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WonderCon: Quint's seen new IRON MAN footage! Favreau speaks! New trailer... and what's this about AVENGERS?

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Okay, one more… it’s 4am… I need to hit the floor tomorrow around 10am… maybe I’ll sleep in, but still… this is the last one for the night… and what a doozy. The two biggest audience reactions I saw at WonderCon this year were for X-FILES 2 and IRON MAN. That doesn’t surprise me, but what does surprise me was that IRON MAN had the same level of enthusiasm as X-FILES 2 without any stars there. Jon Favreau came out and we all love Favreau. No question. But it’s not like a pair of cult TV and movie personalities who have never appeared together at a convention were on stage. While Favreau didn’t bring a red-headed sidekick, he did bring something else… Let’s get down to it! (And keep an eye out for the blazing red font for something interesting regarding AVENGERS!!!)

- Of course, Favreau wasn’t seated for 10 seconds before someone shouted “You’re so money!” at him. He smiled and said, “You’re money, too.” - First question up was asking whether or not he heard from Ozzy Osbourne before or after putting the Black Sabbath song in the first trailer. Favreau said no, but he has talked to Sharon and “they are aware of us and we have their blessing.” - Had to fight hard for Downey to get the role of Stark. “As soon as we did cast him, thanks to the fans and how vocal you all were online, all of a sudden Marvel and Paramount felt very comfortable with him.” - Favreau wants to do more IRON MAN movies. That's not news (he said as much in my interview with him at last year's Comic-Con), but good that he's still got the bug. - Someone asked about the Jet Boots scene from the Super Bowl trailer. “It’s really hard to explain about the jet boots… it’s only in the Super Bowl trailer and you only saw a little amount of them. Does everybody know what she’s talking about? The Jet Boots? I could show more of it…” and then he showed the full scene of Downey testing out the boots! The scene: Begins with Downey at a work bench, putting some final touches on the boots… A nice camera move around the whole table, revealing what he’s working on, his car room in the background. You think Stark is mumbling to himself, but you find he’s talking to a little robotic arm (you know, that bend a few times and look like table-lamp stands and end in pincers?). Then you have him in the car room, boots on, controls behind him, grate on the floor. He points to a larger robotic arm and says, “Stand by for fire safety,” then turns to another robotic arm and says, “You, roll it.” The robotic arm has a camera in it and records the boot test. We cut into that view for the rest of the scene. Stark braces himself, shifts from boot to boot (which are extremely heavy, holding him down to the ground… he has to make a lot of effort to move them) and says “Let’s start this nice and easy. Give me 10% thruster capacity in 3… 2… 1…” BOOM! He’s fired backwards in a flash, slamming into the concrete ceiling and falling behind the control panel. The whole time the first robotic arm follows his movement and sprays a blast of retardant, like a fire extinguisher, over the top of the control panel, aimed down on Stark… but we can’t see him. Cuts back to him bracing himself on the grate again. He points to the fire extinguisher robot and says, “Test 37… For lack of a better option, Dundee (I think I have the name right) is still on fire safety. If you douse me again and I’m not on fire I’ll donate you to a city college. Okay, nice and easy… seriously… We’re just going to start off with 1% thrust capacity… In 3, 2, 1…” and he lifts off, the shot from the trailer. He wobbles in the air, trying to keep his balance and then shuts it down. “Let’s bring it up to 2.5… 3, 2, 1…” and he goes higher and starts moving around the room. He uses his hand thrusters to change direction, but isn’t used to them or the boots yet, so he wobbles in the air all over the room and goes over his cars, the flame from the boots cooking the hoods. It looks like he gets the hang of it a little bit and he floats back over to the grid and lands, the bottoms of the jet boots smoking. “Dundee” rushes over to him and Stark goes, “Nah-ah-ah!!” to keep from getting another blast of retardant. The Robot backs off and Stark turns and says, “Yeah… I can fly.” Then it cuts to Downey in a full gold suit (The Mark 2) with no faceplate. It lowers over his exposed face slowly. As it closes we keep on Stark’s face, as if we’re inside the faceplate. He’s illuminated with low blue lighting… actually, it reminded me a lot of how Keanu Reeves was animated while inside the Scramble Suit in A SCANNER DARKLY. Except here you have the reflections of the electronic images sent into Stark’s eyes. We cut outside to Iron Man POV and it’s like a clear Terminator view… he has readouts all over, electronics and automobiles are scanned, etc. Stark talks to a British voice. I’m assuming it’s the computer… but I think he calls it Jarvis, which is funny… isn’t that the name of the Avengers’ butler? Anyway, they talk about calibrations and diagnostics as they prepare for a test of the suit. We’re outside the suit again and spinning around it, from the boots up, spiraling upwards, seeing panels automatically slide shut over exposed machinery and vents letting out hisses of steam as hydrolics work until we see the face. It’s the final Iron Man armor, just without the red. It’s all gold, shiny and sleek as hell. The crowd cheered at this reveal. Jarvis said he’s ready to power down the suit and Stark says to not, instead do weather checks and start listening in on ground control. Jarvis protests. “Sir! There are some terabytes of calculations needed before an actual flight…” Stark interrupts saying that sometimes you gotta run before you can walk. He takes off, jet boots firing and he shoots out of a long spiraling concrete garage-like corridor and out into the night. There’s a few seconds of him flying around outside, using his hand thrusters and the crowd goes crazy again. The clip ends and the cheers multiply.

“I knew you wouldn’t get bored with that. They said, ‘Don’t show too much! They’re going to get bored!’ I said, ‘I don’t think they’re going to get bored…’” - ILM - A lot of the team that worked on TRANSFORMERS and PIRATES are doing the effects, as well as Ben Snow who worked on KONG at WETA. - Kid in the audience: “Were you inspired by anything to make this movie?” Favreau: “I was inspired by the box office returns on ZATHURA.” - Gives a lot of credit to the fans and internet. “With Iron Man, nobody knew what Iron Man was until the fans started talking about it and then it slowly bubbled up to the mainstream.” He also said you need to listen to the fans to understand what they want. He says he checks out online and reads comments and thoughts. “And I’m not the only one who does that. People don’t admit to it, but the internet is one big water-cooler that we’re all invited to stand by and listen to, to hear what everybody’s talking about. You’d be surprised at how much you influence how much the way the creative process works and the way films are promoted and marketed. I think it’s a wonderful, wonderful time because there’s such a great dialogue going on between both audience and filmmaker.” - Spending 2-3 weeks at Skywalker Ranch to mix the film. - Favreau calls himself a Luddite and says he hates CGI when it’s unnecessary, but it was the mo-cap and CG work on Kong that kinda turned him around a little bit. - James Rhodes: “We certainly leave the door open for what might happen in the future.” - “If this movie makes a lot of money, I might get to direct the AVENGERS movie!” - “Everyone asks about Demon In A Bottle… that’s going to be a tricky one to deal with… in this nice family franchise that we have. But who knows? With success you can take many more chances.” - Just worked with Vince Vaughn again in FOUR CHRISTMASES playing his wrestler brother. Robert Duvall played their father and he said it was his first time working with him since DEEP IMPACT… “That was the space movie, not the porn movie.” - More armors in the future? He’s learned that studios loooovveee merchandising. As a result they’re very encouraging of new villains, new heroes and new sets of armor for new toys and merchandising (but he says never to expect the bubble-headed “Underwater Armor”). That’s why he thinks War Machine will definitely be seen in future movies. - Audience member: “There are rumors on the internet that characters from Iron Man and characters from The Incredible Hulk will be making appearances in each others films…” “Yes, I’ve read those.” “Is that true?” “It is true… there are rumors on the internet. I will tell you this… there are a lot of rumors about casting, about cross-pollenation between the franchises… Let me put it this way. When someone’s robbing a house and there’s a pit bull protecting the house, the cat burglar comes in with a bag full of steaks. As he’s robbing the house he has to keep throwing steaks down. Every 15 minutes he has to feed the pit bull and the pit bull is very happy until you run out of steaks. I don’t want to run out of steaks here… before May. I don’t want to give too many of the secrets away otherwise I feel like there’s going to be nothing left. But I will say this… many of the rumors are true… but many are not true.” - This coming Thursday there will be a 90 second trailer premiering on LOST. “I’m sorry that I could not bring the 90 second trailer here with me because we’re premiering it on LOST… I did, however, bring a 2 ½ minute trailer… It’s going to be in front of 10,000 BC. We just timed it and mixed it yesterday and I think we should show it to you now!”

The trailer: Starts off with AC/DC’s Back In Black. We see Stark in the Middle East. He’s making the speech you’ve seen a piece of already, but nothing is repeated. “It’s better to be feared than respected…and I say… is it too much to ask for both?” We see a missile flying in the air. It falls to the ground, but before it hits it breaks off into four or five dozen little missiles. As they impact the desert behind Stark he opens his arms wide and says, “May I humbly present the Jericho.” The impact sends a cloud of dust shooting at Stark’s back and past him at the soldiers he’s talking to. Then quick cuts of the attack that results in Stark getting hurt and kidnapped. A bald dude tells a bandaged Stark that he works for him now. Quick cuts of him building the armor again and busting out. We get out of there quickly and Stark, arm in a sling returns and speaks to Pepper Potts. Gwenyth Paltrow felt very relaxed in the role, not forcing her dialogue with Stark. The voice from inside the suit in the earlier clip (Jarvis) welcomes Stark home, but I get the impression it’s a computer voice, not someone off camera. But what do I know? It’s just a guess. We get our first real expose to Obadiah Stane, played by the crazy-awesome bald bearded version of Jeff Bridges. He argues with Stark and you hear Stark say, “My eyes are open. I want to protect the people I put in harm’s way.” Obadiah meets with the bald Middle Eastern kidnapper guy and is handed plans for the Mark 1 suit that Stark left behind in his escape. Then there’s Stark floating, testing the suit and the Mark 2 flight. He’s going around and trying to make it back home and something blows out in his leg. He falls through his roof, through a couple floors, ending up back on the grid in the garage. He lays there for a half a beat and then… yep, he gets doused by the robot extinguisher. Jarvis tells him that the armor upgrade is complete. “I tell you what… throw a little hot-rod red in there.” Stark and Rhodey are in a room together. Stark says, “Good luck keeping up,” and it cuts to IM being chased by the jets. They’re right on him and suddenly his back panels pop forward, like when your flight lands and it drags him back super quick behind the jets. Stark is half dressed as Iron Man, hanging by cables in a room and Pepper walks in. “What’s going on in here?” He shrugs it off. “Let’s face it, this is not the worst thing you’ve caught me doing.” There are shots of Iron Man fighting Iron Monger, catching cars that are thrown at him, being batted around. Then we have Stark addressing a press conference. “There’s speculation that I’m parading around as a superhero. I’m just not the hero type, clearly…” And then the tank shot from the Super Bowl commercial is back, but it looks so incredibly much better. It doesn’t look like a PS2 video game anymore. Incredibly badass, ending with the Sabbath song once more. So that’s what I saw. I probably wrote around 10,000 words tonight… I hope the made sense for the most part… and I have about 5 hours of sleep ahead of me if I’m lucky. Thanks for keeping up with my WonderCon reports, squirts. I have some really damn nifty stuff to share with you over the next week… Let’s just say if this report from the con gave you a geek stiffy, wait until you see what other Iron Man goodies I’ll have for you soon… -Quint

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