RDJ TALKS ABOUT DESTINY, AND BLACK TALKS ABOUT DIRECTING
Here’s what he said to Esquire about his role as Iron Man:
I think Iron Man wound up being the first time I screen-tested since Chaplin. As far as I was concerned, it was destiny. Now, I can’t tell you how many people are sitting around with the cold, hard evidence that it wasn’t. I just wasn’t going to let lack of perseverance, lack of preparation, or lack of prayer get in the way. I just went crazy — in a good way. And suddenly it occurred to me, Oh my God, Stan Lee might not know this, but everything he created has all been leading to this moment. It’s me. Then I thought, Hold on a second, dude, is this just some sort of neurotic personality meltdown happening here? And then I thought, Nah, that feels different.
Here’s what director Shane Black told Premiere about Iron Man 3 and being approached to direct:
I have the feeling that the story that we have developed for Iron Man 3 actually concluded a trilogy, while [also] leaving the door open to a fourth. I had a lot of discussions on this subject: “Is that it is the last Iron Man for Robert? ” . Something tells me that it will not be the case, and will be seen in a fourth, or fifth … But I can be a little excited.
When Marvel hires a director, the script of the film is generally already written. Except that they had someone who is a writer at the base … This was a problem at first, because they had already hired Drew Pierce to write Iron Man 3. I was like, “But I do not need this Drew Pierce, what’s the story?” (laughs) I finally agreed to meet him, and it was immediately heard. Today I am not only a fan of Drew Pierce, but I’ve also become a friend. He came [to my] home everyday, we asked our leaf and our pencil and brainstorming from morning to night. The script was really written for four hands. Excellent collaboration because they had already hired Drew Pierce to write.
FINAL POSTER AND ROBERT ON HEADS-UP DISPLAY
Yahoo! Movies also recently talked to Downey Jr. about the movie where he talked about the challenges of working in the Heads-Up Display (HUD), which is used for scenes when you can’t see Downey’s face behind his mask. Apparently it’s the toughest part of playing Iron Man for him. Even though he loves the job he says, “you wouldn’t know from my disposition every time I have to go in and work, because it’s like irritation therapy.”
He then goes into more details about the process of shooting those scenes involving the HUD. Those scenes are actually shot after he’s finished filming the action scenes, so he’s got to act really intense when he’s recording them alone in a studio, like he’s really in the heat of battle. “When you do the HUD work, usually it’s kind of the last thing in the schedule. And you’re going back and essentially leaving the movie again in close-up, tired.” He went on to tease a possible sequence from Iron Man 3 involving Pepper Potts saying,
I don’t like, [as himself] ‘All right. What’s happening now?’ [as the director] ‘Oh, the most important woman in your life is falling off crane into a fiery pit. Okay? So, let’s just rehearse once and then we’ll do it about 10 or 12 times until the camera is right and you’ve given enough.’ They’re just screaming direction at you… I like the scenes. I like the action.
Downey Jr. then goes on to talk about wearing the actual Iron Man armor on set, saying that the new costume is lighter and more flexible. But he also says, “There is no comfortable version of it, so it’s kind of like, ‘Hey, don’t you think these bamboo chutes are actually a little less rough on the cuticle until they get down to the nerve?'”
THE MANDARIN RINGS WILL NOT HAVE SPECIAL POWERS
According to Shane Black, although the Mandarin is wearing rings, they will not have any powers like they do in the comics.
“I hate to break it to you, but he’s not from space in this. The rings are rings. They’re showmanship, they’re accoutrements. They’re paraphernalia of warfare that he sort of drapes himself with. He studies Sun Tzu, he studies insurgency tactics. He surrounds himself with dragons and symbols of warlords and Chinese iconography because he wants to represent this sort of prototypical terrorist who—we use as the example Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now—may have been an American, may have been a British National, someone who is out there doing field work, supervising atrocities for the intelligence community who went nuts in the field and became this sort of devotee of war tactics, and now has surrounded himself with a group of people over which he presides, and the only thing that unifies them is this hatred of America.”
“One of the joys for me has always been seeing how you take a villain from the comic book and realize him in a slightly more realistic way for the movie—render him for movies in a way that’s recognizable, but different. That’s fun. Like the Joker in The Dark Knight is not the Joker from the comic book, but there’s just enough of him that you recognize him and go, ‘Wow, what a creative way of interpreting the Joker for motion pictures.’ So that was our task here, too. The fans love this character of the Mandarin and we just said, ‘Well, what we don’t want is this potentially racist, stereotype of a Fu Manchu villain just waving his fist.’”
ROBERT TALKS ABOUT HIS IRON MAN CONTRACT
He may feel like maybe 4 films is 1 too many, but maybe not:
“I was annoyed for a while about, you know, you have a contract where in success, very little changes for you and then they make all this dough. But then I think about it and it’s like, ‘What was I really doing before I got Iron Man?’ Then I go, ‘Don’t lead with that, Robert! That’s not where we are! You’re a big prime mover!’ And I go, ‘Yeah, yeah, I get that. I could talk about that for two hours. But let’s look at what really happened here.’
So I’m a big believer in: I don’t like leverage, I don’t like negotiating. I like being really straight and saying, ‘Okay, let’s really look at this.’ I’m not going to pretend I’m over it and whatever. I mean, obviously it’s better to have a contract run out then it is to have one go on indefinitely—I guess that’s why contracts have limits on them. Let me just say me and the agents and the lawyers are having a bit of a ball right now. ‘You pinch me! No, you pinch me!’”
Of course he was paid handsomely, but is that what this is about?
“I don’t like this whole, and I think it’s a particularly Western thing—well, not any more because we’re kind of being out-paced by the East, business-wise—but that thing of, ‘We got ‘em—now let’s screw ‘em to the floor!’ It’s like, is that what gets you off? Making people feel bad? ‘Ugh, they really put the screws to us, brother?’ Weren’t we excited about the future a couple years ago and now we’re just laying the boots to each other? It’s just so disgusting. I’m an artist!”
Then again, who else would play Tony Stark just as perfectly?
“There’s, to me, that kind of wish list or grab bag of things. ‘We haven’t been able to get this in the movie yet—maybe this time we’ll get to—!’ or whatever. I put so much onus on Iron Man 3. Iron Man 3 was supposed to answer all the questions for the audience, cure all of my uncomfortable moments in the past with playing this character, and get in every idea that fell by the wayside in the last three movies. And then we shot the movie and I still feel there’s a couple other things we’ve gotta do.”
KEVIN FEIGE ON POST-CREDITS SCENE
Kevin was asked basically if there was a post-credits scene in Iron Man 3:
One of the signatures of the Marvel films starting with Iron Man, and I understand it was part function but also it became something that was fun for you guys to play with, was the notion of the after credits teaser, using that as a sting and using that to kind of point direction to the next thing. I understand on Phase One there’s almost a necessity.
You guys were using that as a building thing.
Do you feel obligated now in Phase 2 as you move towards Phase 3, do you have to do that on every film? Is that something that has become part of how you think about these movies or is it case by case if we have something that’s appropriate you’ll use?
Feige: It’s sort of case by case. I don’t want to be in that theater for the first time when even 2 people stay behind and nothing happens, frankly. I like that we’ve trained at least some people to stay behind and get a little reward, but you’re absolutely right it served a different purpose. It was a part of the, “Hey surprise, these are connected. We’re building towards something here.” Shawarma, which everyone knows famously was an idea we came up with much, much later and shot after the premiere just because we thought it would be fun. There was not going to be a tag until that point. So it’s a little faster and looser now because people know, and frankly the whole purpose of Iron Man 3 is to say that these characters can exist just as successfully on their own again. But, as I said I don’t want to be there when nothing happens after people sit through 8 minutes of credits.
And here’s what he had to say about why Iron Man doesn’t ask for help from his fellow Avenger buddies:
Feige: It’s a good question, and it’s sort of half and half. I am betting that like the comics you don’t have to keep – if you are reading a standalone “Iron Man” comic, they don’t spend every page explaining where every other Marvel hero is. The audience kind of accepts that there are times when they’re on their own and there are times when they are together. I’m betting that movie audiences will feel the same way. That being said, there is a little bit of lip service here and there to that. There is also just the very nature of Tony wants to, once he barely survives that house attack you saw today, and even you saw it in the message he left for Pepper, he’s basically saying “I’m going off the grid to try to figure something out.”
STILL IMAGES FROM IRON MAN 3 TRAILER
You can get over 60 hi-res images at Collider.
SHANE BLACK ON THE MANDARIN’S BACK STORY
“[Mandarin] has an intelligence background. His nationality is not even clear because he’s shrouded in secrecy, but at some point, this field officer went nuts and became a student of warfare and ancient Chinese symbology and drew from South American insurgency tactics and has created around himself this little world of warfare,” Black said. “The only unifying principal of which seems to be a hatred of the United States, so he represents every terrorist, in a way. But specifically, he’s crafted himself in the manner of the Mandarin, of a warlord.”
The Mandarin is not Chinese in this origin, but he draws power from Chinese philosophy.
“I think that’s great, because you get to do the comic book, but you don’t have to deal with the specifics of Fu Manchu stereotyping,” Black said. “We’re not saying he’s Chinese. We’re saying that he in fact draws a cloak around him of Chinese symbols and dragons because it represents his obsession with Sun Tzu and various ancient arts of warfare that he has studied.”
A ROBERT DOWNEY JR. INTERVIEW
/Film: We’ve seen Tony Stark go through a lot in The Avengers. How did the events of that movie wind up helping him change for this one?
Well, we had to do something, you know? I thought, “Isn’t it odd that he had this experience? And why was he suddenly just in New York for one summer?” We know why he was there. Stark Tower. But what he was doing there was really building an architecture for a third act set piece. I wanted him back home and I thought, “What if that happened to any of us? Wouldn’t we be a little tripped out? You’d be watching your back.” Then I thought about this 21st century reality and kind of oddball zeitgeist of America and terrorism and all he weirdo stuff that this country seems to generate and co-create. So I thought should be a little freaked out.
We always had this idea where we wanted Tony and Rhodey to be at this place two miles away from where his house is called Neptune’s Net on the PCH. I really wanted to see them at Neptune’s Net with their suits just parked outside like motorcycles. They’re inside and just two guys. I didn’t even know if we could get Neptune’s Net. There’s licensing. It’s like saying, “Let’s go shoot at Spago!” I was like, “Is it? Did you ask them?” I wanted that kind of sensibility and so did Shane. We both wanted them just sitting on a couch with a martini. I go, “A martini? Hold on now!” “Alright! Just sitting on the couch. Pepper comes home. There he is.” Shane had all these iconic images and I had my own. The studio and Kevin [Feige] had an equal amount of theirs. It turned into this really surprising and entertaining and really deep and cool movie.
/Film: At a certain point during the production of this movie, Joss Whedon was hired as a sort of universal overseer. What did he bring to Iron Man 3?
I think, honestly, what he brought was momentum. It’s a twofold thing. When you have something that’s just an unprecedented smash, you can sort of relax for a second, but you’re also following that. He brought us a lot. He brought us a lot of comfort and a fair amount of performance anxiety (laughs).
Check out the complete interview with loads of questions at SlashFilm.
A SWEDED VERSION OF IRON MAN 3 TRAILER
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS* LEGO SHOWS SOMETHING WEIRD ON BOX
Click continue reading link for the spoilers.
INCREDIBLY SPOILER-FILLED DESCRIPTION OF 15 MINUTES OF IRON-MAN3
You can watch the spoiler-free video in the link below, or you can read the spoiler-filled description right below:
Apparently, near the beginning of the film something bad happens to Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) because of the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Tony Stark visits him in the hospital and, on the way out, declares to the press that the Mandarin is nothing, here’s my address come get me. That’s where the clip started.
Pepper is incredibly nervous about the Mandarin retaliating and is trying to get Tony out of the house when we see the helicopters approaching. They fire and, in slow motion the house begins blowing up. Tony reacts quickly, presses a button on his prototype suit, and it quickly shoots around Pepper protecting her from the blast. Pepper, in the suit (yes, you read that right), takes a blow but gets up, shields Tony and escapes as the attack continues. Stark decides to blow up all the suits as a precaution. (He does, briefly, mention something about a Hall of Armor being secure). The suit then flies back around Tony as the house collapses around him, throwing him into the water. In the destruction, the suit has a malfunction and goes on auto pilot, shooting Tony out into the sky.
We cut to Tennessee, where Tony crashes in the snow. Why Tennessee? We don’t know, just that this was its last know flight path. After the attack though, the suit is destroyed and Tony drags it to a nearby shack. Once in the shack, a young boy shows up. They have a conversation, complete with Tony making fun of the kid (mostly because he likes the Iron Patriot better) and Tony hands him some kind of device in exchange for a sandwich.
We then saw one more scene. A 60 second clip, not in context. You hear Guy Pierce’s character talking about theatrically as we see a bunch of people setting up for some kind of broadcast. A car pulls up and the Mandarin gets out. He walks through the chaos, sits down and says “Well then, what are we waiting for?”
For more on these scenes, check back later this week for interviews with director Shane Black, producer Kevin Feige and star Robert Downey Jr.
You can also read about more details at ScreenRant.