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..


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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.

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?


UPDATE 06/11/08: Let’s just say that if you want Fav aboard for Iron Man 2, umm, it’s a good time to let Marvel know.

And everything was going so well! Today, Peter reported on director Jon Favreau‘s moderately disconcerting statement to fans regarding Marvel Studios‘ proposed 2010 release date for Iron Man 2. In summary: Sounds like a rush-job, there’s no script, and like a shady GF/BF in the summer Marvel hasn’t called him in weeks! We haven’t speculated on the reasons for why Fav is not yet signed for a sequel, but after consulting with inside sources IESB just called out the studio for being cheap (and crazy).

“So bottom line, Jon Favreau has not been locked in to direct Iron Man 2 for the simple reason that Marvel is being cheap – this is 100% accurate folks, no bullshit.”

Bold statement. Their latest source (who is said to work for Marvel) says that Marvel Studios Chairman, David Maisel, believes that a sequel to the smash hit (and top 3 comic book movie all time imo) will be a huge success with another director, no big deal. So…is Fav asking for the world (and all its sushi and eight Jacuzzi limos)? Apparently not, he just wants a reasonable “bump” in his paycheck, the “regular standard director’s fee.”It’s well known that Fav, coming off the disappointment of the big budget Zathura, didn’t receive major moolah for the first film, so a bump would be common sense and totally warranted in most eyes.

It’s too early and the info is too vague to send the Net’s dark fanboy cloud to hover over Marvel, but Fav continues to go public, thereby sending out code to the studio, with his feelings about the situation. There’s already pro-Fav thunder in the Slashfilm comments. Marvel announced the release date for the sequel without consulting him, and they also revealed their intricate plans for The Avengers, a flick that Fav had expressed interest in directing, without his knowledge as well. One of the many enjoyable aspects of Iron Man was that it felt effortless, and the tonal balance—light but badass to speak plebe—was perfect. When one thinks Marvel Studios, one instantly thinks quality/summer fun because of Fav’s vision and labor. Why go against the grain? More as it develops…

Discuss: Who do you side with (we know, it’s rhetorical)?

Jon Favreau

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.

source: myspace

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Jon Favreau on the Future of Iron Man

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.

Jon Favreau

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.

Jon Favreau

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 Demon in a bottlenext, 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?