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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2008


WONDERCON: IRON MAN MOVIE PANEL

SAN FRANCISCO -- Following a triumphant splash at Comic-Con International last summer, Iron Man director Jon Favreau appeared at WonderCon on Sunday before another packed room, bringing along the film's new 2-1/2 minute trailer and a clip.

Following are highlights from the presentation and question-and-answer session:

* Favreau said he talked to Sharon Osbourne about using the "Iron Man" song in the trailer.

* Favreau said the movie was fun, primarily because of the Robert Downey Jr.-led cast, praising the actor's improvisational skills. "I had a great, great time and hope to be doing more them with him," he said.

* Favreau brought along footage of Downey's Stark testing out his jet boots. The first test didn't go so well, with Stark fying into the wall. After a couple of more successful tests, Iron Man is shown in his Mark 2 armor. "Sometimes you got to run before you can walk," he says, taking off flying. An interior view of the helmet shows Stark's amazement as he flies.

"I knew you wouldn't get bored with that," Favreau said. "They said don't do too much."

* Favreau said the filmmakers tried to stay true to the designs of Iron Man, but also tried to give it a "bit more punch." He praised the special effects staffs -- "It's really coming together quite well," he said.

* Favreau said this summer will feature "big movies that won't be mediocre."

* Favreau said he uses the Internet to gauge interest and it does have an impact on how he and others make movies.

* Asked about Stan Winston's involvement, Favreau called him an icon, having worked with him on Zathura. He said he was skeptical that Winston could build a practical suit, but his suits matched up with ILM's effects. "Sometimes I can't tell if the shots are practical or digital," he said.

* Asked about James Rhodes, Favreau said that a lot of people thought Terrence Howard could have played Tony Stark. Favreau said Rhodey is more button-downed than the comics and the door is left open for his character.

* Favreau said that if Iron Man makes a lot of money, he might get to direct an Avengers film.

* Favreau said that everyone asks about the comics' "Demon in a Bottle" story and that could be tricky in a family-friendly franchise.

* Favreau said he has a lot of respect for Michael Bay after what he did in Transformers.

* Favreau said that the "big stuff" is important in getting people into theaters, although he can't get away from the characters.

* Merchandising is the safeguard of the industry, Favreau said, and that Iron Man allows for lots of different aspects of that. "Marvel is encouraging and says, open up your mind," he said.

Favreau said more armors are likely, with exploration of War Machine. "There's a lineage in the books that can help inspire that stuff," he said.

* Favreau said he is impressed how much Marvel as an independent creator is staying closer to the source material.

* Asked about rumored Iron Man/Hulk cross-pollination, Favreau declined to answer and compared spilling information to fans to feeding steaks to a pit bull. "I don't want to give too much away," he said. "Many of the rumors are true, many are not."

Favreau said that fans are becoming great detectives and he's trying to guard many elements of the film.

* In launching a franchise, Favreau said he has to determine the tone and the players.

* Favreau said there will be a 90-second commercial premiering on Lost on Thursday. He then showed the trailer, which will be attached to 10,000 B.C.



E-mail the Continuum at RobAlls@aol.com



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