Iron Man director Jon Favreau told a small group of reporters that for the upcoming sequel, he wants to shoot in IMAX, possibly use 3-D technology, introduce the Mandarin and turn Terrence Howard's character into War Machine.
Favreau made the comments in a news conference Sept. 11 in Hollywood, where he and Iron Man co-creator Stan Lee were on hand to promote the Sept. 30 release of Iron Man on DVD.
Favreau joked about how pleased he was with the reviews and the box office--right up until The Dark Knight got better reviews and made even more money.
One aspect Favreau said that he would like to take from Dark Knight, budget permitting, is the use of IMAX. And if Favs has his way, he'd be interested in throwing 3-D into the mix as well.
"I would love to do 3-D," Favreau said, adding that he saw the use of IMAX and 3-D as ways to give people a reason to go to theaters.
Iron Man 2 already has a release date from Marvel of April 30, 2010, but Favreau and company are only in the early stages of scripting.
"The writing [on Iron Man 2] is really coming along well," Favreau said. "We've got Justin Theroux [Tropic Thunder] working on it, who [Iron Man and Tropic Thunder star Robert] Downey [Jr.] knows. He brings a real sense of fun. He's never worked in this genre before, and so he has that great newcomer's enthusiasm that I think we still share."
Favreau added: "Pages are coming out, but it's really more of a conversation than actual writing. They are never really what they are going to be in the movie until the day you're shooting."
Favreau said that he and his colleagues are currently looking at a lot of the different comics in terms of creating a tone and coming up with ideas for characters. Matt Fraction's recent work on the Iron Man comic books has become the biggest source for the sequel, Favreau said.
"I'll tell you which [comic books] we're looking at very closely, not so much for story but for tone: the Matt Fraction [ones]," he said. "I haven't talked to him yet, but we want to talk to him and get him out here. The Fraction series seems to be informed as much by our movie as by what had happened with Iron Man before."
In terms of the villain, Favreau admitted that he is still struggling with the character of the Mandarin and how to properly translate him into the movie's world. Though he hints at a possible appearance in part two, he indicated that it's unlikely he will be the primary focus.
"We'll see how that basic group of four people moves forward towards the inevitable Avengers that's coming and how the Mandarin, how largely he looms in the next one. That's mostly what we're doing," Favreau said.
"I'm going to bring you up to speed in the movie and tell a fun story," Favreau added. "I [want to] up the ante in smart ways. ... You're going to see that the suit has changed more. ... That [Tony Stark, played by Downey] is making breakthroughs and innovation. [You'll see] what has happened since he said, 'I am Iron Man.'"
And what's up with the 800-pound gorilla in the room, War Machine, the superpowered character that Howard's Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes morphs into? "I want to do it," Favreau said enthusiastically. "We're drawing War Machine. We're figuring it out. We're talking to Terrence to see if he can take some time out of his new life as a musician to be War Machine. I think Terrence and the character of Rhodey were smaller in the first movie than we had anticipated. But it does set the table very well for this character."
Favreau added: "War Machine is fun, and, again, you look for ways to up the ante."--Jeff Otto