. 9, 2007, 8:48 p.m. CST
by #1 Zero
I liked swingers and I liked his mob movie with P Diddy and Vince Vaughn, I didn't really like Elf all that much and had doubts about how good iron man would be. Then I hear about the children of men writers and Stan Winston and Downey Jr. and Terrance Howard and I got intrigued. It seems like Favreau was able to wrangle some a-list talent for this and this isn't a february release like Ghost Rider, Daredevil and Electra. So my hopes are up now but still, Favreau seems like a weird choice for this. Hopefully his cast and crew will make it memorable. I thought Raimi was a weird choice for Spiderman but that worked out well, so here's hoping.
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:03 p.m. CST
...now let's get hopping on that John Carter movie, ferchrissakes! Do you hear me, Disney/Lasseter?
Feb. 9, 2007, 8:52 p.m. CST
Other then that this sounds pretty solid, but if Favreau goes fucking raimi on us and pulls some "artistic" license shit Im going to be pissed.
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:03 p.m. CST
Can I get an autograph? I mean..how did you do it? you must be so proud! we all are so exicted for you!....MY GOD you were the first poster!!! I just can't get over it! what an honor! I'm so glad you felt the need to keep up this pointless and overused tradition. I mean being first...thats just so exciting. I'm about to faint... I can't believe someone was actually the first poster on this site! I know I'm going on and on but come on, mark this day on your calender. Iforgotabout19 was the first person to comment on this page. This is worth a celebration! I 've been third a few times, second once, but never FIRST!!! I just can't control myself..I'm so happy for you I could just SHIT!
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:04 p.m. CST
I think kurdt420 just had a prolapse. Chill out man.
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:12 p.m. CST
by #1 Zero
I hadn't heard of John Carter of Mars until Favreau was going to do his movie. It seems like a lot of talkbackers have heard of it but honestly, is John Carter of Mars really that popular of a character that has a built in fanbase like other comic book movies. I kind of doubt it. Maybe that is why the movie is in limbo at the moment.
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:34 p.m. CST
This sounds like they really respect the material. No flaming red-n-gold nipples.<p>Oh, and John Carter is one of those properties needing to be filmed. It would *create* an audience instead of spoonfeeding one.
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:34 p.m. CST
pretty much sums up my feelings for this movie... Here's hoping it rockets to the top and doesn't sink like a ball of ... naw, I can't really say it can I? sure I can... like a ball of IRON, nuff said
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:24 p.m. CST
Are you insane? I just finished breaking out the kool-aid and chex party mix. I got Billy Idol's Rebel Yell cranking on the boombox and we're gonna rock out with our cock's out! Iforgotabout19 posted a comment before anyone else and I'm not gonna let this go by unnoticed. Now quit hatin on me and my boy 19 and start shakin yo money maker!!!It's celebration time in the AICN Lounge bitches! 19 was First and lets not forget it.
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:41 p.m. CST
Good to see Favreau is staying with the orgin of the suit and its upgrades. Should be as good as "Spiderman." Wish John Vernon was still alive to do a cameo. He was the voice of Tony Stark in the old Marvel animated series from the sixties.
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:46 p.m. CST
Just for the sake of hope.
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:51 p.m. CST
I just thought Howard Hughes would have wanted that to be said.
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:45 p.m. CST
John Carter is actually one of the most highly-regarded pulp heroes, so there's a fanbase - just not a huge one. As another poster said, it'll build a larger fanbase once people see how cool the plot, characters and story are!
Feb. 9, 2007, 9:58 p.m. CST
by Pound Sand
That's gotta be a first. Oh, and Favs: drop a few pounds: take a diuretic if you have to.
Feb. 9, 2007, 10:14 p.m. CST
by TORTURE PWN
Fuck the haters.Congratulations on your "First".People who spend time and effort thinking up then typing a bitchfest about "First" posters crack me up.Especially when they just kinda disappear without ever actually commenting on the topic.Lonely little bitches.
Feb. 9, 2007, 10:07 p.m. CST
Yes, I'm an even bigger geek than you. ;-)
Feb. 9, 2007, 10:33 p.m. CST
You got it all wrong Torurepwn...It's not a Bitchfest..It's FirstFest! But Hey I understand your misunderstanding..not to worry, I'm here to bring you up to our speed! It's not about hatting, it's about celebrating! so let all celebrate!! 19 was FIRST and it needs to be acknowledged!! So start groovin wit da Hammer! Cause it's Hammer time! HUH OH! HUH OH! Here comes da Hammer!!!!
Feb. 9, 2007, 10:36 p.m. CST
The Rocketeer Lives!!!! (that was suppose to be a three film deal too..)
Feb. 9, 2007, 11:41 p.m. CST
by THE KNIGHT
We all know Tony Stark is a poor man’s Bruce Wayne. Stark is a billionaire just like Wayne and they both have huge companies using their last name. <p> I’m still looking forward to this though.
Feb. 9, 2007, 11:59 p.m. CST
the creators or even bob layton and david micheline
Feb. 10, 2007, 4:55 a.m. CST
He's what Bruce Wayne might have been like if his parents hadn't died. He's Bruce Wayne's shallow playboy act more for real. He's the happy Bruce Wayne!<br><br>Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Stark was an company owner and inventor before Batman comics started referring to Wayne Enterprises.
Feb. 10, 2007, 5:35 a.m. CST
That has to be some kind of honor....
Feb. 10, 2007, 5:58 a.m. CST
Ive just been so jaded. Im not sure Ive liked a comic book film deeply since the original Batman in 1989, and when it was released I was a small child. now that Ive grown up I see its flaws but I would have to say its still my favorite. Batman Begins is fine but overrated. Spider-Man has been mediocre, Im not sure how deep Sam Raimis understanding of the character goes. Raimi's Spider-man is far too archetypey for my taste and not layered enough and Tobey Mcguire can be geeky to the point of ridiculousness. I also think he has fairly limited esteem for villains and Ive always been of the opinion that When it comes to heavy hitters like Batman and Spider-Man the villains are every bit as interesting as the hero, which is probably why Burtons heavy focus on the Joker always made me happy. Singer got alot of the character stuff right with SUperman himself but the more time that goes on the more I see that he dropped the ball completely story wise. Iron Man though doesnt have a ton of cannon to get caught up in but has the richness of character that could make for a very interesting film. I LOVE Robert Downey jr. as Stark and Howard as Rhodes (Paltrow though......ugh) and Favreu seems like such a genuine guy and he seems so informed that I just have to have faith. One of the things i loved about this article is that Favreu really seems to know where the line between realism and comic book has to lie. You cant make a cartoon but you also must establish that this is not the world we live in, its a world where the fantastic is possible and superheroes can exist.
Feb. 10, 2007, 7:18 a.m. CST
Yes Singer got the CHARACTER of SUperman himself right, which is to say he got a performance out of Brandon Routh that was both a great extension of Christopher Reeve (a better Superman will never live) but ever so slightly different (a given since Brandon Routh is not a biological clone of Reeve) enough for it to be his own. Everything else in the movie sort of sucked, especially that awful scam of Lex Luthor and that little boy. If you think the portrayal of Superman's character and psyche (which again is all that I'm talking about) is so bad then tell me what is wrong with it. Now its become a religion to praise Batman begins and call it flawless and Ive had enough of it. Now I want you to read very fucking carefully what Im about to type, I am NOT!!! saying its a bad film. but a better Batman film can be made. its possible. Nolan didnt perfect it. Even Vern (and we all love and trust Vern) just the other day posted how Nolan dropped the ball on the overly choppy action. Also his Gotham wasn't brimming with atmosphere the way Gotham city should. Gotham isn't just a city, its a world all its own teeming with personality. Now I dont want crazy Schumacher Gotham (I know that was gonna be your accusation) but It shouldnt be interchangeable with any US city. Like I posted above I also despise when villains are shortchanged and in Batman begins both The Scarecrow and Ras Al Ghul were completely cheated. And you know that line I was talking about between fantasy and reality? Well Nolan erred to far toward the latter and as a result its fair game to pick out a million ways Bruce Wayne would have been exposed instantly for being Batman. making a batman movie completely realistic is impossible given that its completely beyond the realm of possibility for a man to run around in a bat outfit and not get caught. You then also have to justify every little costume decision made by the villains or change them completely, hence The Scarecrow running around in a suit, fuck that, that's not the Scarecrow. Now maybe we will see him again in a better incarnation but Im not holding my breath. The script also beats the whole "fear" subtext into your brain so loudly it becomes insulting. Its not a brilliant script by any means. If you want to see Batman perfected watch the old Paul Dini cartoon, its not zany or self indulgent in the least but still has a wonderful otherworldly atmosphere. Look you dont have to agree with me, I am absolutely not trying to convince you of anything as you have made up your mind, Im just trying to give you some insight as to my point of view. Its become a zeitgeist all its own to call that movie perfect and its just not accurate. That kind of effusive praise perpetuates itself until people just join the herd and stop questioning a film which has alot of flaws.
Feb. 10, 2007, 7:20 a.m. CST
....that would be fucking incredible. I'm pretty sure the Thomas Jane version gave me cancer.
Feb. 10, 2007, 8:14 a.m. CST
I was looking forward to possibly seeing a certain arachnid superhero swing past Stark's window in a scene. Guess those dreams are dashed. I wanna see some cameos in these newer MARVEL films. That would be incredible.
Feb. 10, 2007, 8:36 a.m. CST
According to Film Ick Robert Zemeckis is going to produce it as fully motion captured and Finding Nemo's Andrew Stanton will direct http://tinyurl.com/298jmc So a Polar Express-style movie with Tars Tarkas?
Feb. 10, 2007, 9:24 a.m. CST
by Orbots Commander
Think about it: would a company like Stark Industries be located in New York City or rather in a more tech-centric place like Silicon Valley or around a university like UC Berkeley, CalTech or Stanford known for their engineering graduates? It makes sense.
Feb. 10, 2007, 9:56 a.m. CST
by Turd Furgeson
This seems like its going to be very cool! Good creative minds, talent and a real respect for the history and source material... Sounds like a winner, can't wait for it to come out.
Feb. 10, 2007, 11:32 a.m. CST
by SPECTRE Agent
But he might be a touch too loyal to the work as far as Mandarin is concerned. He's an ungainly villain. Thats why they ditched him in the comics. Just make Stane the villain and keep it simple.
Feb. 10, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST
Favs really surrounded himself with the best people he could, didnt he?
Feb. 10, 2007, 12:19 p.m. CST
unlike that other turd Ghost Rider which sounds like a bad case of Hollywood Hershey Squirts. Really looking forward to seeing this and hopefully it just raises the bar again on Comic Book movies. Everything about this speak quality and lack of Hollywood garnish. Hope it stays that way and we get the Iron Man movie we all know it could be.
Feb. 10, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST
Pretty much what happens with most good comic book movies, hell, with most good movies period. Everything these days are called OVERRATED amd MEDIOCRE once the majority decides to like it. Spider-Man, Batman Begins, The Matrix, Harry Potter, X-Men, Lord of the Rings, just to name a few. Give it a couple of months after we see it, and then the bitching and moaning will begin. All while they're making tons of money off of pathetic fanboyish geeks, who rather read comic books and go to the Comic-Con, instead of touching a woman. So, I say, sit back and watch them take your money once again, while you're kicking and screaming and protesting that your childhood has been raped. Oh, and they even made a fortune off of you with X-MEN 3; perfect example of you all talking shit online, but still showing up in huge ass numbers in theaters (hell, even their DVD sold well). Don't get me started on how much the last three Star Wars movies made off of you-- that you HATED. Let me guess, someone pulled a gun on you and made you go see all of these movies and their sequels, right?
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:05 p.m. CST
I'm tellin' you... she's perfect for it!
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST
For the most part this all sounds very good, but I kind of wonder if they are ditching Tony's playboy persona almost entirely. I'd never picture Tony as a grease-monkey, just someone who likes to get things done by any means possible.
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:26 p.m. CST
so Im "Gaytarded" and I should "read more comics, listen to better music". And the action scenes in batman begins are brilliant because the music synchs up well? And the camera shouldnt stay still becuase its a brawl? huh, well last I checked it wasnt exactly a Ken Shamrock vs. Tito ortiz fight, its was two comic book characters using martial arts. Not exactly a street fight. Im sorry but there is no such thing as a fight sequence that was improved by a shaky cam. I also dont know what point you are responding to when you go on a rant about how I dont understand Ras Al Ghul. I never eevn said Nolan doesnt understnad Ras Al Ghul, I said he was cheated. And I say that because more than anything he seems tacked onto the plot, you could have written him out completely quite easily. And you still didnt actually tell me what is is Singer failed to to character wise with Superman. Dont be a pussy and say read mpre comic books, actually explain your point. you knw what neevrmind, anyone who would refer to someone else as "gaytarded" is probably roughly 14 years old, and if you arent you have some very deep issues, so I dont really think I need to hear your opinion on this further.
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:16 p.m. CST
of the best parts of Troy. He is great for John Carter.
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:29 p.m. CST
To be honest with the exception of Lord of the Rings and the first Matrix, I didn t really like any of those movies to begin with. And how much money something makes has absolutely no bearing on its quality, just ask anyone who has ever bought an Emo cd.
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:20 p.m. CST
So the kid looks like Reeves, so what? I agree Routh is not a horrible actor, but the characterization crapped all over Supes.
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST
Just make up a fake asian country. I don't need to think about thew War on Terror everytime I watch Ironman! Plus Billionaire Stark should have many home bases not just LA!
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:34 p.m. CST
by the North Koreans? I really don't care about Afghanistan, but it makes me nervous with the goal being trying to ground it in the real world (which is something supeheroes do not need in my opinion) that it will come attached with a political statement that will drag on the movie.
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST
Thomas Jane made an uncredited and very brief cameo in Spider-Man 2 when Mary Jane is running from her wedding through a park to go to Peter she passes a man dressed in black who looks at her, confirmed Thomas Jane sighting. As far as Peter Billingsly, though not an actor any more, he is still in the biz as a producer. They get paid too, and they get more privacy. That's the route to take as far as I'm concerned.
Feb. 10, 2007, 3:06 p.m. CST
Carter? This is the kind of movie I really want them to make more than anything with the advances in CGI. A really great Doc Savage, JC of Mars or Flash Gordon pulp film. Even the fantasy movies have too much realism in them. Sky Captain showed this type of film is possible - but those guys should've known better than to make that dud of a script.
Feb. 10, 2007, 3:09 p.m. CST
Favs really seems to have an eye for casting. Iron Man is looking sweeter and sweeter everyday. I wonder if Lassetter & Co. can somehow obtain/buy some of that artwork for their film? I kinda think the motion-capture animation is the right way to go with Carter...it could be very stylized in ways it couldn't with live-action methinks. As far as the built-in fan-base someone mentioned earlier, hey, it has more of a fa-base then say, a competely original screenplay, which has none. Anyway, here's to both Iron Man and Carter kicking ass...I think they're both in good hands and will turn out as they should.
Feb. 10, 2007, 2:58 p.m. CST
...not to be too scandal-oriented, but this movie will portray Afghanistan and, most likely, China as foreign aggressors. Forget whether or not being forced to build bombs by terrorists makes sense; what could be perceived as xenophobia on the part of the movie might not go over so well when it's released. I'm sure it's not an intentional statement, but I wonder about how it'll look.
Feb. 10, 2007, 3:26 p.m. CST
My original thought was that Tony will be forced to build bombs and view the terrorists as bad guys, but then find out the US is funding it somehow and how the world is a really dark place, trust no one, blah blah blah. As I said, it is not that I mind them using Afghanistan, or even making thoughtful political statements. The problem is that these types of statements from Hollywood are usually childish.
Feb. 10, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST
Mcfarlane going to make Beowulf toys! http://www.spawn.com/news/news6.aspx?id=13051
Feb. 10, 2007, 3:58 p.m. CST
I'll never understand this kind of thinking. If not set in that period, at least timeless with a heavy influence of the decade in which they were created? They are essentially myths, they reflect the spirit of the times in which they were created. That's why you have a modern Fantastic Four movie that is not about imagination and exploration but a lifeless study of cosmic rays that contributed to evolution of life on Earth and corporate machinations. Yuck. Or a Daredevil about hooking up, personal revenge and faux cool instead of a drive to fight corruption and perserverence of the human spirit in spite of the odds stacked against you. I think it misses the mark to make superheroes "modern". Modern has a high level of mediocrity and suckitude. At least Batman Begins approached the material in the right way by establishing Batman's desire for justice vs. revenge and it was shot in a way that that tells the story just as much as the script.
Feb. 10, 2007, 4:01 p.m. CST
attempting to deconstruct and then reconstruct the concept of Superman. My problem is that I pretty much hated everything it had to say about Superman. It went against the strengths of the myth to begin with.
Feb. 10, 2007, 5:46 p.m. CST
and been filmed in black and white -- the only color being the Superman character himself, a la Sin City. Just sayin'.
Feb. 10, 2007, 8:50 p.m. CST
by TORTURE PWN
If Favreau can handle action scenes this movie might come close to Spiderman levels of cool.
Feb. 10, 2007, 8:58 p.m. CST
by TORTURE PWN
Give us a WWII Captain America!
Feb. 11, 2007, 12:15 a.m. CST
This is the perfect example of why faithfulness to the source material is paramount.
Feb. 11, 2007, 1:11 a.m. CST
For some reason this IM project does not have me excited. I am expecting some bland shit with Favrau at the helm. I'd prefer he just bring out Elf 2 so I can catch it at Xmas and have another laugh at Ferrell. I mean, has anyone actually touched Zathura? Not to say Favrau won't surprise me, though. Anything's possible ... I mean, Robert Downey Jnr. as Stark? Great actor, but uh ... yeah, this aspect will be interesting to see ...
Feb. 11, 2007, 2:24 a.m. CST
I'm not talking about you specifically, you're one person, one person can't really respond to what I've said. I'm talking about the majority, who I've seen praise every movie that I've mentioned. And as soon as the NEW wears off, that's it, it's time to take the movie apart--including Batman Begins and Lord of the Rings. It's going to be the exact same way with IRON MAN. And you can like or love 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Batman Begins' all the hell you want, but they are still apart of what I speak of. Quality, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder. You can find people who now hate Batman Begins and Lord of the Rings, as fast as you can a truly horrible movie. Whom would swiftly call them both OVERRATED and question their quality, as well. Just look at the people praising IRON MAN, and they haven't even seen the damn film yet. (1)This is the first stage, praise it before you have see it. (2)Love it when it's released. (3)Then, when too many are doing too much praising, it's time to behead it and kick its body in a hole. Of course, this is after the studios have already made a great deal of money off of them first.
Feb. 11, 2007, 2:31 a.m. CST
Ooops, I meant the first Matrix and Lord of the Rings, not Bats, as the two movie that you mentioned that you liked.
Feb. 11, 2007, 3:43 a.m. CST
imho **batman begins** let's be honest here the action is way too choppy. I can totally understand when bats first takes out the crimals and the camera is whipping because that can be put down to see the fight from the criminals point of view but there is really is noexcuse for it afterwards. also I'm not really bothered about a villian (in this case RAG and scarecrow) being shortchanged in an orign story because I'm more interested in the heroes journey, that way I'm not a big fan of burton's batman because that movie should have beeen called 'joker' rather than 'batman'. **superman returns** well for me this movie is pure dull and whilst I thought routh gave a fine pefromance I didn't fell singer 'got' superman's character. there is a scene in BB where bat's is interrogating a dirty cop and he screams 'WHERE WERE THE OTHER DRUGS GOING!!!' and I was like 'THAT' is batman, I didn't ever feel that with burton or js. there is a moment in X2 where wolvie is running down the corrior and lets rip on striker's army and I was like 'THAT' is wolverine, and here is a moment in S-M2 where pete is on his bed in a small rented room, owing lots of money reading the paper that is accusing him of comming the crime he help prevent and I thought 'THAT' is spider-man, I never got a moment like that with superman. **superman returns** for me singer drops the ball big time, he pays far too much homage to donner and doesn't try to create his OWN mythology. in justice league/unlimited, they absolutely NAIL the character of superman but that is a cartoon so I have to look to the movie genre and reeve NAILS the character of superman when I picture superman when I read a comic book I picture reeve. the way he delivers make you BELIEVE a man can fly, and like I said whilst I didn't think routh was poor I didn't think he was superman, that for me was singer's fault rather than rouths. would superman spy on someone (for example)? would superman just REMOVE himself from the responsibilty of raising a child, 'oh I'm aways around'...WHAT!? sorry SR was poor and I blaim singer for that, that character was someone in a superman costume rather than superman himself. remember th scene in superman the movie where reeve is standing in fronto f a mirror having shown lois the time of her life and he takes off his glasses and stands straight from stooping looking strong and powerful, and is about to tell lois the truth and then thinks better of it and stoops again looking unsure of himself and weedy 'THAT' captures superman anyon think singer caught the essence of superman in SR must have very low opinion of the character of superman. of course all I've said is in my humble opinion :O)
Feb. 11, 2007, 4:43 a.m. CST
...but I think he at least identified with him. I'm not sure there's only one way to "get" a character who's been interpreted by so many different writers and artists anyway. Superman probably means different things to different people. Most of them probably want Superman to be stoic and traditionally masculine. That wasn't so much the case in 'Superman Returns'. But because Singer was adopted and because he felt out of place, I think he sees a lot of similarities between Superman and himself. I think that perspective gave him insight into certain facets of Superman's indentity that most people overlook, but it is arguable that he overlooked other aspects of Superman's character in the process. I certainly feel like the characterization of Clark Kent/Superman could have been better, even if I do think Singer understands the character better than some people suggest he does. I think Goyer and Nolan did the same thing with Batman, but anybody who thinks he's any more of a facsimile than Singer's Superman is allowing bias to cloud their judgment. They created about 90% of his origin -- and his motivations along with it -- wholecloth. Here's the part where someone tells me that the comics have made reference to a young Bruce traveling to Asia, etc. and that Superman was never a "stalker." Knock yourselves out. I've said my peace.
Feb. 11, 2007, 6 a.m. CST
by Gwai Lo
Singer definitely got the Superman character WAY wrong. He portrays Superman as some voyeuristic stalker who spies on Lois and her family with his X-Ray vision. He portrays Superman as a deadbeat Dad who leaves Earth for years despite swearing to protect the planet at the end of Superman II. While I think Brandon Routh did a fine job of channeling Christopher Reeve and being epic, the characterization he had to work with was off. While I don't think it is "perfect", I think Batman Begins is the best comic book film ever made. I will concede that Bruce Wayne could be easily exposed. When he drives around in that Tumbler, one of the engineers who made it should recognize it. Then it should become clear it's Bruce through process of elimination. This aside, I still think Batman Begins is a brilliant action film that is excellent on all levels. I think it trumps Burton's original on almost all levels, and don't think the fantasy world that Burton created would have any place in Nolan's film. I like that they went the realistic route, and while you claim that it's impossible for a guy to run around in a bat suit without being caught, I have to say that doesn't matter, and you couldn't prove it anyway. What is so outlandish about a vigilante in a costume? Batman's only powers are his wealth and intelligence, I think it's perfectly reasonable that someone that is highly intelligent with a huge amount of capital at their disposal and a corporation that manufactures weapons could become Batman if they wanted to.
Feb. 11, 2007, 6:10 a.m. CST
I enjoyed both of your posts immensely and I think you def have both made some good points. Spider_Neil I think you're right about that "DRUGS!" moment in Batman Begins. That is indeed Batman and you dont have that in the Tim Burton films. I guess why I like Burtons Batman is he didnt do anything inherently wrong, which in this day and age of "reimagining" is about what im looking for. but you are right that Burton left out many of the details, the finer points of Batmans character. And I dont mean a big drawn out origin story, I mean character moments such as that. But Nolan I dont think realizes that Gotham City itself is a character in Batman lore, his villains deserve far more service than just an excuse to connect the film to the comics, and that Batman, while he has a certain grounding in realism, is still a comic book (yes even the way Frank Miller did it) and any attempt to completely defantasize the world of batman comes off as ridiculous because it simply couldnt happen in rality. Not to mention Goyers heavy handed (fear Fear FEAR!!!!) script. These are things Burton did understand. If Nolan wanted to write an origin story then maybe he should have left the villains out completely. in fact I would hazard to say i think I would have enjoyed the film much more considering I felt Bruce's training sequence was frustratingly rushed. I agree with you that Superman Returns flaws all lie in the hands of Brian Singer. If you felt there was something missing from Superman its probably because Singer didnt write it into the film, he tried to squeeze an awful lot into those two and a half hours. Although i thought what WAS there was indeed Superman. maybe what these filmmakers need to realize is that small character moments can speak just as loudly as long origin stories or reconciliations with ex-girlfriends. I actually dont agree with you on the mansion fight in X-Men 2, it was ok, but when I read the issue with Wolverine going apeshit on the Hellfire Club way back in the day I dont picture it like that. I picture something more beast than man, and while I realize that might be hard to do, its possible with a physical enough actor. I never saw anything but a guy who happened to have claws on his hands killing dudes. I want to see the animal with the grace of a samurai, thats who Wolverine is and portraying him that way is essential to his character. In fact I know Singer had it in him from the opening sequence of X2. Jackmans Wolverine always came off more smartass than badass to me and he fell more into that trap as the films went on. Ribbons thank you for reminding folks that Nolan invented as much of his Batman as he carried over from the comics. Look people can, and I fully expect them to, disagree with me on batman Begins. Im just trying to show that I have legitimate complaints here and Im doing anything but hating for hatings sake. In fact now that I dont think Nolan feels he has to establish Bruce Waynes entire psyche Im very much looking forward to seeing what he does with the Batman Joker dynamic. I guess I dont mind Burtons focus ont he Joker because I always felt the relationship between those two characters was so essential to both of their lives that in the tale of their mutual life stories they would each have a starring role in the other's. They are the very definition of NEMESIS. Its as grand a feud as comic books have ever given us and I hope Nolan understands that.
Feb. 11, 2007, 6:53 a.m. CST
here's my two cent worth, **superman returns** I first want to stress I thought routh delivered his lines very well it was what he was SAYING I think I took issue with in SR lois pens 'why the world doesn't need superman' and singer doesn't address this in any shape or form me, the world had to deal without him for FIVE YEARS and then embraces him because he saves air force one, why? then the is the general character of superman I'll pass over the dead beat/peeping tom aspect it's been done to death, and just concentrate on his CHARACTHER, I thought there was a really tender momonet when supes lois above the clouds and tells her 'you say the world doesn't need a saviour but I hear them crying for one' MAN I wish they explored what for me was the only interesting aspect of the film. the fact that superman is a HERO, a symble, a larger than life character that if he has any character flaws he CAN'T show them when he puts on his costume because people look up to him, and superman just seemed flawed and whilst this works brilliantly in spider-man because spidey is the every man it DOESN'T work for superman because he (supes) is supposed to be an icon. to be fair I have my idea of superman and it's unfair to expect singer to deliver what 'I' expect from superman but ask the SR haters and they'll probable mirror what I've just said. **BB/batman** in burton's batman they focus and joker and whilst I thought JN gave a good performance I don't think he caught the essence of joker, joker fo me is hannible lecter but laughs after he's eaten his victim. someone who is as smart as batman but has an esoteric sense of humor, only HE gets the joke. so there is quiet menace with the odd dash of maniacal laugher for me the perfect rendition of the joker was the animated batman beyond movie 'the return of joker' PERFECT!!! I'm hoping ledger goes in THAT directionand by ll accounts it sounds like he is, so in this case I wont mind joker overshadowing batman (as he almost certainly will) because the character of joker is so complex it will talk a lot of screen time to explore it so I agree with you on this point but it couldn't have worked in an origin story. **X2** I totally agree with you wolverine could have been more feral/viseral/bloody but when you take into concideration the rating of the movie what I got is all I could have hoped for.
Feb. 11, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST
by The Atomic Worm
He's gotta use the can !!!
Feb. 11, 2007, 12:10 p.m. CST
All I get is a loust cut'n paste from an old Tales to Astonish ?? For shame, Quint...really. For shame. My first appearance Marvel Legends figure would be a bigger scoop (though that figure DOES show how impractical the first suit would be). Man, I'm stoked for this. 2008 roll on. Nice report...but NO DAMN STOLEN ART !! Sheeeeesh.
Feb. 11, 2007, 3:24 p.m. CST
thats all I have to say about that. but I eagerly anticipate this movie. now that Marvel and company have slowed down the movies.
Feb. 11, 2007, 5:19 p.m. CST
In other words, there won't be a part two and three...the public won't support part one enough. I don't have a crystal ball, but that is what is most likely.
Feb. 11, 2007, 6:04 p.m. CST
I think your observations are pretty on par except for one thing, the Tony Stark of Civil War doesnt count. Its not actually Tony Stark, just a facsimile thereof that the brass at Marvel made up to make money. There is absoultely no way possible to connect the Stark that has been around for some 50 years with the Stark of Civil War. No way to justify the character they have twisted him into. Nothing he has ever done in his history as a comic book character would lead one to believe he is capable of outright evil all the while lying to himself wholesale to justify his every malevolent action. Nothing justifies it, not the alcoholism, not the silver spoon, nothing. They want to plug him into the George Bush or Dick Cheney or Karl Rove but it just doesnt fit. Rove and Cheney have been bad men their whole lives, it is completely within their character to use America for opportunistic reasons. W. Bush is quite simply a stupid man, a man of weak will, ego, and devout religion. Tony Stark, despite having flaws, has always been written as a kind and level headed man who has almost ceaslessly done the right thing. Hiring murderers, tearing a community in half while having no dialogue whatsoever, building illegal prison camps is something Tony Stark would NEVER even consider doing, not even in the wildest stretches of where the character has gone before. Even if Stark did agree with the registration act he would take time to act in a diplomatic fashion, sitting everyone down and sussing the situation out in a reasonable manner. Civil War will, like Strasinski's terrible Gwen Stacy/Norman osbourne love affair and the clone saga, in five years or so come to be something we all just pretend never happened because of how awful it was. And then they will do it in the Ultimate Universe in a edgy EXTREME! redesigned way.
Feb. 11, 2007, 6:47 p.m. CST
I really see no reson to make Iron Man a period film. Unlike Captain America, whose origin MUST be done during WWII to be done right, there is nothing critical to the Iron Man origin in terms of time period. Sure, his origin had something tangentially to do with the whole dispirited Vietnam era, but the present politics of our time are close enough to update the character. The previous poster who suggested that Stark ends up a prisoner in North Korea rather than Afghanistan DID have a good idea, though. Totalitarian North Korea is a much better setting than Afghanistan in the context of Iron Man's origin story. As far as moving Stark Industries out to California: this is OK, as long as they retain Stark's jet-setting, playboy manner, and have his business interests everywhere, including the financial capital of NYC. I understand that New York is getting a bit over-used for the Marvel superhero movies, and opening up the setting to California makes sense with Stark, since so much of the defense industry and high-tech is based in Cali. Stark is partyially inspired by millionaire jet-setters like Howard Hughes anyway, so it is cool that the production of this film is actually on the site of some of Hughes actual stomping grounds. In any case, I do hope that the character also has business bases in NYC, and that he remains a rich playboy. They shouldn't water down Stark's womanizing nature for PC reasons. The movie needs to be sort of like the Tom Clancy version of a superhero movie: lots of high-tech, high-stakes action and villains that are global security threats. The more fantastical James Bond movies could also be looked at for some inspiration. Megalo-maniacal super-villains with crazy, high-tech headquarters who are bent on destruction and world domination should be the order of the day. I mostly like what I have been hearing about this production so far, so I am looking forward to the movie, and hope it does well enough for the sequels that they are already planning on.
Feb. 11, 2007, 7:31 p.m. CST
FF4 and AvP then anything can happend.
Feb. 11, 2007, 10:13 p.m. CST
The origin is different, but better. And much better than what it looks like they're doing with the live action origin. Whatever.
Feb. 12, 2007, 7:07 a.m. CST
by just pillow talk
Or not. Perhaps he'll run into Hawkeye in California. He'll have to make sure his 'emissions' from his suit are green friendly though...
Feb. 12, 2007, 2:37 p.m. CST
by Jack Parsons
I've read the Civil War books carefully. Stark is backing the Registration and the Neg Zone Gitmo not because he likes them, but because as the Secretary of Defense and as a consultant to SHIELD, he saw the plans for Project: Wideawake, and a lot of other superfascist projects he never describes. He believes that whatever he does now is to prevent the real crazies from implementing the BIG war against supers and mutants. He's trapped, because he believes that the real badasses can't be stopped, only restrained, redirected, into Fascism Light. Now, as things do what they always do when one faction wants power and another resists, civil war breaks out. And one blow leads to a bigger blow, and so on, until eventually he blows a hole in Cap.
Feb. 12, 2007, 2:45 p.m. CST
by Jack Parsons
I agree with your assessment. I think eventually the arc will reveal that Stark was manipulated somehow, mentally or physically, into his present actions. And we already know that the Red Skull was behind Nitro's detonation in the schooyard, so we can assume he's been manipulating a few key players. After all, it takes a fascist to grow a fascism.
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:07 p.m. CST
I REALLY hope and pray it turns out that way. I had actually forgot about that, I havent read the last two issues or so of Captain America so I suppose Im a bit behind. Besides the fact that I absolutely love the Red Skull its really the only way to save Civil War at this point. I think it would be pretty cool if it was revealed that theres just a massive vanguard of villains placed strategically behind many of the events of Civil War (i.e. The Shadow King in Starks head) that way some of this nonsense might get straightened out all the while making super villains look super again. It's been a while since villains packed the punch they used to, the last few years comics have dealt far mroe with the heroes own messed up psyches, which is fine, but you know there is a problem with Bendis and Millar and hte ilk when they are incapable of writing a decent supervillain.
Feb. 12, 2007, 4:44 p.m. CST
by Mel Gibsteinberg
Hope its a good one.
Feb. 13, 2007, 6:49 a.m. CST
As in "Houston we have a problem!". The space shuttle and everything. Houston would be like the perfect balance for what Iron Man is all about, necessery evil(oil) and uncessesary good(technological advancement).
Feb. 13, 2007, 10:09 p.m. CST
Thanks, Quint. Great report.<p> My interest in this film is growing by the day. I mean, we got Matthew Libatique as its DP, the writers of "Children of Men" giving us the screenplay, the Battlestar Galactica ethic of "realistic over cartoony"... I'm fired up to see where this goes.<p> Kick some ass with it, John the Favreau!
Feb. 17, 2007, 10:36 p.m. CST
I just wish that The Flash people had half the balls that these guys obviously do, instead, I'm certain that we are going to get a Flash movie that is a stupid comedy, full of Flashy special effects and no story at all... Grem-
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