We're here, literally crammed like a sardine into some of the first few rows at the Marvel Studios panel, and they've hit the ground running by introducing the talent right away. No fancy speeches or anything.
The Incredible Hulk just started shooting, so we unfortunately won't have any footage or pictures coming your way, but they did manage to bring Liv Tyler and Ed Norton down from the set. Woot! The questions are from the moderator, IGN's Eric Moro.
- So where does The Incredible Hulk fit into the movie mythology? "This is a part one, and it's the beginning of a whole new Hulk saga."
- Why another Hulk movie? "Because he's The Incredible Hulk!" Well, that tells me a lot. "We also won't have a Hulk that is three different sizes."
- Edward, you're contributing more than acting to the film, what else are you doing? "Well, you're making me be immodest ... I came into this and I wrote the screenplay. I was a Marvel kid growing up, and I used to subscribe to a lot of the books. Remember when they used to come in plastic with the little piece of scotch tape on the back? This story has almost limitless potential in it to be remade and redone. It's a really classic modern mythology."
- Liv, Betty Ross definitely isn't a damsel in distress ... what's your take on the character? "Well, I haven't started shooting yet, so I'm a bit out of the loop, but I used to love the television show and I'd watch it with my mom. In this film, we're searching for a cure for him."
- The place has turned into standing room only, and the line at the microphone stretches from here to eternity, so they've opened it up to questions from the floor.
- You've mastered the dual personality thing more than once now, how do you plan on doing that with the Hulk? "Well, making a special effects movie is new for me ... I haven't done anything that involves the interface with acting and special effects that this thing does. One of the first things I asked Marvel when I got involved was, 'When I turn into the Hulk in the film, does that take me out of the picture as an actor?' Well, there are some technologies that have come online in the last six months or so, which allow
- How does it feel to be playing the Hulk? "It feels ... weird. When I first started considering this role, I knew I'd have to run it by my friends eventually." *laughter*
- You say this is a reboot or a redo of The Incredible Hulk, and that you're fans of the comic and the TV show ... does this mean you'll be doing the TV origin or the comic book origin story? Ed: "Well, I've never liked the term 'origin' story. I've tended to wish that they wouldn't race through origins in stories to get to the action. We want to smooth it out in an artful way throughout the story."
- Ed: "To that end, we're not specifically tied to the TV show story. Fans of the books will see familiar characters throughout this story ... people like Leonard Samson will be in the film."
- Will there be a dedication to Bill Bixby in the film? Maybe after the credits? "There will definitely be a respect paid to Bill Bixby, in one form or another."
Who's ready for Iron Man? The crowd fairly goes crazy. They wrapped principal photography a month ago, and here comes Jon Favreau. He takes over the introduction process and brings out Terence Howard, who "is excited to play War Machine if this franchise continues." Nice tip to the series! Then out comes a hobbling Gwyneth Paltrow, and a dapper looking Robert Downey Jr. in a striped suit and the signature Iron Man goatee.
They're now showing the same footage they pimped out during the Paramount panel, so I'm going to sit back and glue my eyes to the screen. Oh, and yes ... to answer someone who asked if he has the chestplate on under his shirt ... yes, he does. Okay ... the footage is done. It's even better than the first time I saw it, and the crowd is wigging out. They play ''Iron Man' by Black Sabbath throughout. Plus, I am so buying the action figures from this film. Eric is back with a few questions.
- Robert Downey Jr., "I'm sorry, but could we have a bit more me in that?"
- Jon Favreau: "All of our suits are practical, and the only thing in that footage that was CGI were the flying scenes. In fact, we cut as much footage together as we could for Comic-Con.
- "I said I wanted to do it as often as possible, and when I saw one of the stuntmen laid up like a marine meeting a Bouncing Betty, I backed off a bit.
- Gwyneth Paltrow: "I love the dynamic between Pepper and Tony, and the fact that Robert was playing Tony was incredible. He's always been someone that I've wanted to work with, and it seemed like a real chance to have fun and be in a movie like this."
- Terence, what was it like for you to work on a movie like this? "What, you mean with a budget?" *laughter* "It was great ... you know I got to go up in an F-16?"
They're now turning it over to the even longer line of folks waiting at the microphone.
- Robert, you know you and I have had a some similar background issues, if you know what I mean. Downey Jr., "You mean, you're a war veteran too?!"
- Jon Favreau, "Can I just interject here? Chris Nolan really opened the door by casting Christian Bale in Batman Begins, and that has helped me get the cast that we have up here."
- Thank you for signing Black Sabbath to the soundtrack, can you let us know any other bands you've signed? Favreau: "Well, we're just at the very beginning of the music process, so we'll see. Iron Man definitely needs some heavy guitars when he really gets going."
- How did you prepare for your roles? Downey, "Well, Gwyneth was my personal assistant for two months ... and that was after principal photography. You know, sometimes you do the prep work after." *laughter* "It doesn't have to make sense as long as you're laughing."
Favreau announces that they have another cast member who will be joining them onstage ... Karen Allen! Okay, he's kidding. However, he does bring out Stan Lee, who has a small part in the film. Excelsior!
- Robert, how did you prepare for your role as Iron Man? "Well ... I took Stan out to lunch in Beverly Hills, and now he can get a table there anytime he wants."
- Stan tells an amusing story (we'll post the audio later) about how he used to dine at the same place, and he'd get a table in the back. However, when he made the reservation for him and Robert Downey Jr., "You should have seen the booth they gave us!"
- Stan, "If we would have had a writer back with us at Marvel, we would have overcome DC Comics a lot faster."
- Are there any plans to do a crossover with the Avengers, or maybe feature more of the heroes? "Well, that's definitely the plan."
Due to audience pressure ... they're showing us the footage again ... even louder. I just noticed that Favreau has a small part as Tony's security guard and / or driver. I'm now deaf.
That's all she wrote! Two movies, very clean cut, and we're off to interview the cast now. Woot!