Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with some thoughts on the Iron Man 3 presentation by Marvel. Leave it to Marvel to really embrace the fans. They have from the beginning and they began the panel by playing a reel of footage going back to Comic-Con 2006, showing the panels over the years for the various movies all leading up to The Avengers.
This footage culminated in the circular panning shot of all the Avengers from the film then faded out… for a moment. Then the words “Phase Two Begins…” fade-out, fade in “Now.”
Billy posted up their announcements already, so head over here if you need those details.
The two most cheered things from this section was the title of the Captain America sequel (Captain America – The Winter Soldier) and the mention of the name Rocket Raccoon.
Then it was Ant Man time, followed by Iron Man 3, which of course couldn’t just start off like a normal panel. Luther Vandross started blasting through the huge Hall H sound system, cutting off Feige talking about being about halfway through filming of IM3. He trails off and then the screens fill with live, handheld footage of a curtain that draws back and reveals Robert Downey Jr. who proceeds to dance his way down the aisle of the 6500 people strong crowds, throwing out high fives with his right hand clad in an Iron Man gauntlet complete with glowing palm.
He didn’t just go down the first section, that dude danced all the way to the back before turning around and heading back up to the Hall H stage.
There he teased us for a bit before running the footage. Here’s the rundown:
A stick-it note with the words Stark Industries R&D on it introduces us to Tony’s lab where he addresses some robot arms, welcoming to the “birthing suite.” “I’m pleased to announce the imminent arrive of your bouncing, badass baby brother.” He tells Jarvis to cue up “something seasonal,” and a record starts spinning a funky version of Christmas tune (a nice nod to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I bet) and Downey strikes a pose, like a kung fu master… Nothing happens.
He slaps the skin of his forearm, turns to the camera held by one of the robot arms (probably Dummy) and says, “Take 2.” Strikes a pose again and a chunk of armor lifts of off his worktable and flies at him (with little booster rockets in the armor), slapping itself around his arm. Another chunk flies to his leg and other arm, sending him reeling. Downey tell Jarvis to slow it down as the cod piece comes flying at him, racking him in the nuts and then the back piece hits, sending him flying forward.
He catches himself with his thrusters, flies back as the rest of his armor attaches itself. However, he turns his head as the faceplate smashes against the chrome dome, spinning off onto the floor. Downey looks at it, all suited up except for his face. “Come on. I ain’t scared of you” he says as the faceplate floats up, facing him, the eyes bright with light as it rockets towards him. On the way, it nudges the edge of a table and turns upside down. Stark jumps upside down himself, extending his arm and hovering just right as the faceplate smashed home before flipping down into his Iron Man hero pose.
The next fun bit was pretty great because there’s a whole secondary self-aware level to it. It started on Jon Favreau’s head as he’s trying to figure out a Facetime-like feature on a tablet device. Stark: “Is this forehead of security?” Favs: “Hey, don’t talk to me like that. I don’t work for you anymore.” “You quit.” “Of course I quit. Do you know what it was like when I would tell people what my job was? ‘I’m Iron Man’s bodyguard.’ They’d laugh in my face. Now you’re off with the Super Friends, I don’t know what’s going on with you anymore. My grandmother lives in Manhattan, alright. She jumped out of a second story window last year because she saw a giant snake robot coming out of the sky!” “Yeah, we handled it.”
Later on in the panel, Downey said that Favreau is killing it as Happy Hogan. Favreau, also on the panel, said when they were filming the first two, he’d always film his stuff last in the day and not spend as much time on it because he had the rest of the movie to contend with. Now, as executive producer and actor he is freer to just focus on the character. Downey said the energy is “off the chain. He’s Swingers at 40.”
Most of the rest of the footage was action stuff with a mysterious, villainous voice-over. Armored choppers firing missiles into Tony’s sweet Malibu pad while Pepper and Tony are there, seeing it crumble off the hillside, falling in giant pieces into the ocean. His row of Iron Man suits exploding one by one, a shot of Iron Man in the suit, hitting the water and being dragged to the bottom by a large piece of his own house.
”You call me a terrorist? I consider myself a teacher.” Part of the voice-over from who we will soon learn to be the Mandarin as played by Sir Ben Kingsley. The voice is a little odd, not really any ethnicity really. Kind of an overall neutral if that makes any sense.
His look is pretty out there, though (in a good way). After the Iron Man 3 logo it cuts to a shot of his hands, fingers ringed, of course and we see a shot of him from the back, cloak on, hood up. He drops his cloak, revealing a bald head, with ponytail and then we see him from the front and he’s both menacing and obviously incredibly intelligent.
Fans went ape-shit, as they tend to do when something even remotely cool plays Hall H. The panel was equally fun, again not unexpectedly so when you have Favreau and Downey on the same stage. Don Cheadle, Kevin Feige and Shane Black were also up there.
Cheadle said to expect a lot more team-work and banter between Rhodey and Tony in this one and that was evident already just by their back and forth on the panel.
Example: a fan asked how long it takes them to get into their suits. RDJ "What's your time?" Cheadle: "Half hour." RDJ: "I'm three minutes." DC: "Racism." RDJ: "But you've got bigger guns"
The topic of contracts came up as well. Downey was only signed for 3 Iron Man movies. What does this mean for future Tony Stark appearances in the Marvel U? Downey said he loves the character and they’ll see how things play out, making a joke about seeing how big the Brinks truck Kevin brought to the negotiations was. Feige responded with something like “you’ll have the truck.” Damn skippy you will! Tony Stark 4evah!
Shane Black was pretty great on the panel, too. I’ve had the pleasure of chatting Black up in Austin a few times, usually assaulting him with my unabashed love of The Monster Squad and he’s always struck me as fun, whip-smart guy.
He fielded a question about a possible Demon in the Bottle storyline and he said not in this film for sure and he doesn’t think they can ever do a straight up adaptation of that arc because it isn’t very cinematic. “What are we going to do, send Tony to Betty Ford for 30 minutes?”
He did say that Tony’s world isn’t all peaches and cream, though. “To stay on top you always have to touch bottom,” Black said.
Shane also beamed over his star and jokingly said to the audience, “Don’t tell anybody, but he really is Tony Stark.” Downey feigned shock and replied, “You’re saying I’m an asshole!” Black shot back, “A rich asshole.” Which completely cracked Downey up on stage.
There were a lot of great moments during this panel. Black made it very clear that Favreau is mentoring him through this, that relationship is more than solid. Black also slagged off Spider-Man 3 saying there are a ton of things in the movie, but it’s not going to be little isolated islands of plot like that shitty movie. Iron Man 3 is Tony Stark centric (naturally).
Everybody on the panel also sang Happy Birthday to a 15 year old girl who came up to ask a question, saying she spent her birthday in line and was beyond pumped to get to talk to some of her favorite actors. It was very sweet on Downey’s part, leading 6500 people in singing happy birthday to this geek girl.
Things are looking good. Can’t wait for more. I love everybody involved with this and I’m dying to see some juicy Shane Black dialogue scenes.
Stark looks to be in over his head, maybe a little too confident in his status as a superhero (maybe boosted by him just saving the world in The Avengers?) and it looks like he’s about to get a rather large reality check. That kind of conflict could turn out to be something special. Time will tell.
Hope you guys enjoyed that write-up. Still got more before I rest! Pacific Rim is up next!