SDCC 2009: 'Iron Man 2' puts a hurting on Hall H
Well, Marvel, looks like you've got a "2" to be proud of.
Greg liveblogged from the panel today, so I'm just going to focus on the footage that was shown. I'm glad they showed it twice, because the first time, people were busy going insane, loudly, myself included I suspect. The second time they showed the footage, it was absolutely quiet in Hall H, and we were able to get a better sense of the nimble verbal wordplay that is absolutely a signature of this series.
I love how they worked the crowd up before showing it, though. They started by showing us a behind-the-scenes package that looked like something you'd see on a commercial for tomorrow's "Entertainment Tonight" puffball piece. It was lame. As the lights came up, Favreau started to apologize, explaining that they just finished shooting last week.
And then Robert Downey Jr. came walking out onstage. Irate. "What was that bullshit?" He started to harangue Favreau. "You showed me better stuff than that in the editing room." After he got the entire Hall H audience to sing "Happy Birthday" to Favreau's eight-year-old son, who was there today, Downey sang, "Now you have to show footage."
And so he did.
The opening shot is Tony Stark, in the armor but without the helmet, sitting in the giant donut on top of Randy's Donuts near LAX. An iconic spot in LA, and a great image for a film. As the camera pulls back from him, we find someone on the ground, looking up.
"Sir... I'm going to need you to exit the donut."
[more after the jump]
Oh, hey, I know that voice! Look! It's Nick Fury! Inside the donut shop, Fury (played by returning Sam Jackson) sits across from Stark. "I've told you already," Stark says, "I'm not interested in joining your super-secret boy band."
Fury's not buying it, though. He tells Tony that he can't keep doing things alone. Asks him how it's working out so far.
"Tell me... am I supposed to look at the eye or the patch? I can't figure it out." He tells Fury that he thinks he may be a figment of his imagination.
"Trust me... I'm the realest person you've ever met."
That doesn't seem to make Tony feel better at all, though.
The scene changes to a Senate hearing, where Stark is being grilled by a senator played by Gary Shandling. Shandling wants Stark to hand over what he calls "the weapon," but Stark refuses to even acknowledge the Iron Man suit as a weapon. He says it's more of "high tech prosthesis." Stark can't resist insulting the Senator, even when Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow) shakes her head at him, disapprovingly.
Shandling brings in another witness, and when Stark hears who it is, it's the first time he seems rattled at all. It's Rhodey, played by Don Cheadle this time, and I thought his first line to Stark was a nice bit of meta-fiction acknowledgement of the casting switch.
"I'm here. It's me. Deal with it."
Stark really doesn't get what makes the Senator feel entitled to the suit, though. "It's working. I'm a nuclear deterrent. I have successfully privatized world peace." Finally, when he refers to the Senators as a bunch of assclowns, it's too much for Shandling, who leans in close to his mic.
"Fuck you, buddy. Fuck you. This session is adjourned."
The next sequence is the one that really gave me chills. We see a wall with all sorts of magazine covers and clippings from stories about Stark over the years, as we hear Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) speaking in voice-over.
"You come from a long line of thieves and butchers. What makes you think a few good acts can erase everything your family did and make their victims forget? When there's blood in the water... the sharks will come."
And as he speaks, we see Mickey building something, and then, as he finishes the voice-over, we cut to a race track. There's a car that looks like it's been cut in half, and Tony's laying on the pavement, hurt. We get our first great look at Vanko wearing his full Whiplash gear, still in prototype. As he walks, he snaps the electrified bullwhips on both hands, each crack against the pavement taking huge chunks out of it. They look exactly as cool as you'd imagine electrified power bullwhips would look, and Mickey looks incredible.
Then there's a bunch of quick clips of Scarlett in action as The Black Widow, throwing guys around, and some shots of Pepper Potts, and one amazing shot of Iron Man racing through the sky towards a ground target, dodging missiles as they're being fired at him.
The "IRON MAN 2" logo comes up, and then we saw one last scene. In a military hangar, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) shows up to meet with Rhodey, who has somehow gotten hold of a Mark II armor suit. He tells Hammer he needs some weapons for it, and Rockwell goes into a pitch of various guns. He's very much playing this as Tony's mirror image, but darker and willing to do anything for money and sell weapons to anyone. After his pitch, Rhodes says, "I'll take it."
"All of it."
And then we got one glorious, amazing, crazy shot of War Machine in action, shoulder cannons and hand guns blazing.
And then the date. May 2010.
It was an awesome presentation, and considering they just wrapped shooting, it was an impressively polished reel.
I'm off to moderate a few panels today to wrap up my time at Comic-Con, and then I'm heading out of town to Toronto for what I like to call "the last and most elaborate panel of Comic-Con 2009." But I'll have some more reports for you tonight, including my review of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds."