It sounds like Jon Favreau has thought a lot about why some superhero movies just didn’t work while others are super successful. Here is a quote from the Iron Man director from a recent LATimes chat:

“Either the director was unfamiliar [with the] source material or the director chose to depart from it for personal reasons. Another reason is that the studios that had the rights to a particular franchise would never think twice about compromising the source material if thought it would enhance the commercial appeal.”

But is Marvel Studios trying to “enhance the commercial appeal” by rushing the project into production for a 2010 release?

“The date is daunting. We are making much faster progress than the first time around and have much less to design and fewer casting issues. I am confident that 2010 is achievable if we continue working together as we have for the past few months. It has to be great, though. It has to be great.”

Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn will reteam in Couples Retreat, based on an idea by Vaughn, scripted by Favs and directed by Peter Billingsley. This will be Billingsley’s directorial debut. He began has career as a child actor, best known as Ralphie in A Christmas Story, and later the producer of Favreau’s films: Made, Zathura, The Break-Up, Iron Man and Four Christmases. Jason Bateman and Faizon Love are also attached to the film which will start production in late October in Bora Bora and Los Angeles.

The movie will tell the story of four couples who go on a couples retreat to a tropical island. Variety lists the logline as follows: “While one couple is there to work on their marriage, the others are there to play but soon discover that participation in the resort’s couples therapy is not optional.”

Yeah, it doesn’t exactly sound like a follow-up to Swingers/Made.  I’m hoping the duo will eventually film one last movie to complete that series. Which begs the question, is it really a series if the films are not connected?

Four Christmases Movie Trailer

Four Christmases looks like your standard holiday romantic comedy, but I’m still holding out hope considering the film reteams Vince Vaughn with Swingers/Made co-star Jon Favreau, and is directed by Seth Gordon, the filmmaker behind King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters. It was also filmed in my city, San Francisco, which seems to be a reoccurring shooting location for Reese Witherspoon. I wonder if it is in her contract.

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When upscale, happily unmarried San Francisco couple Kate and Brad find themselves socked in by fog on Christmas morning, their exotic vacation plans morph into the family-centric holiday they had, until now, gleefully avoided. Out of obligation—and unable to escape—they trudge to not one, not two, but four relative-choked festivities, increasingly mortified to find childhood fears raised, adolescent wounds reopened…and their very future together uncertain. As Brad counts the hours to when he can get away from their parents, step-parents, siblings and an assortment of nieces and nephews, Kate is starting to hear the ticking of a different kind of clock. And by the end of the day, she is beginning to wonder if their crazy families’ choices are not so crazy after all.

Watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo Movies. Four Christmases hits theaters on November 26th 2008.

Like many of you, when I first saw The Dark Knight on the IMAX screen, I knew then that Hollywood had no choice but to follow Nolan’s lead, at least on some of the big tentpole films. How could they not? The footage was just that incredible. Our friends at Collider were at an Iron Man DVD press conference today when director Jon Favreau announced that he would love to shoot part of Iron Man 2 with IMAX cameras. Not only that but the director also said he would love to shoot the sequel in 3D. Will it happen? It will all come down to costs.

Seeing Iron Man flying around the screen in 3D could be very cool, but also limiting. Filming in 3D means that you have to do shorter cuts so that the audience won’t suffer from eye fatigue. However, I think Marvel would be stupid not to shoot some sequences in IMAX. The result for The Dark Knight is undeniable. Many fans went to the theaters twice just to see it again on the huge screen. An extra $60 million from the IMAX box office is certainly enough to at least consider the idea.

Discuss: Do you think they should shoot Iron Man 2 sequences using IMAX cameras? What about 3D?

Jon Farveau Already Working on Iron Man 2

Jon Favreau told the Los Angeles Times that, while there has not been any formal announcement, he has already begun developing an Iron Man sequel.

“We’re working on it now, which hasn’t been officially announced,” he said. “It will be released in 2010.”

Here is a recap of what we already know:

  • Tropic Thunder screenwriter Justin Theroux has been hired to write the script
  • Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard are expected to reprise their roles.
  • Marvel is hoping to have the film in theaters on April 30th 2010.

Iron Man Deleted Scene Fills Plot Hole

Iron Man will be released on DVD/Blu-ray next month, and one of the deleted scenes has been released via Access Hollywood. The three-and-a-half minute sequence shows what happens when Tony Stark wants to throw a last minute party at his house in Dubai. This sequence gives an answer to a plot hole some had, because Stark can’t fly from California to the Middle East in the suit, as it would be technologically impossible. There is also a cameo from Ghostface Killah. For those who don’t know, the members of Wu Tang are supposedly big comic book fans, and one of Ghostface Killah’s aliases is “Iron Man” and sometimes “Tony Stark”. The scene also provides Stark with an alibi for his work in the Middle East incident. Essentially, this is the yacht scene from The Dark Knight, but not done as well. But at the end of the day, like most deleted scenes, you can easily see why it was cut.

Justin Theroux to Write Iron Man 2?

Tropic Thunder screenwriter Justin Theroux is currently negotiating with Marvel Studios to pen the screenplay for Iron Man 2. The Hollywood Reporter also confirms that Jon Favreau is also in final negotiations to return for the sequel. Nikki Finke reported that it was pretty much a done deal last week. I have yet to see Tropic Thunder, but I’ve have heard it’s hilarious. But is actor turned screenwriter Theroux the right guy to tackle this material? It’ worth noting that the first film was co-penned by the guys who wrote the big screen adaptation of Children of Men..

Jon Favreau Returns for Iron Man 2

Jon Favreau

Marvel has finally reached a deal with Jon Favreau to return for Iron Man 2. Nikki Finke reports that the deal was made after the studio relented and put out a “definitely” richer offer to Favreau. For the last two months speculation ran wild as to if Marvel Studios would bring Favreau back for the sequel. Inside sources said that Favreau wanted a modest raise, but the comic book turned movie production company’s initial offer wasn’t much more than what the filmmaker earned for the first film.

The second Iron Man film is scheduled for an April 2010 release. But with no screenplay in development, even Favreau has expressed concern over an unrealistic timeline. Favreau wrote back in June:

“This genre of movie is best when it is done thoughtfully and with plenty of preparation. It might be better to follow the BB/DK, X/X2 three year release pattern than to scramble for a date. It is difficult because there are no Marvel 09 releases and they need product, but I also think we owe it to the fans to have a great version of IM2 and, at this point, we would have less time to make it than the first one.”

I’m very happy that Favreau is back, but will Marvel give the filmmaker enough time to develop a worthy follow-up? The last thing anyone wants is another Spider-Man 3.

The passing of Stan Winston hit everyone off guard yesterday, including the many people who have worked with the legend over the years.

McG has posted a statement on the Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins website, declaring his intention to dedicate the fourth Terminator film to the memory of Stan. Here is an excerpt: “Stan was a good guy who was in it for all the right reasons. He loved what he did. Stan confided in me once, that he created imaginary monsters as a child to keep him company. He said he felt like the only kid in the world who did this. Little did he know his childhood friends would come to be the heroes of millions. You are not alone Stan, the fruit of your imagination will be with us forever.”

Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright blogged: “A real genius. And a sad loss.”

Meanwhile, AICN has done an awesome job of gathering statements from some of the filmmakers who have worked with him over the years. Here are some highlights.

James Cameron: “We’ve lost a great artist, a man who made a contribution to the cinema of the fantastic that will resound for a long long time. I don’t need to list the indelible characters he and his team of artists brought to the screen. Readers of your site know them. We all know Stan’s work, the genius of his designs. But not even the fans necessarily know how great he was as a man. I mean a real man — a man who knows that even though your artistic passion can rule your life, you still make time for your family and your friends. He was a good father, and he raised two great kids. His wife of 37 years, Karen, was with him in the beginning, helping him make plaster molds in their garage for low budget gigs on TV movies, and she was with him at the end.”

Jon Favreau: “He was a giant. I was blessed to have known him. I worked with him on both Zathura and Iron Man. He was experienced and helped guide me while never losing his childlike enthusiasm. He was the king of integrating practical effects with CGI, never losing his relevance in an ever changing industry. I am proud to have worked with him and we were looking forward to future collaborations. I knew that he was struggling, but I had no idea that he would be gone so soon. Hollywood has lost a shining star.”

Frank Darabont: “One of the blessings of being in movies is when you meet icons whose work you deeply admire and they turn out to be fantastic people. They’re the ones you’re honored to encounter along the way, the people who are kind and gracious and inspiring in addition to being superbly talented. They exhibit genuine humanity and touch your heart in various ways, and you foolishly figure they’ll always be around to get to know better as the years go on. But then they are taken far too soon, and you’re left with the deep and lasting regret of not having gotten to know them nearly as well as you’d wanted or expected to. I’ve met and lost a number of extraordinary people who fall into this category, among them Roddy McDowell, John Frankenheimer, Sidney Pollack, Dave Stevens, and John Alvin. Stan Winston now sadly joins my list.”

Read the full letters, including more from Joe Dante, Rick Baker, Monster Squad director Fred Dekker and others on AICN.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Update: Nikki Finke reports that Marvel has offered Fav a new deal to direct Iron Man 2, with a requisite “insider” telling her, “What, do people think Marvel is stupid?” Well insider, I guess it’s good that Fav didn’t have to utilize Twitter, Plurk and Facebook to get a new deal, if true.

The NY Licensing Show teaser poster for the RoboCop remake received a huge response on Slashfilm, and today brings logos marking Marvel’s ambitious future like geek tarot cards via MTV.

One has to wonder what is running through Jon Favreau’s mind when a logo and bold release date position Iron Man 2 as first in line, while Marvel continues to leave him hanging blankly on MySpace.

As for the other films? While the logo for 2010’s Thor is from the comics, it’s rather cheesy in my opinion, conjuring 1988’s Gor and/or a wrestler who ties vibrant streamers around his arms. A notch below on the meh meter is the logo for The First Avenger: Captain America, which is a mouthful no matter what and is sans patriotic stripes. And then there’s the logo for the studio’s ultra-burrito, The Avengers, which also remains faithful to the comics and my personal fave of the ones here, alongside Iron Man 1 & 2. Unsurprisingly, the company’s Ant-Man and Runaways are absent here, as is Lionsgate’s Punisher: War Zone, which opens this fall and continues to have underdog status on the Nets, and next summer’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine from Fox.

Anyone have a cell phone grab of a DC Comics rep studying this at the expo?

Discuss: What do you think of the logos? With one massive hit under their belts, will all of these films pan out for Marvel? With the possibility of a creative controversy already brewing, what do you think the future holds?