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SATURDAY, JULY 25, 2009

COMIC-CON: IRON MAN 2 PANEL

SAN DIEGO -- Marvel Studios returned to where it all started for the Iron Man movie franchise at Comic-Con International on Saturday, trying to continue the momentum for Iron Man 2.

Below are live highlights:

* The first panelist was Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios."You improve where you thought you could improve and keep the tone where we thought we did it well the first time around," he said about trying to top the first film.

* Next was director Jon Favreau, who showed generic footage. Robert Downey Jr. went on stage to complain about the footage in a mock exchange with Favreau. The real footage was then show, to loud response.

* Cast members Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/War Machine) were then introduced.

* Favreau said the film wrapped last week. He said for the sequel he wanted to add characters -- but not too many -- and wanted to keep the same tone.

* Downey said that Tony Stark was such a great role and that because they nailed it for the first time, it allowed for such good new actors to join the franchise for the sequel.

* Cheadle said taking over as James Rhodes was a case of working on a movie of a bigger scale and he relied on Feige and Downey to get the right tone for the character.

* On wearing the War Machine armor, Cheadle said, "It's heavy."

" I can't believe your rig is better than my rig," Downey said.

* Favreau said Johansson dyed her hair red before getting the part, showing her commitment to the part, and that she promised to get in great shape and be able to do the stunts -- and she delivered. "Most of the stuff you see in the movie is her doing it," Favreau.

* Rockwell said the trailer blew his mind. He was seeing the footage for the first time.

* Favreau said he is watching how Thor is coming together. "The prep work and art is looking fantastic," he said, noting it won't shooting until Iron Man 2 has completed.

* Asked about working with Mickey Rourke, Downey said, "And I thought I was eccentric."

"Mickey's fabulous, we had a great time," Rockwell said. "He's a consummate actor. He's very professional and we smoked a couple of cigarettes together."

* Favreau said the Whiplash suit is Ivan Vanko's first attempt at technology. He said that once Mickey Rourke found out his character had been in a Russian prison, he went ahead and visited a Russian prison.

* Favreau said he wanted to deal with how Tony Stark deals with the struggles of being such a powerful character.

* Johannson said learning the stunts was a case of "just putting in the time" and working with the stunt team. She said it was important to recognize that the actress was doing the stunts.

* The footage was then shown a second time.

* Cheadle said he tried to do his performance based on what the script dictated and tried to do an "elegant" transition from Terrance Howard in the first movie.

* In response to a question, Bob Layton was called up the panel. He said that he visited the set and it was a great experience. "I was incredibly proud of the first movie and I think this one is going to knock your socks off," he said.



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