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Exclusive Interview: DIRECTOR JON FAVREAU TELLS THE SECRETS OF HIS IRON MAN

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Exclusive Interview: DIRECTOR JON FAVREAU TELLS THE SECRETS OF HIS IRON MAN
The ZATHURA director talks to iF about plots, armors, and yes even villains
At the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles there were many stars, directors and celebrities working the runway. Among them was director John Favreau [ZATHURA] who stopped to talk to iF MAGAZINE about his latest directorial assignment IRON MAN.





IRON MAN is Marvel Comics first directly produced comic book property and tells the story of brilliant inventor Tony Stark, who creates his first suit of armor to escape a Vietnam prison camp, and to keep his damaged heart beating. Favreau wants to stick close to the classic Iron Man origins and feels a need to be true to the character fans love.






iF MAGAZINE: What can you tell us about the version of IRON MAN you are bringing to the screen?





JON FAVREAU: The fun part is you get to do the origin story. The origin was conceived in the early 60’s, and there wasn’t the same sort of attention to detail as there is now. It’s a Vietnam Era superhero, and it was complicated times then politically. We find ourselves in difficult times again, so you update it and set it in present day. A fun part of it is that you get to have different incarnations of the suit. In the origin you have the suit he makes in captivity, and then you get to refine it not just in this film, but in future films the possibilities are endless.





I think you want to keep part of the charm just as a film fan; I want to capture something like I felt when I saw ROBOCOP when I was younger. There was a certain gravity to the character that I liked. You never really get a sense of Iron Man's movement when you look at the books. I think it’s good to look at films like ROBOCOP and see what worked about those films. Of course you want to keep all of the complexities of the character; to me it’s a very appealing character. Later on the books even dealt with alcoholism, but I think certainly the complexity of the character is about a guy whose life is always hanging in the balance due to an injury. There are the relationships that he has with women, with the government, and with supporting characters. You are never going to have complete reality in a super hero movie, but he’s not someone who was hit over the head and became a superhero. He’s somebody through technology and his intellect creates this super persona. It makes it easier to set the film in the real world. There’s a whole geopolitical aspect to film that it’s going to be a tightrope to walk. You want to make it specific enough for our times, but not so specific that it isn’t a comic book movie. I think it’s the most true to life comic book certainly in the Marvel Universe.





iF: Are you going to use the ULTIMATE IRON MAN material at all?





FAVREAU: I think we’re going to stick closer to the original IRON MAN. The ULTIMATE IRON MAN has a certain appeal to it and the writing is very strong, but I think there are so many ways to go with Iron Man that you have to decide what to stick with. I don’t think we want to emulate the innocence of the early books, but I do think you want to deal with a character that comes to be Iron Man in that way.





iF: Any particular villains you’d like to use in the movie?





FAVREAU: I think the technology-based villains lend themselves better to the universe that we’re dealing with. Not necessarily the types that are magical or imbued with God-given abilities and mutations. I’d rather go with people grounded in reality and see how far you can push that with out losing the realism that this franchise offers.





iF: How much of the comic book history have you read?





FAVREAU: I’m reading all of the comics. I haven’t gotten into CIVIL WAR, but I’m taking it one hunk at a time. I’m reading all of the old TALES OF SUSPENSE stuff is really interesting. There are a million threads to go down. It’s been around so long and been reinvented so many times, it’s almost like they are mutually exclusive elements. I just want to look at Silver Age books, involving the old gray suit and the gold suit. Then the stuff I read when I was younger. I was an AVENGERS fan when I was younger. I’m sort of aware of him; through of course the wonderful animated series that was around when I was a kid and that had the great theme song. There’s a lot of homework to do. You don’t have to adapt to the letter, but if you aren’t aware of the history of the character when you make decisions as a director I think it’s shortsighted. There is a base of fans that is incredibly invested in what the character ahs to offer, and to not take that into consideration would be irresponsible for me. I was hired by Marvel after all; it was a property that was optioned by a studio. This is Marvel’s first movie that they are showing their fans how they would do it if they could. Now they have all the marbles and it’s their deal and I want to make sure I satisfy them and their fan base, as well as Paramount who will be distributing the film, and the people who know nothing about IRON MAN and just want to see it. I think there is a way to thread that needle and I am looking forward to doing it, and I certainly have a tremendous amount of support from the people that hired me to do it.

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http://www.comics2film.com/FanFrame.php?f_id=19252
 
So far everything Jon is saying is good. Keep it up Jonny boy!
 
I saw the interview this morning, I am loving what I'm hearing, he seems to be interested in staying true to the character. It's a great interview.
 
Oh yeah. But please don't add in Robocop-like movement and speech in Iron Man.
 
I like what he has to say so I hope everyone can follow through with it.

I just hope the villain(s) whoever it is/are, its not Howard Stark.
 
He's on the right track :up:
 
Cool! Its good to see this movie moving forward again.



btw......When will there be an Iron_Man forum???
 
Awesome, I think I might like this one.
 
I'm also glad he's going for the sensibilities of the original comics and not the Ultimate crap.
 
TheVileOne said:
I'm also glad he's going for the sensibilities of the original comics and not the Ultimate crap.
amen to that
 
Favreau's comments do sound good. I think he's got the right idea.
 
It sounds like he understands the character, which is a good thing compared to some of the people who could less about the characters and are only in for the paycheck. His comments make me optimistic at the moment.
 
He is in the right track, so, so far so good :up:

Let just wait to see if he is, in fact, the right man for the job.
No matter how positive we want to be about it, no matter how great Jon´s knowledge about comics is, it all comes down to him as a director, and, quiet frankly, i haven´t seen any movie from him that says he can do it :o
But, let´s hope he surprises me :up:
 
I really like what he has to say about the film, he seems to have a great understanding of what Iron Man is all about. I am truely estatic with how things are shaping up.
 
Looking good so far. Of all the Marvel film directors, he seems to be the most in-tune with what the fans want from him.
 
I liked everything he had to say but the reference to Robo Cop.
 
Sounds like he's probably not going with Mandarin. That's okay, though.

BTW...**** ULTIMATE IRON MAN.
 
Hmm. Wonder if we will get like Justin Hammer who steals the Iron Man technology and then we get someone like Crimson Dynamo or Titanium Man.
 
Interesting, sounds like he knows what he's doing.
 
When Jon said he was going with technology based villains, I wonder if that means either Crimson Dynamo or Titanium Man? Because I think the best route would be to make Justin Hammer the main villain, have him steal Stark's Iron Man specs, which he uses to copy Iron Man's design and create his own armour called the "Crimson Dynamo". Hammer creates a prototype and hires an ex KGB Russian merc to pilot it and test it, berfore mass producing them. So Iron Man would have two villains to deal with the brains (Hammer) and the brawn (Crimson Dynamo or Titanium Man).
 

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