Iron Man 2 Q&A: Part Two

Robert Downey Jn on the set of Iron Man 2

In part two of a “virtual roundtable”, Iron Man 2 producer Kevin Feige discusses what it was like to work with the sequel’s cast, crew and characters.

Q – Can you talk about the balance between real effects and CGI … how critical is that to the success of a superhero film?
A – The combination of practical and visual effects is very important. [Director] Jon [Favreau] is very sensitive to shots in which the camera work is done at impossible speeds and impossible angles. Our CGI vendors became very astute at what we call ‘Favreauvean’ shots which contain those imperfections that make even a full CGI shot seem practical.

Q – What’s it like to orchestrate such a large group of talent and personalities?
A – While it can be challenging at times, it is ultimately extremely rewarding and the only way I like to work. The more talented people you’re surrounded by, the better the product turns out.

Q – What were some of the biggest production challenges that you faced while filming Iron Man 2?
A – The Monaco sequence was one that provided the most concern for us in preproduction. The limitations of taking a full crew overseas and getting access to the track initially made it seem undoable. But the hard work of our physical production team, and particularly how strongly Favreau stuck to his guns and his ability to charm the Prince, gained us unprecedented access and earned us one of the best scenes in a Marvel film to date.

Q – Tony Stark’s pet peeve of “handing him things” is brought up a lot more in the second Iron Man film, is there a reason for that?
A – In keeping with the Tony Stark parallels to Howard Hughes and his eccentricities, it felt like a fun touch.

Q – Kevin, could you discuss the involvement of Kyle Cooper and Prologue for the credit sequences and virtual interface for Tony Stark? Did that evolve out of new concept, from the ‘90s Iron Man Comics or from Star Trek?
A – We’ve had a long relationship with Kyle and Prologue as they’ve done great title work for us over the years. As they moved into vfx, we were proud to be a part of that. The holographic floor in Iron Man 2 is an expansion of the table-top tech we established in Iron Man 1.

Q – What was the decision process that made you decide against that alternate opening?
A – That’s a good question. We debated back and forth for a very long time. While we liked the notion of starting off with our hero in an unexpected manner, ultimately Jon felt it was best to see Tony first revealed on the Stark Expo stage.

Q – What led to the casting of Garry Shandling?
A – Co-producer of Captain America Stephen Broussard saw him on an episode of Tavis Smiley, and told his idea to Jeremy Latcham, the co-producer of Iron Man 2, who brought it up to Jon Favreau, who called Garry literally on the spot.

Q – Why did you decide to drop the scene where Natasha shoots Iron Man’s cast?
A – We were always big fans of that scene and it played a big part in the trailers, but ultimately we decided it went against her character to seemingly push Tony to be so irresponsible with his tech.

Q – Sam Rockwell is an uncommon talent. Any anecdotes to share about his work process or elements he brought to the film?

A – To quote Senator Stern, Sam Rockwell is a national treasure. Every choice and decision he makes adds to the character and makes the movie better. For example, check out his orange hands in the hanger scene – that was his choice. People kept trying to color correct it, and Jon constantly had to protect Sam’s choice.

Q – Jon Favreau mentioned that Mickey Rourke spent time in a Russian prison to research his role. What did you think when you heard that?
A – I was glad he didn’t ask us about it, because I’m not sure we would have let him, but he did pick up some great ideas about his character, particularly his tattoos and his wardrobe.

Mickey Rourke

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