Shane Black and Kevin Feige Talk Iron Man 3

Comics, Movies/TV


This is re-posted from and author Marc Strom.

Creating a sequel always presents a unique set of challenges, and crafting the third entry in a series can prove even more difficult at times. So when Producer Kevin Feige started looking towards Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” he knew he had to shift the tone of the series in order to push Tony Stark to places he hadn’t been before.

Joined by director Shane Black, Feige delved into what makes “Iron Man 3” unique and how they built the Armored Avenger’s most dangerous adventure yet, hitting theaters and IMAX 3D May 3. And just in case you missed it, check out the second full trailer for the film now!

“The most recent, best part three was ‘Toy Story 3,’” comments Feige. “That’s tonally different than the other two. We were well underway on ‘Iron Man 3’ by the time we saw that movie, but it is to be admired. Because it goes to places you don’t necessarily expect, and frankly you only could have gotten to that place in a part three. That’s the advantage of a franchise that has more than two parts, you know the characters so well that you feel for them and you’re willing to go–we’re betting, at least–on a much more off-the-beaten-path journey with them than you have been before. ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ in a way liberated us in the development process because we knew we couldn’t go bigger than [that, and] we didn’t want to go bigger than Avengers. What are you going to do? Crack the Earth in two and Iron Man is going to have to put it back together? No, that’s not what [‘Iron Man 3’] is about.”

While the story of the next Iron Man film is much more personal for Tony Stark, fans can still expect the same action and adventure they’ve come to expect from a Marvel Studios film.

“I think what we’ve got now are hopefully three really memorable sequences, but they’ve also got to be organic,” adds director Shane Black. “That’s what I hate about action movies [that have] character [scene], stop, action scene. Ok, start the character again. It’s got to be one thing. But it’s great working with Downey. Downey won’t just do an action scene. Every action scene he does is a character piece.”

In order to create those action sequences, Black had to think very carefully about the precise way in which the action would develop.

“The challenge [to me], together with these really remarkable animators and artists as a resource, [was] to not just have scenes where Iron Man flies in, shoots a bolt, and the guy flies backwards,” continues Black. “How do you start to tone the action so that it becomes intricate and you don’t remember all of it, you just finish the scene and go wow. Then, if you go back you find little pieces in the middle that you forgot were there, but they are seen as a toning mechanism, as detailing.

“So it was about getting together with these really brilliant people who do this pre-visualization process at Marvel and just detailing the action so that you’re inside it with the character as things come at you, [and] little bits can put things over the top. I’m always drawn to [movies] like ‘The Perfect Storm’ with George Clooney. It’s not really an action film, but there [are] scenes in it where he looks up and there [are] Rube Goldberg[-esque] things that happen when the mast comes down and it goes by his head a foot away. It’s just a split second, but for some reason in the midst of everything else, that little bit of extra detail sells the action and you remember the sequence.

The character of Tony Stark and his own internal dilemmas lie at the heart of all this action. As Black noted, the more explosive scenes in the film have to come from a place of character, and in order to really integrate the two you need to make the stakes for our hero even greater.

“We were much more inspired by the first half of the first Iron Man film to say let’s put him metaphorically back in the cave with a box of scraps and see how he uses his brain to get out of it,” remembers Feige. “And that’s very much in Shane’s wheelhouse, taking cinematic tropes and cinematic conceits and spinning them in unexpected ways. He’s done that in this film not just in Tony’s story, but even in the armor. He can just toss the armor onto another person, [which] opened up an entire different conceit [that] Shane [used to] construct three unbelievably cool action sequences. [That] gave us the opportunity to check that box of ‘big action’ while it’s really a Tony Stark character story.”

(all credit to Marvel Comics, Marvel Online and Author Marc Strom)

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