Iron Man Screenwriters preview: Iron Man!

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http://www.film.com/movies/story/ir...ewthenextbigmarvelfranchise/11597472/18295155

Iron Man Screenwriters Preview the Next Big Marvel Franchise!


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Paramount Pictures


Five Reasons I'm Jazzed About Iron Man



While there are plenty of comic book adaptations hitting theaters this year, only two truly matter: The Dark Knight and, amazingly enough (given the character’s lack of popularity), Iron Man. The former is currently being marred by the unexpected death of star Heath Ledger, while the latter is benefiting from a kick-ass trailer and plenty of buzz. Iron Man’s screenwriters, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, the team partly responsible for Children of Men, found themselves in Santa Barbara, California this week at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Last year, Fergus’ directorial debut, First Snow, based on a script the duo co-wrote, made its premiere at the fest that remains one of the best kept secrets on the circuit. This time around, they are jurors for the competition and, lucky for us, talking Iron Man.
Fergus and Ostby are quick to admit they were not fans of the Iron Man character before the movie was offered to them by director Jon Favreau who had previously worked with them on an adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, John Carter of Mars (now at Pixar). It’s not that they disliked the armored superhero, though; he just never appeared on their radar (again, that lack of popularity). Marvel Comics quickly remedied their ignorance with an Iron Man bible that chronicled the character’s long history since his debut in 1963 – a multi-millionaire, now billionaire, Tony Stark uses his company’s weapons, technology, and super-intellect to build a suit of mechanized armor to kick a whole lot of communist, now terrorist, ass. Though the screenwriters say Marvel gave them much latitude, Favreau had a major mandate for them.
“John wanted it to be more fun,” Fergus says. “He didn’t want it to be Batman, where he’s skulking around, or Jason Bourne and all these angst-ridden heroes. So’s [Tony Stark], but he’s also a party animal, he’s fun, and he deals with his issues by being extroverted, not staying at home, skulking in the mirror.”
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Having Robert Downey Jr., a recovered alcoholic and addict – not to mention arguably the best actor of his generation – to play the drunk Stark brought even more life to the character. “What’s great about him is, you give him an idea and he takes it three more levels – and usually in front of the camera where you had no idea it was coming.”
Considering the work that goes into shaping a major movie franchise, especially out of such a relatively obscure character, one would expect there to have been added pressure, but Ostby insists that wasn’t the case. “I think a story’s a story. All these great characters Stan Lee had were grounded in something real and heartfelt, so you take that, try to modernize it.”
It helped that Stark’s transformation into a hero trod on familiar thematic territory for the screenwriters, too. “It’s the same as Children of Men, and most stuff we work on,” Fergus explains. “[Tony Stark’s] a real man, trying to recreate himself not physically, but psychologically. [These characters] are really living shallow, horrible lives, and then they have a huge reckoning and have to tear it all down.” For example, when you discover that the weapons research company that made your father rich and provides for your excessive lifestyle is actually the source of terrible global evil. “What happens when you think you’re one of the good guys and wake up to find out you’re one of the bad guys? Who are the bad guys? They’re your customers. You helped created them."
“One of the other things we loved a lot about Iron Man is there’s nothing supernatural about him,” Fergus continues. “He’s just using his mind to create technology to do what his body can’t – to build the ultimate good guy out of the material he used to build bombs with. That’s just a great reversal of a guy’s psyche.”
After the interview, I couldn’t help but hope that Fergus and Ostby would tackle more comic book adaptations given their ability to peel away all the excess to get at the mythological heart of a character. Turns out they are. After the writers' strike ends, their next project is Cowboys and Aliens – “Spielberg meets John Ford” kind of stuff, they call it.
 
I love the fact that they hadn't a single opinion on Iron Man. Coming in on a fresh slate and writing the film with the original material in one hand, and the screenwriting cap in the next.
 
“John wanted it to be more fun,” Fergus says. “He didn’t want it to be Batman, where he’s skulking around, or Jason Bourne and all these angst-ridden heroes. So’s [Tony Stark], but he’s also a party animal, he’s fun, and he deals with his issues by being extroverted, not staying at home, skulking in the mirror.”

Is that their way of stating the movie is dumb?
 
I'm afraid that this Movie might be too silly at parts. I have nothing against some humor, but parts like Stark getting blasted around because he's testing his flight stabilizer are just too much slapstick for me.
 
^ Yeah. The general tone of the film is one of my greatest concerns at the moment. I sure hope this doesn't turn out being fluffy, super-light, silliness.
 
it will be like transformers IMO.
 
Don't expect any Oscar performances... just worry about taking the "fun" a little too far... the action should still be there though... but if they get fantastic four on us then it could get ugly.
 
good read.

I really doubt they'll go Fantastic Four on us. I also expect it to have a Transformers tone to it or an Indiana Jones. How many times did Indy get a little silly and have one-liners with his dry humor, yet managed to be a kick ass movie?
 
^I agree. IJ would be a good template for the kind of tone for the film. Have some amusing moments(after all I don't want them to go Chris Nolan/emo/BB on us), but don't lose sight that it's still a serious film. Fav already said that he was shooting for a more mature film anyway so I'm not worried.
 
^I agree. IJ would be a good template for the kind of tone for the film. Have some amusing moments(after all I don't want them to go Chris Nolan/emo/BB on us), but don't lose sight that it's still a serious film. Fav already said that he was shooting for a more mature film anyway so I'm not worried.

EMO? The term you're looking for is NOIR.

Anyway, yeah, I never expected Iron Man to be dark. Just look at the guy's colour scheme. But at the end of the day, you have to take your threats seriously, or else the story falters. I mean Downey and Bridges are witty actors, and humour is of essence to getting to the heart of a character.
 
EMO? The term you're looking for is NOIR.

Anyway, yeah, I never expected Iron Man to be dark. Just look at the guy's colour scheme. But at the end of the day, you have to take your threats seriously, or else the story falters. I mean Downey and Bridges are witty actors, and humour is of essence to getting to the heart of a character.

Yeah, I guess. I just dislike dark characters since it always seems like they're out there saying "look at me! I'm dressed in black, aren't I creepy/bad-ass/cool".:whatever: Ugh! I get tired of it sometimes. It's pretentious. The whole darker=cooler thing has been done to death, IMO. What I'd like for Iron Man is more serious=cooler, even though there's always room for humour as long as it doesn't disrupt the tone of the film. Tom Clancy movies always get used as well as a template for the type of tone an Iron Man film should have, a techno-thriller.
 
My biggest concern over this movie is the Tone.
We have seen in previous Superhero movies how bad they can be when you try to make them too lighthearted and funny.
Although i dont mind a few jokes and funny bits, i hope the film is mostly serious.
 
You make it TOO serious, the audience will crack jokes about it, making it an unintentional comedy. I've seen that happen more times than I can count. Honestly, it's a ****ing rich boy that decides to create a suit of armor to amend for his past deeds. You can't play the entire thing somber. That was the Hulk's problem. Every person in that flick was stone faced and boring, sans Talbot who was the only one to smile.
 
That's true, hence the Indiana Jones tone talk. Above all it should be fun.
 
Don't expect any Oscar performances...

With the ENTIRE cast consisting of Oscar winners and nominees, that's just what you are going to get. DO expect it.

I have little doubt the tone will be perfect. You need some lighter moments but we know the story involves psychological conflict, terrorist activities, mortal injuries (I'm certain those soldiers Stark is traveling with in the trailer don't fair too well), as well as other deep issues.

This passage just screams texture to me...
when you discover that the weapons research company that made your father rich and provides for your excessive lifestyle is actually the source of terrible global evil. “What happens when you think you’re one of the good guys and wake up to find out you’re one of the bad guys? Who are the bad guys? They’re your customers. You helped created them."
 
Not to mention Favreau from the near beginning said the film would be more mature than a number of past comic films.

Like most action/adventure films, there supposed to be fun. So I'm sure there will be some humour, but bet the majority of the film is on the more serious side.
 
I have no problem with a few jokes and light hearted moments, that's what made IJ and Transformers very good films, and I'm not concerned abit about the tone, everything I've read and seen, seems to point to a serious movie with some light hearted moments.
You can't have a film be uber dark and serious all the way thru, Most classic Iron Man stories while serious, had Stark being a smart @$$ during a fight or had moments to break up the seriuos tone.
 
I am worried that Marvel are trying too hard to force Iron Man into becomming a franchise. Iron Man is not one of the most well known heroes in the world. He is not Spider-Man, Batman or Superman.
Therefore i am worried that Marvel are going to go overboard with the advertising and try to force Iron Man into becomming a multi-film block buster franchise, instead of letting the public decide with ticket sales.
I hope the film is made to be an accurate adaptation of Iron Man that the fans and public willl enjoy, instead of being made to try and please every possible audience to make as much money as possible.
 
I am worried that Marvel are trying too hard to force Iron Man into becomming a franchise. Iron Man is not one of the most well known heroes in the world. He is not Spider-Man, Batman or Superman.
Therefore i am worried that Marvel are going to go overboard with the advertising and try to force Iron Man into becomming a multi-film block buster franchise, instead of letting the public decide with ticket sales.
I hope the film is made to be an accurate adaptation of Iron Man that the fans and public willl enjoy, instead of being made to try and please every possible audience to make as much money as possible.

Iron Man is the first film being handled completely by their studio.

If IM fails under a certain threshold, they lose the film rights to the character. If IM is a hit, they can get a sequel out of it, spin-off Avengers, Nick Fury and God knows what, in other words; make a lot of money. In other words, it's kinda boom or bust. Of course they're trying to position IM to be a franchise!

And you mention Iron man not being as popular as Bats, Spidey or Supes. How can Iron Man become more popular if Marvel doesn't promote the character and his film?They have to raise awareness of the character somehow, right?
 
They have to raise awareness of the character somehow, right?

I agree, but Marvel has never put as much effort into their other non-mainstream characters. The Hulk is another massive Marvel character that the studio is handling, but is not receiving any where near as much advertising or publicity as Iron Man.
Im not saying that Iron Man's marketing is wrong - i love Iron Man and think the film will be great, but i am concerned that the Hulk will not do as well as it could do, due to Marvel focusing all of their efforts on Iron Man.
 
With the ENTIRE cast consisting of Oscar winners and nominees, that's just what you are going to get. DO expect it.
Not true, Batman Begins had Oscar winners in it, yet, I saw no Oscar worthy performances in the entire film. :o
 

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