Comic-Con 2012: 'Iron Man 3'/Marvel Studios preview
The Iron Man films have notoriously had great showings at the Comic-Cons of the past, and let me tell you, this year was no different. They showed off some new footage, talked about the future of the character, and Robert Downey Jr. (who works a room of six thousand people better than anyone I have ever seen) had the best entrance ever. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
First, Marvel announced the entire line-up of it’s ‘Phase Two’ films. We have Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Guardians is the biggest departure yet for Marvel. It's about a team of Space Warriors that includes a tree man and a talking raccoon with a giant gun. You may be skeptical, but I assure you, it’s going to be awesome. The subtitle for the Captain America sequel got a big cheer, as it refers to a fan-favorite character from the comic books.
Edgar Wright showed up to talk a bit about Ant-Man, and to show off the test footage he shot a few weeks ago. Despite being unfinished, it looked great, with Ant-Man using his size-changing powers in wildly creative ways to take down a couple of goons. I was already convinced that Edgar Wright was the right man for the job, but now I have absolutely no doubts. Both Ant-Man and Guardians are going to be huge breaths of fresh air in the Marvel movie universe.
And then it was time for Iron Man 3. Before Kevin Fiege, head of Marvel Studios, even had time to announce any of the panelists, Luther Vandross started playing very loudly, and RDJ danced his way into the room from the very back of the six-thousand person hall, wearing a red and gold suit, sunglasses, and one Iron Man gauntlet, soaking up the adoration of his fans as he grooved his way up to the front of the crowd. It was awesome, and about as Tony Stark-esque as an entrance can be.
He was joined by Don Cheadle (War Machine), director Shane Black ,and former director/current costar Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan). They had a lot of things to say about keeping the franchise fresh, and about what it was like having Favreau on set in such a different capacity this time around, but the general impression was that they were having a ton of fun shooting this one. They are about halfway through, and to prove it, they had some footage, which they showed twice.
Opening with an extended sequence of Stark putting on his new armor (which looked much cooler in motion than it did on display at the Marvel booth), we got glimpses of War Machine’s new patriotic look, an insane sequence involving Stark’s gorgeous cliffside home getting attacked by helicopters, and much to my delight, our first look at Sir Ben Kingsley as Iron Man’s arch-nemesis The Mandarin. Rocking ten power rings, a pistol, a crazy haircut, and a creepy-ass voice, Kingsley looks like the perfect fit for Iron Man’s most notorious bad-guy.
Look, everyone knows that Iron Man 2 was a bit disappointing, but between Shane Black (director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which you should go watch right this second if you’ve ever seen it) behind the camera, and the awesome footage that we were shown, I am f*cking pumped. Actually, it seems like in general Marvel is going to have a great couple years ahead of them, with ‘Phase Two’ of their shared Universe generating just as many new ideas as ‘Phase One.’ Of course, I’m a huge Marvel fan-boy so I’m a bit biased, but if they can make anything that fills me with as much joy as The Avengers did, then I will be pleased.