Cybersurfing: Directing Iron Man

The Orlando Sentinel has an interview with Jon Favreau, who directed IRON MAN, the big-budget film adaptation of the Marvel Comics Superhero. Though Favreau’s previous credits (ELF, ZATHURA) are not encouraging, he says he learned from those experiences (dealing with special effects, etc), and it sounds as if he had a plan for how to deal with the character:

…he wrestled with the story’s politics. Iron Man was a 1960s creation, the story of a wealthy military ordnance manufacturer who builds himself an armored suit that flies, fires weapons and takes whatever the world’s evil-doers dish out.
“To sweep that [militaristic] aspect of the character under the rug seemed like a missed opportunity,” Favreau says. “We changed it to Afghanistan. I try not to preach too much as a filmmaker because I know my opinions might change. But I wanted to capture the anxiety we all feel and play around with what fantasy films do, which is to give complicated problems simple solutions. That’s Superman stopping the runaway train or Spider-Man rescuing the little old lady from the mugger. It’s escapism.
“I didn’t want people to have to spend their Friday night having their nose rubbed in what they see in the news every day. We’re not making In the Valley of Elah here.”

Favreau says his biggest contribution to the film was casting Robert Downey Jr.:

 “Robert brings an authenticity to the role simply by what he’s experienced publicly, in his life. He grew up in the public eye, much as Tony Stark has, living in a fishbowl, famous.”
“…We can read all this personal history of his into it, and it allows the film to maintain a family-friendly posture and attitude. But the audience knows that personal history, what he used to be like.

Leave a Reply