Since I was so critical – or quiet, rather – about Marvel all weekend, leave it up to the company’s Iron Man 3 panel to turn that son ‘a bitch right upside down.
Lots of dates were announced and a shit-ton of surprises. Yeah, no Hulk movie announcement. No Guardians of the Galaxy footage. And both guys named Chris from The Avengers were out of town. But, with Tony Stark aiming for the trifecta May 3rd, 2013, the electric Robert Downey Jr. was indeed all the roaring crowd of 6500 needed. Even one fan immediately questioned her own question as to how the Stark, the character, has influenced Downey, the man.
It was quite obvious after witnessing Downey’s dashing, high-security entrance with repulsor glove in hand. Although the actor blushed at the obviously scary similarities, he’d later admit about not being able to “afford all of the things I’m wishing people to do.”
As if showcasing the most adorned superhero actor working today wasn’t enough, the Marvel panel would also pack not one director but two (Shane Black, Jon Favreau); the fan-favorite War Machine (Don Cheadle); and, quite simply, a god-damn-good money-making.. machine (producer Kevin Feige).
Before we get to all the fun quipping about Iron Man’s apparent swan-song, however, the crowd got hooked in total astonishment with the surprise appearance of Edgar Wright, the director ready to tackle the original star of Tales to Astonish:
Hank Pym’s first film appearance — assuming he’s the choice over Eric O’Grady — will mesh both Stan Lee’s silver age take and the contemporary Robert Kirkman Ireedemable Ant-Man. A short teaser displayed a brilliantly funny interr-tonsil-ogation of two agents, some hefty armor gadgets, and zip-lining action that should have no problem separating the microscopic mansect from the rest.“Anyone else want to see the teaser again?,” Wright ragged. “Fuck no.” The Scott Pilgrim vs. The World director then secreted himself back to solitary S.H.I.E.L.D. confinement for another day.
The cinematic House of Ideas would then go on to deliver a storm of release dates and official titles for Thor: The Dark World (11/8/13), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4/4/14), and, of course, our pal Joe Ross’ favorite forthcoming Marvel venture, Guardians of the Galaxy (8/1/14).
Prime highlights from Stark Industries:
• Iron Man 3’s next villain will be played by none other than “Sir” Ben Kingsley. Director Shane Black proclaimed that the former Gandhi “is (indeed) The Mandarin.”
• When asked about Pepper Potts sporting the future “Rescue” armor, Downey gagged, “Oh, you mean like rescuing me from a bar? I’ll get (the producers) a copy.” The whole panel shared enthusiasm in wanting to see Gweneth Paltrow kick a little ass.
• Following Feige’s comments on how similar the Marvel film saga’s process is to its sister comic material (from big comics event to a more Stark-centric story), Downey claimed, “I think everything I do is going to be one of the 3 biggest movies of all time.” Expect Don Cheadle’s “Rhodey” to also play a bigger part in their relationship this time around, as well. “With the climactic scene — which we’re getting to right now — I’ve got a lot more to do with Robert.” Could we also see a War Machine film on the horizon?• Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang proved to be Downey’s “screen-test before the screen-test” in getting the studio to choose its Stark. And now that Happy Hogan himself is back, the new director has the rare opportunity of speaking with the franchise’s former showrunner throughout the shooting process.
“Happy’s off the chain – imagine Swingers at 40,” quipped Downey. With the primarily role of acting, Favreau compared it to being a “proud grandfather who no longer has to change diapers but gets to play with the baby.”
• No more “Demon in a Bottle.” Stark will play on the straight and narrow throughout much of Iron Man 3, according to Black. “(Downey) doesn’t fall off the wagon; but due to budget cuts, he falls off an actual wagon.” The actor concludes that he likes the idea but there’s simply not enough plot. “After a sidebar, it would be weird to see (Tony) held up in Betty Ford for 30 days.”
• Guy Pierce will play Iron Patriot, which means that someone other than Norman Osbourne (and Willem Defoe, of course) will be sporting the red, white, and blue shell.
• Since Stark was last seen leaving The Avengers in a car with Bruce Banner, does this mean his pal Ruffahulk will join him in smashing some paparazii? Surprise, surprise, says Feige. “While (Banner) jumped in the car with Tony, we dropped him off at Port Authority, so he’ll be there. Someday.”
Disclaimer: No, we can count. But the excitement of the Marvel panel at Hall H progressed us to jump a day in the updates. More from Day 2 (Breaking Bad!) and Day 3 (Tournament of Nerds! The Hobbit!) coming soon! Follow @GodHatesGeeks @EmmaFyffe