Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Favreau off "Iron Man 3"

Yeah, I know I'm late. Busy time of year.

Anyway, as everyone already knows by now, Jon Favreau has bowed-out of directing "Iron Man 3."

Certainly not great news, but hardly surprising - both sides were very upfront about not getting along during the production of the sequel (re: Marvel Films insisting on the plot being reworked in order to stress Avengers/Thor/Cap continuity connections) - and probably the best thing for most involved: Favreau already has two big actioners on his plate with "Cowboys & Aliens" and Disney's big tentpole "The Magic Kingdom" (think "Night at The Museum," but in DisneyLand); while Marvel will hardly find itself short of less-expensive action directors looking to take a swing at it.

What it DOES highlight is the now-apparent fact that Marvel has decided to run their movie studio more-or-less the same way you run a comic book company; i.e. the policy seems to be: "These are OUR characters. You (directors, writers, actors, etc) can play around with them to an extent - but at the end of the day we have an editorial plan about continuity and where they need to end up."

On the one hand, you can see how that'd be stifling to some filmmakers. On the other hand... maybe it's the best way to handle project(s) like this, especially given the "fandom first" approach Marvel keeps taking on these things. They seem more interested in getting movie versions of the comics onscreen, as opposed to having their material serving as "outlines" for filmmakers to make new entities out of, basically. I mean... imagine if someone from, say, Hasbro had been able to veto Michael Bay in the planning stages for "Transformers?"


KevinCV said...

I personally think if Hasbro had that kinda power, they definitely would've vetoed Michael Bay. Especially after him initially turning it down with the comment of it being a "stupid toy movie". What an arrogant jackass.

I know if I had created something beloved like "Transformers", and I tried to offer it to someone to direct a film version of and they dismiss it in such a backhanded manner without prior knowledge, it wouldn't matter how much respect they supposedly gained for it after actually checking it out. That person would not be on my list no matter how much they try to lobby to get the job. I'd find someone who either knows the material and loves it, or someone who doesn't know it, but is keenly interested in finding out more about it in order to make a more informed decision on the matter.

akkuma420 said...

That's good news for me.
Time to move onto bigger and better things.
Didn't care for the second Iron man in the least bit, would hate to see what he would be forced to crap out on Iron man 3.

Jonnyp555 said...

Yeah this is starting to sound a lot like what happened to x-men. So long as there isn't a supervillain clusterfuck I'm sure they'll be just fine.

And Stan Lee needs to stop appearing in these films. It's not big and it's not clever

Drunken Lemur said...

But what does this mean for Happy Hogan? Who shall ever play him now? Woe is me, they shall never find a possible replacement for him.

Clayton said...

This actually sounds like the same kind of meddling that led to the cluster**** known as Spider-Man 3. YOU CAN'T MAKE MOVIES LIKE YOU MAKE COMICS, you can't.

senorwallito said...

I'm a little worried. There's been a lot of talk on this blog about how Sony's interference was bad for the Spiderman movies(which was true), so doesn't this still also apply? In all fairness, Marvel's aims are a lot better than Sony's in the sense that Sony wants to sell to MTV while Marvel wants to sell it's awesome characters and franchises. But from a strictly cinematic perspective, shouldn't we worry about anything that restricts the property? Aren't these movies based on comics that do loop-de-loops with their own continuity and story all the time?

I remember watching the third Spiderman and wondering why they didn't just make Harry into Venom if they wanted Venom so bad instead of randomly shoehorning another character in as the "big bad". Wouldn't it have made more cinematic sense for Harry to be the one who is seduced by grief and anger by a space alien into becoming Spiderman's final nemesis, rather than a random pissed off coworker we just met? But you couldn't do that when tethered by the studios, because Venom has to be Eddie Brock or Max Gargen. I know there has to be certain things inherent within the story to make it an "Exampleman" movie as opposed to a generic action movie starring "Exampleman", but I think it's rarely good when a movie is constricted, no matter how good the intentions. And that many times decisions faithful to the spirit of the comics and the story are more important than decisions that are faithful to the details. Some of the best comic stories and characters were created through retconning, an active changing of it's own timeline to better suit the narrative. Shouldn't the film makers get this same amount of freedom, at least in terms of tinkering with our pre-conceived notions of the characters?
(None of these questions are asked sarcastically and redundantly. Im completely open to being dead wrong)

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

Well its about time the property owners started standing up to these Hollywood jackasses who think they know best for us. I've always hated the argument that you need to alter something drastically to be more appealing to people who have never seen it. If they've never seen it before, what do they care if it's altered or exact to canon, THEY STILL DON'T KNOW IT.

Fine by me if someone else takes the helm of Iron Man 3. The good work has already been done, the groundwork laid for better times to come.

Sssonic said...

Also, your pot-shot at the "Transformers" movies strikes me as hilarious. Do you really think Hasbro gives a fuck about the "creative integrity" of the franchise? I sincerely doubt it; "Transformers" is and always has been a product first and a story second to them, well before Bay entered the picture, and I doubt they'd care one way or the other if they did have someone on board to contribute to the Bay movies (which I'm not entirely sure they didn't anyway, but I don't know for sure). I can respect your distaste for Bay's movies, but fer cryin' out loud, Bob, get some new material already, or at the very least go back to ragging on "The Expendables" for a bit; you'd still be beating a dead horse, but at least the bones wouldn't be showing.

Sssonic said...

(posted this out of order, sorry)

"On the other hand... maybe it's the best way to handle project(s) like this, especially given the "fandom first" approach Marvel keeps taking on these things."

I'd be significantly more convinced of this argument if "Fandom First" hadn't given us "X-Men 3: The Last Stand", and make no mistake, one of "Last Stand"'s biggest failures was its insistence on cramming in every last damned thing "fandom" had been asking for since there were X-Men movies to ask things of without any sense of where to put them or how to make them work with each other. Thus did we get Dark Phoenix standing around doing nothing for most of the film and having very little to do with anything else that happens in the movie, Beast showing up almost purely for the sake of showing up and getting (the admittedly well-cast) Kelsey Grammer in some blue make-up, Juggernaut being "the muscle" (and even spouting an internet-meme catchphrase for no discernible reason) while contributing pretty much nothing to the story, and on and on the list goes.

I also feel like, if the ultimate goal is to actually tell a good story, "Fandom First" is perhaps the WORST attitude one could take to getting around to it. This is due to a number of reasons:
a.) "Fandom" is a larger and more complex thing than most people seem to give credit to. "Fandom" is comprised of so many thousands of people that discerning one collective opinion on any one matter is nearly impossible and even the closest you get would still exclude a large number of fans. There isn't always a clear majority in fandom, and even when there is, I imagine it goes without saying that "Majority Rules" is really not a terribly good rule of thumb for storytelling; look at, say, "Heroes", whose creator explicitly acknowledged that the plot was made up almost entirely based on fan reaction following the end of Season 1, resulting in the show just getting stupider and stupider as its story swerved wildly from episode to episode to keep up with fan reaction.
b.) If the goal is to tell a good story, which again I assume it is, then the overall principle should not necessarily be "Fandom First", but rather "Story/Character/Whatever-will-make-this-good First", and while the two are not mutually exclusive, they are not the same thing either. You can absolutely do good stories that please the fans, much like, y'know, the original "Iron Man", but towing the "Fans Fist" line can also mean shirking away from risks which could either be necessary or drastically improve the story, and no story should have to do that as a matter of course. This isn't about tailoring the story to fit the mainstream, either; it's about telling the best story you can regardless of who you might piss off. One might argue you'll make more money otherwise, but as "Scott Pilgrim" can attest to, how much money something does or does not make is by no means a barometer of its actual value, and I would rather a thousand "Scott Pilgrim"s each of which bombed than a single bland, fan-appeasing turkey that succeeds. I realize, of course, the suits aren't in a position to think that way, but then again the suits' track record on predicting what will and will not be successful is fairly uneven anyway.

Dave said...

I'm sorry...but marvel is saying he didn't whore the avanger and thor enough? that was half the movie? The glossed over the most important story arc in iron man for a go nowhere subplot that isn't resolved until after the credits. The rest of the film was just a madlibs version of the first film.

I've been having serious doubts about this whoel shared continuity thing since whedon was chosen. Nothing that awesome doens't come with a price.

This pretty much kills any interest I have in thor now.

Ah well, back to the DCAU. Bruce timm never fails me.

Smashmatt202 said...

Well damn, that sucks...

Chris Wyatt said...

Definitely a bummer, but yeah I'm not surprised at all. I kind of got the feeling that Favreau wasn't given as much control over Iron Man 2 as he probably should have and would end up either stepping down or being replaced for the 3rd.

Not sure who should take over... just please don't be Brett Ratner.

Elessar said...

Fandom first can occasionally be just as bad an idea as putting the jocks or the romantic-comedy people first, depending on the property.

In some properties it can be a much, much worse idea.