Since an Iron Man sequel was first announced, reports of a contract-less Jon Favreau keep popping up. Favs has been playing it cool, insisting that Marvel just has their hands full with Hulk. But now the director has finally voiced his concerns that the April 2010 release date might not be realistic. Favreau writes:
“It’s been five weeks since the one and only phone call my reps have gotten from Marvel. I know their hands are full with the Hulk and I’m sure they will get into it shortly, as they tell me they intend to. I ran into the Marvel guys at the Hulk premiere and everyone sounded eager to get to work on IM2.
I am concerned, however, about the announced release date of April 2010. Neither Robert nor I were consulted about this and we are both concerned about how realistic the date is in light of the fact that we have no script, story or even writers hired yet. 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 agree with Favreau 100%. The release date is completely unrealistic. Thor is scheduled to come out a couple months later and already has a script. If Favreau is speaking publicly about his concerns, then I’m thinking that something must be up.
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Director Jon Favreau has been leaving more hints that the Iron Man sequel will not follow the highly acclaimed Demon in a Bottle storyline, which involves Tony Stark battling alcoholism.
“The comic book fans might see ‘Demon in a Bottle’ as a fresh story line but I haven’t seen ‘Hancock’ yet. From what I’ve seen it seems there is a lot of imagery that seems to be shared. Him flying through billboards and things,” Favreau told Collider on the set of his new movie I Love You Man. “The idea of the hero whose biggest enemy is himself, and him fighting through his demons, you want to come at the audience with something fresh. You don’t want to feel like you are echoing something that somebody else is doing.”
I can understand the Hancock criticism, but I was pretty sure from the very beginning that Marvel would probably never allow the Demon in a Bottle storyline in a sequel to their hugely successful comic book film. It doesn’t make good business sense, even though it’s clearly the best story in the many years of Iron Man’s comic book history. But Favreau insists that “There are plenty of story lines to explore from the 40 years of history from that character.” And sure, there is Mandarin, who was set-up with the Ten Rings in the first film, but I’m not sure that villain is big enough to carry a sequel. Jon insists that “There is a lot that is very relevant about that character, in the pool of the landscape that we find ourselves in,” and I wouldn’t disagree.
Also, Favreau has said from the beginning that he would like to direct an Avengers movie. But now that Marvel has made the big announcement, he’s not sure its possible.
“I would love to. Clearly I have stated that ‘The Avengers’ would be fun. But I look at their release schedule and they have announced ‘Iron Man 2′ for 2010 and then ‘Avengers’ for 2011. I know from experience there is no way I could. I don’t know what they have in mind, but there is no way that ‘The Avengers’ could be done in a year. Either they are thinking about somebody else doing it or they have something up their sleeve that I don’t know,” said Favreau, later adding: “Hopefully we end up going for a sequel that is going to be bigger and better than the first one. That’s not always the case with sequels. Sometimes you end up trying to do just rush, and hit a release date. Hopefully this sequel will be driven by the material and driven by good ideas.”
We can only hope. But when you start making business decisions over creative decisions (No alcoholism in our highly profitable superhero film), it usually leads to second rate results. You can read the full interview with Favreau over on Collider.
As of Tuesday morning, Jon Favreau is still unsigned for a Iron Man sequel.
“They haven’t offered me anything yet,” Favreau told Howard Stern. “They’re all talking – they want to do it, they even announced a date.”
After much harassment from Stern, Favreau revealed that he made $4 million for the first film and has a NET profit deal which would give him a very small percentage of the money once the film begins to turn a profit. But Farveau says he won’t see any money of that Net profit money for years, if at all. Jon claims that while Elf cost only $32 million to film, and made over $125 million at the box office, the film technically still hasn’t made a profit yet. That’s shady Hollywood accounting for you. Favreau estimated that Iron Man was probably made for around $140 million. And while all the stars of the first film are signed to three films, Farveau admits that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to come back.
“They’re all signed for three but it doesn’t work that way. That all goes out the window when you make $100 million dollars,” said Favreau. “Because people want to have a good relationship with the people they are working with, and if they’re making that kind of money, it’s an understanding that they’re going to negotiate.”
Favreau also confirmed that if he were signed on for a sequel, he is interested in taking on the infamous Demonl in a Bottle storyline.
Marvel has announced that Iron Man 2 will hit theaters on April 30th 2010. All the stars (including Robert Downey Jr, Terrance Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow) had standard three-picture deal stipulations worked into their respective contracts, and are basically nailed down for the sequel. But what about director Jon Favreau? He didn’t even know about a sequel until Marvel announced it yesterday. And while he would love to return for a sequel, it isn’t yet a done deal.
“We’ve been speaking informally about it,” Favreau told EW. “In concept we would all love to work together again. But I found out about the announcement last night, so it’s not something that – we would definitely love to collaborate more with the sequel. There’s no formal arrangement yet, but in theory we would all love to see it happen…. There’s definitely a lot of ideas that we all have now. This type of movie is based on serialized materials, so it lends itself very easily to [many different sequel possibilities]. There’s definitely a level of enthusiasm from myself and the cast to tell more stories.”
I think most people would agree that Favreau’s participation was essential to Iron Man’s success. Heck, it’s the best reviewed comic book movie of all time, and Farveau set the perfect tone. But it sounds like there is some disagreement as to what Iron Man will do next, and how much Marvel wants Favreau involved. In past interviews, Jon has expressed interest in tackling the Demon in a Bottle storyline which involved Stark coming face to face with his own demons (alcoholism). Not quite the family friendly direction Marvel seems to be headed.
“Demon in a Bottle is one of the very strongest story lines of the of the series, and Iron Man is not a comic book character who is known for having wonderful storylines. He’s known for having great suits, great characters, but the villains kind of get thin at times, and it’s so very dated when you look at Communism and the metaphor. Politically, much of it doesn’t hold up well. And the Mandarin is incredibly challenging in that respect. So we have challenges ahead of us. Demon in a Bottle tends to be one that, from a storytelling perspective, is compelling to all of us.
But at the end of the day, Favreau praises Marvel for green-lighting a movie based on The Avengers (due in July 2011), a franchise that Favreau consciously set-up in Iron man, instead of making a less superior third Iron Man film.
“I think it would be a very smart third film in the Iron Man series. It’s very difficult to keep these franchises from running out of gas after two [movies]. The high point seems to be the second one, judging by history: If you just look at the consensus in the reviews, you see that X-Men 2 and Spider-Man 2 are sort of seen by the fans as the sort of high point of both franchises, though I don’t necessarily agree with that. But to be able to fold it into an Avengers is something you just couldn’t do in another studio, and I think what Marvel is about is stuff you can’t do at a bigger studio. They gave me tremendous creative freedom; they gave me tremendous freedom in casting, at the end of the day. Even though there was concern, they ultimately backed a decision [to hire Downey to play Tony Stark] that I don’t think a studio would’ve, and now they’re benefiting from having that nimble creative team. And that’s, honestly, the most attractive aspect of working with them again.”
Discuss: Would you watch Iron Man 2 if Jon Farveau isn’t a part of it?
If you’re not yet sick of Iron Man, then check out this MySpace video of director Jon Favreau giving a tour of the set on a Segway, revealing the cave where Tony Stark built the first Iron Man suit, his private jet and more.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Because we’re all not sick of the overload of Iron Man marketing yet (oh wait…) Yahoo has published a video of Jon Favreau giving a set visit tour of Tony Stark’s house. Watch the new clip in the video player below.
Iron Man hits theaters on May 2nd 2008.
Discuss: Are you starting to feel the overload of Iron Man marketing?
Paramount has released a bunch of new Iron Man video clips through their Inside the Suit promotion with LG Phones. The first video is a featurette called Making The Suit, which gives you a very cool behind the scenes look at the collaboration between Stan Winston, Jon Favreau, and Marvel Comics in creating all three versions of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/ironman-makingthesuit.flv 470 192]
The next five videos are short clips from the actual film. Enjoy.
Assembly: The Mark III Suit is Assembled
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/ironman-assembly.flv 470 148]
Deploy: The U.S. Airforce goes after Iron Man
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/ironman-deploy.flv 470 148]
Out of Breath: Jim Rhodes (played by Terrence Howard) talks to Tony Stark, who’s flying while talking on the cell phone out of breath.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/ironman-outofbreath.flv 470 148]
Interview: Christine Everhart from Vanity Fair Magazine (played by Leslie Bibb) tries to interview Tony Stark.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/ironman-interview.flv 470 148]
Pepper’s Gift: Tony Stark forgets Pepper Potts’ (Gwyneth Paltrow) Birthday, but she still gets a tasteful gift.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/ironman-peppersgift.flv 470 148]
You can watch higher resolution versions of these videos on InsideTheSuit.com by entering pass code LG99. Iron Man hits theaters on May 2nd 2008.
Paramount has released a new video clip from Iron Man featuring Tony Stark’s first flight in the Mark II armor. I got the see this clip and five or so more minutes of footage at WonderCon in February, but seeing the clip in full 1080p on my MacBook Pro makes me just as excited. And I love Jon Favreau’s Battlestar Galactica-inspired in flight documentary style cinematography. You get to see this towards the end of the clip. Hopefully the in-helmet shots won’t be overused as I enjoy seeing Iron Man in action.Â Check it out below and tell me what you think in the comments!
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/ironmanclip1.flv 470 200]
Watch the clip in High Definition on Apple.com.
Discuss: What did you think of the new Iron Man clip?
Rather epic new images for this summer’s Iron Man have touched down over at Yahoo that show Tony Stark facing off against the film’s main villain Iron Monger aka Obadiah Stane (played by Jeff Bridges/killer effects). Loving how the SUV above is packed with people. Click to make them all pop. I’d say about 90% of the imagery from this film so far dazzles like few comic book films before it, but there is a debate waging about how well the film will do at the box office.
Over in the comments for Peter’s interesting Video Games Vs. Movies Rant, the questionable Grand Theft Auto IV–Iron Man “showdown” is mentioned, as well as Iron Man’s status as a “b-level superhero.” All that aside, these images of Iron Monger and Iron Man launching automobiles at one another have me more stoked than the TIH trailer with The Hulk and Abomination facing off in hang time. What do you think?