Jon Favreau Talks ‘Iron Man 2′

Fresh off his success with Iron ManJon Favreau is already looking ahead to the sequel, which is set to premiere in April 2010. caught up with the director on the set of the new comedy I Love You, Man where, despite attempts to discuss his newest role, both journalists and Favreau had no problem staying off topic. “You could tell by the reviews and box office that everybody seems to have jumped on board and really loves [Iron Man]. That is really, really gratifying for all of us who worked so hard for so many years on the thing.”

On the pressure of making a sequel:

With Iron Man still in theatres Favreau’s already thinking ahead. “You have got to outdo what you did before. Nobody knew about Iron Man, and that was a disadvantage in some ways, but nobody expected anything. Now, we have a movie that people seem to like and you can’t give them less. You have to give them more. We told the origin story so where do you go from here? There are plenty of story lines to explore.”

On the Iron Man team being in place:

When it comes to the cast of the sequel there is no need to worry – it looks like everyone from Robert Downey to Gwyneth Paltrow is back for more. “I know that all the actors are definitely in active negotiations. All of that has been agreed to, which is really encouraging, because I think the cast was a big part of the success of that as much if not more than ‘Iron Man’ the character. I think that as long as you got all those people together, and you have a solid take on the material, then I expect great things.”

Finding the bad guy:

After introducing audiences to the main character a sequel demands an appropriate villain and for those familiar with the franchise it seems Demon in a Bottle is a heavy contender. Favreau muses, “How do you handle ‘Demon in a Bottle’ and when does it come in? There is a lot to be mined there, but it’s all a puzzle. You have to reveal, I think, some heavy duty, heavy weight bad guys that you could counter balance this incredibly powerful super hero. I’m [also] glad that we didn’t try to attack the Mandarin the first time around. There is a lot that is very relevant about that character, in the pool of the landscape that we find ourselves in, but there is something off putting and distasteful about the way that the Mandarin had been presented back in the 60s. I don’t think that is relevant anymore.” 

Iron Man vs. Batman:

Although they all fight for good it seems that this summer alone Iron Man is taking on, at least in theory, Batman and Hancock. But Favreau thinks there’s room for everyone – as long as they don’t go head to head. “You have to look at the landscape of super hero films, there are so many out there. I’m really curious about The Dark Knight to be honest with you. That was this looming presence that we knew was going to be a great film. I think our big saving grace was the fact that we had a couple of months between that film and us and there was room for both of us. We weren’t fighting for shelf space. Even though we weren’t going head to head, it was very clear that we couldn’t [with] this character that on paper could seem very similar to Batman. You have the billionaire bachelor guy, who was struggling with inner conflict, and he has no super powers. We had to really steer clear of everything that The Dark Knight was doing. I have tremendous respect for their cast, for [Christopher] Nolan, and so I want to see what they do. I definitely don’t want to fight for the same territory as them.”

On the DVD extras of Iron Man:

But for the time being it’s not time to let go of the first Iron Man yet. Favreau and his team are currently in the process of putting together the DVD extras. “We are going to do a commentary. I just got delivered a whole bunch of extras that look really, really good. We had cameras on the set all the time. They put together something for ‘Iron Man’ that spans from the first story meetings, to designing the suit, mixing it up at Skywalker Ranch, through the premiere. There are hours and hours of great stuff that will be available.”