Robert Downey, Jr. and Jon Favreau Discuss Iron Man 3 and The Avengers
06.13.11 by BJSprecher
Marvel Studios capped off the 2011 Hero Complex Film Festival (HCFF) with the world premiere of the new trailer for its latest superhero adaptation, Captain America: The First Avenger, followed by screenings of Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Between the screenings, the fan-friendly director of the movies, Jon Favreau, took the stage for a quick Q&A, joined by surprise guest Robert Downey, Jr., who flew in from the set of writer-director Joss Whedon's The Avengers in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Downey, Jr.'s appearance was not only totally unexpected, but also rather remarkable in that it might be the last time that he and Favreau take the stage together to talk about Iron Man considering Favreau has left the franchise behind to direct Magic Kingdom for Disney. In addition to talking about the first two movies and joking about Favreau's negotiations to appear in Iron Man 3 as Happy Hogan, Downey, Jr. and Favreau also talked about the difficulties in store for Shane Black as the director of the first post-Avengers Marvel movie. Downey, Jr. also gave a ringing endorsement of Whedon and said that The Avengers is "gonna be great."
Talk turned to Iron Man 3 during the Q&A when Downey, Jr. was asked about working with Black, who directed the formerly troubled actor in his prelude-to-a-comeback movie, 2005's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Downey, Jr. revealed that he and Favreau had already brainstormed ideas with Black during the making of one of the Iron Man movies and suggested that Favreau would be asked to return the favor on Iron Man 3.
Well Shane, interestingly enough, there was a point when Jon and I were stuck on an idea [with a previous film]. We were just in an exploratory phase. So I said, "We should talk to Shane." And I was like, "Shane, we can’t really pay." And he was like, "Bring me some salmon and some blueberries." And we went to Yoda’s house in Miracle Mile and it wound up coming in handy, particularly for a couple scenes. So what I can say about this kind of circle of life thing is Shane, as he’s getting into the process [to direct Iron Man 3] and getting his sea legs and stuff, he goes, "When can we talk to Jon?" So there’s going to be this kind of conglomerate of efforts.
Ever the team player, Favreau said that he would be happy to help out if Black needed assistance. He also said it's going to be "difficult" for Black to have to explain why Tony Stark's pals in the Avengers aren't called in to help out when Iron Man gets into trouble.
And I love the franchise and I’m a big fan of Shane’s as well so hopefully I can be helpful because I want to see this thing grow and transform. ... Especially because it’s gonna be so difficult for whoever does that one because although it’s Iron Man 3, the whole Avengers thing...I guess in comics you can say that it’s an individual storyline and you can break it off into a group. But in movies, it’s hard not to take into consideration what just happened. What are you gonna say? "They all just lost their cell phones and you can’t get help?" So it’s going to take a lot of ingenuity to make it make sense to a mainstream film audience as well as a comic book audience.
Downey, Jr., as sardonic as ever, explained that he usually finds a lot to complain about when making a movie, but that he has been pleasantly surprised by how well Whedon has been doing on The Avengers.
Well, I hate everybody. I’m not talking about the cast, I’m not talking about Joss. What I mean is I tend to look at a scene and say ‘This is absolutely impossible, we can’t shoot this, it’s horrible. I can tell you 10 other movies its been in, I refuse.’ I usually start off the morning by refusing to do what I’ve signed on to do. So I brought that attitude, happily. I just thought ‘How are you gonna put all of us clowns together? He’s wearing a suit, he’s all jacked up, he’s so and so and poor Mark Ruffalo, he’s gonna out do us’. And we’re about six weeks in and I have to say Joss Whedon is nailing it. He’s so smart and so good. And it’s gonna be great. I can’t believe I just said it, I never could’ve believed this but it’s gonna be great.
Following Albuquerque, principal photography on The Avengers will continue in Cleveland, Los Angeles and New York City, with open casting and crew calls already announced for both the Cleveland and the Los Angeles shoots. The movie is slated to open May 4, 2012.