While this year’s San Diego Comic Con was lighter on movies and heavier on TV then it has been in recent years, the Iron Man movie franchise still managed to make the rounds on Saturday. After an obligatory appearance at the Entertainment Weekly Suite at the Hard Rock Cafe and a surprise appearance in Hall H, Marvel Studios’ President of Production, Kevin Feige, Iron Man 3 Director Shane Black and the film’s stars, Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle sat down for a press conference to talk about the upcoming film, which The Beat was lucky enough to attend.
The crowded conference questioning opened up with the rumors circulating about leaked footage of the film that features what looks like an Iron Patriot suit, causing Mr. Feige to remark that,”what’s interesting (about the internet) is how much of what the fans are guessing is so wrong.” He did, however, indicate that, Mr. Cheadle may don the suit at some point during the film.
From there most of the discussion centered around Iron Man 3’s storyline and what kind of direction Tony Stark’s character will take in the film. Mr. Feige emphasized that Marvel is “confident of the infrastructure they’re able to provide storytellers.” While Mr. Black remarked that Jon Favreau, director of the first installment of the franchise, has been available for all kinds of tips and advice on how to make an awesome Iron Man movie, thereby freeing him up to really focus on the character and story. “This is a very Tony Stark-centric film,” said Mr. Black, “Iron Man Three by design is a very serious character study.”
All the chitter chatter about character and story prompted questions about exactly what sides of Tony Stark the audience will be privvy to this go-around, with Mr. Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr., commenting that Iron Man 3 has the same kind of magic The Avengers had of the “right director, the right story and the right time” with Mr. Black at the helm.
In reference to the darker, drunker sides of Mr. Stark, Downey went on to say that, “there’s a way to enjoy all that kind of a shadowy stuff” without making him totally wasted. In fact, Mr. Feige took time to confirm that, “Tony will not fall off the wagon” to which Downey replied, “you haven’t seen my re-writes” then made a quip about how we’ll see Mr. Stark heading off to The Betty Ford Center in rehab appropriate Iron Man suit.
Feige went on to say that while the story may build on future films in the Marvel franchise, “Iron Man 3 is (the same) self-contained story that’s been done since Iron Man 1,” to which Mr. Black responded that, “if you’re lucky enough to do a three, you have to find a way that the story that’s emerging is still ongoing but that by the time you finish (what’s emerged) is the culmination of a trilogy.”
While this cynical hardhearted reporter has, upon reflection, certainly considered that it may very well have been staged, the absolute best, most heart-ticklin’ moment of the conference was definitely when Mr. Downey singled out a kid outfitted with (what one would hope was) fake Tony Stark goatee facial hair to ask him if he had a question. The kid, in explicable attendance at the press conference (perhaps the facial hair and a stolen press ID managed to get him in the room??), asked Downey, “how does it feel to be a hero in all your movies?”
At that point the press corps erupted in a collective AWWWWWWWWWW!!!! And even this black-hearted biotch has to admit that Downey’s answer seemed neither polished or staged: “I think I speak for any of us who live in this (superhero) world. There’s something about where you just go, wow, this is just a great opportunity. I take it as seriously as Shakespere.”
Again, even if it was the special Hollywood lighting, smoke and mirrors at the event: AW!
Downey does seem like a genuinely good dude who’s really claimed personal ownership of the role of Tony Stark and his alter ego Iron Man. And that’s a sentiment that fans at Comic Con certainly seemed to be truly psyched about.