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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Favreau talks Stark's alcohol addiction, Branagh doing Thor and how Captain America fits in

AICN have got the second part of their interview with Jon Favreau posted. He goes into immense detail about the making of Iron Man and what will be in the sequels. What interested me was what he had to say about Tony Stark's alcohol addiction from the Demon in a Bottle storyline.

Jon Favreau: We’re definitely going to use alcohol, but alcohol isn’t a shadow, I don’t think. I think addiction is something you use to anesthetize yourself when you’re dealing with something deeper. And if you look at twelve step programs, that are probably the most effective way of dealing with an addiction, you’ll see that they spend very little time dealing with the actual thing you’re addicted to: substance. Most of the steps become about dealing with your spiritual health and delving deeper into what’s underneath the addiction.

And I think in that respect it’s very telling as to what… it’s a matter of discovering what Tony Stark’s issues are that he’s dealing with that’s causing him to drink, causing him to womanize, causing him to escape and run in whatever way he does. And that’s what’s compelling especially when you have a guy like Robert, who can really handle this kind of a storyline. Of course you don’t want to overwhelm the film. I want to maintain the tone we had with the first one, for the most part. Nolan has cornered the market on that tone and does it well. It’s not what I do well or what I want to see in IRON MAN.

And so you have to have enough of it to inform the story and I think that EMPIRE STRIKES BACK really walked that line very well. I wouldn’t call it a dark movie but it definitely was for real, it definitely had some emotional resonance to it. It wasn’t just a videogame. So, we try to study who did it right.

And I feel pretty at ease because typically the number two movies are… you sort of the best of both worlds, where you know what you’re doing, you’ve got your team together, and you’ve got your cast, and you have your basic things, and it’s how do you expand out from that? And the audience is ready and accepting, you don’t have to prove yourself to them, they’re coming expecting a good time. And you could really do stuff that you can’t do in the first one, now that the origin story is out of the way. And with the villains and the playfulness and the dialogue we have between us and the fans of the books where you start to pick through forty years of books and try to find villains and storylines that apply to both the Cold War context in which IRON MAN was presented, as well as what could work with the headlines today. What pays homage to the tradition of this storyline and what does not seem ridiculous when it hits film.

So it’s preserving the soul of the experience while having enough reference, so that there are moments where the fans are rewarded for having followed his stories are so long and not frustrated by that. Often times people who are fans of comic books go see the movie and enjoy it less than people who don’t know anything about the heroes because they’re so frustrated by how many leaps and liberties they took with the source material.

In IRON MAN I think the fans actually enjoyed the movie more than the people who didn’t know what was going on and I think that should be it, you should have stuff in the margins for people who have dedicated themselves to following this and were excited when they heard it got made and they’re the first ones in line to see it. You don’t want them to be disappointed, you want them to have an even richer experience. And then have their friends turn to them and say “I don’t understand who’s that guy with the eye patch” you know what I mean? That’s when it becomes fun. When I saw LORD OF THE RINGS I felt good that I had read the book LORD OF THE RINGS. It enriched the experience for me...

... we named like the pilots’ call sign was Whiplash One and Two. There are little things here and there… and the Ten Rings and if you look at the flag of the Ten Rings, you’ll see that the writing… it looks like it’s Arabic but it’s actually Mongolian writing on the flags.

So, we were really paying attention, of course now it becomes more and more difficult because we’re weaving… it has to culminate in the AVENGERS. Which, although I won’t be directing it, I’ll be involved with it as an executive producer and I would feel really disappointed if what good will we’ve curried from IRON MAN 1 and hopefully 2, is not lived up to in the AVENGERS.

Then he goes on to confirm that Kenneth Branagh is going to be directing Thor and how all of the Marvel Studios movies will tie together.

Jon Favreau: And I’m going to get a little more involved now with what goes on with the other movies. I’m very excited about Kenneth Branagh, I can’t wait to see his take on THOR and we’re really looking at the Cap stuff, very closely.

For one because we put the shield in there and Tony’s legacy… Howard Stark’s legacy somehow is related to… there’s some relationship between Tony’s father and what was going on in World War II, in the Marvel Universe, and Shield, so we’re trying to lay some pipe here so that when it all happens it feels somewhat inevitable.

But there are a lot of tonal challenges that are going to take place, more so in the other films I think. THOR has a tremendously… that’s going to be the most difficult one to integrate into this reality. And if it can be properly done then you get a great version of AVENGERS. If not, AVENGERS is going to seem like ROGER RABBIT with different cartoon characters from different worlds, you have Betty Boop next to Daffy Duck next to Donald Duck you know. (laughs)

And I don’t know that’s the experience it should feel like, it should feel like a unified Marvel Universe. And I know that the Marvel guys are very, very vigilant about that.

What do you think of all that?


Anonymous said...

Cool. Wonder how Howard Stark ties in with Captain America. I like the Universe building they are doing on the Marvel films