The man behind the restructuring and renaissance of Marvel movies, Kevin Feige, is currently guiding Marvel Studios through their Phase Two batch of films. Kicking things off is Iron Man 3 on May 3 and for the first time in the franchise, Jon Favreau isn't directing. Instead, Shane Black brings his zeal for the Iron Man comics to the sequel that promises to explore Tony Stark's character while still bringing the big action sequences we've come to expect from Marvel movies.
A few months ago, Fandango had the opportunity to sit with Feige and Black at a press day and ask them about how the project came together, the selection of The Mandarin as the chief villain, and balancing the fantastic elements of the Marvel universe with the more grounded approach the studio sought with Iron Man 3.
On finding that balance between the fantastic and the down-to-earth:
Kevin Feige: You can have heightened elements. Look at Avengers. You can have these crazy other-worldly things. It's the way the characters respond to those things. The emotional response from the characters, that's where grounding it in reality is most important. Even in the comics. That's where you have the difference about caring about a comic book character and not, if their emotional response is believable and appropriate. Certainly what Tony is going through based on the events of the Avengers is very real and not quite as dire, but is a form of post-traumatic stress. He's dealing with it in a way that you don't see superheroes do much.
On whether the Phase Two films will have end-credits stingers:
Feige: It's sort of case-by-case. I mean, I don't want to be in that theater when even two people stay behind and nothing happens. I like that we've trained at least some people to stay behind and get a little reward. But it serves a different purpose. It was part of the "Hey, surprise, look. These are all connected. We're building toward something here." [Like the] shawarma [joke], which everybody knows was an idea that we came up with much, much later and shot after the premiere, just because we thought it would be fun. So it's a little faster and looser now because people know, and frankly the whole purpose of Iron Man 3 is to say these characters can exist successfully on their own again. But, as I said, I don't want to be there when nothing happens.
On the most physically challenging aspect of the shoot:
Shane Black: Everything involving the suits flying. Everything is either wires or you've gotta take forever to rig somebody or it's invisible. So there's a guy on wires and he gets hit by this invisible thing that throws him backwards. You have to match everything and nothing is there. In the editing room, it’s constantly vexing. On Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, we'd show up and say, "Okay, we're doing an action scene. The car crashes. Where do we go?" You couldn't do that [on this]. You couldn't show up on the day and say, "Okay, he jumps off the tower and the building explodes, let's begin." You had to have it so meticulously planned in advance. The invisibility thing for me was the most daunting thing.
On any other Marvel characters that could get an R-rated movie:
Black: I've always felt that certain characters could be adapted in a cool way. Quentin Tarantino kind of poisoned the well with Django, but I always thought there was a 1970s version of Black Panther, which was a period that could be really cool and involved a lot of racial tensions of the time. That's not gonna happen. Nick Fury, I adored growing up. If you ever read the ones that [Jim] Steranko did for Tales of Suspense followed by Nick Fury, the stand-alone number one through eight, some of the best comics ever made. [But now] you have Sam Jackson, who's 60 years old and sort of plays a patriarchal figure.
On coming up with reasons for why the Avengers don't call each other for help, now that they've all been acquainted:
Feige: It's a good question. If you're reading a stand-alone Iron Man comic, they don't spend every other page explaining where every other Marvel character is. The audience kind of accepts that there are times when they're on their own and there are times when they are together. I'm betting that movie audiences will feel the same way.
Iron Man 3 opens May 3.
Don't miss this chat with Robert Downey Jr. and be sure to check out the new trailer.
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Marvel, Iron Man 3, Shane Black, Kevin Feige
Awesome interview and very "thankful" that our MARVEL character(s) (Disney/Marvel) are in good hands: Kevin Feige and Shane Black taking on phrase two of IRON MAN 3 Tony Starks incrediable life and the man/Actor Robert Downey Jr that brought such powerful-action and charisma to the Role. So, looking forward to IRON MAN 3 and it's ending credits, surprises toward the ending.
"Welcome to the party, pal."
"I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."
"When am I gonna learn how to punch?"
"These go to eleven."
"Benjamin, have you ever been severely beaten about the face & neck?"
"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
"Jessica's got cable."
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