People Tell Me I Look Like Han Solo.
Friday, September 12, 2008
  Iron Man 2 talk
The Internet is afire today with talk of Iron Man 2. Director Jon Favreau’s been doing press to promote the upcoming DVD of Iron Man (out on Sept. 30). Favs (I’ve never met him, but I’ve watched most or all of his audio commentaries, so I feel comfortable calling him that) says he was impressed with Christopher Nolan’s use of IMAX technology in The Dark KnightDowney and Favreau on the set, and is open to similarly doing sequences in IMAX and even in IMAX 3D.

While he’s clearly just speculating here (though I’m sure “Iron Man 2 in IMAX and 3D?” headlines are really helping a lot of movie-news sites generate traffic), I think Favreau should tread carefully when it comes to using 3D for just some sequences in the film. I’ve been quite impressed with the IMAX 3D stuff I’ve seen – Beowulf was incredible in 3D and I saw a Tom Hanks-narrated documentary about the moon landing that was pretty cool – but those were films made specifically for IMAX 3D presentation. I also saw a partially-in-3D version of Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, and it was an underwhelming moviegoing experience. How it worked was, certain sequences in the movie were enhanced (seemingly at the last minute; the whole thing reeked of having been hurriedly thrown together a few weeks before release to generate some more buzz) for 3D, and when they started, a little 3D-glasses icon appeared at the bottom of the screen telling the audience to put on their glasses – which we were otherwise just holding in our laps the entire time, though I did notice a few people just left them on for most or all of the movie. The problem with this (well, one of them) is that it completely took me out of the movie. I spent the whole time glancing at the bottom of the screen every few minutes to see if I was supposed to put my glasses on. (“Now? No? Okay. Wait…now? Hang on a sec, why did I need to see him lift a big rock in 3D? This movie f***ing sucks,” etc.)

Not helping matters was the fact that the actual 3D stuff looked pretty weak, presumably because of the last-second nature of it. I’d been following the movie’s decade-long trip to the screen just like most comic geeks (though I've never really been much of a Superman fan), and not until a few weeks before it’s theatrical release did I hear anything about the filmmakers planning to do anything with IMAX technology, which, as I understand it, is quite complicated to use and very different from tradition'How much did I rule in Iron Man?' asks Jeff Bridges. 'This much.'al film equipment. One of the main reasons the IMAX stuff worked in The Dark Knight is that Nolan decided before he started filming that he would use the actual IMAX cameras to shoot those scenes, and set them up accordingly; when regular film stock is just blown up on the giant IMAX screen, it tends to look kind of blurry, but the tradeoff is that you get to watch something like 300 on a movie screen the approximate size of a city block.

Now that I’ve gotten that digression about IMAX and Superman Returns out of my system: Iron Man 2. Favreau also apparently met recently with star Robert Downey Jr. and actor/screenwriter Justin Theroux, who co-wrote Downey’s other big hit this summer, Tropic Thunder (check out my review here), to discuss ideas for the next two movies in the planned Iron Man trilogy. And Favreau says he’s interested in making his Iron Man films work as one big, cohesive story, likening it to the Lord of the Rings movies or even a season of a serialized TV show. Between this and the talk that Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk will eventually lead to an Avengers film (which would also include classic Marvel heroes Captain America and Thor), I really couldn’t be more excited for the future of not only the Iron Man franchise, but this larger “Marvel Universe” cinematic world they seem to be building.

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