Fresh from Joe Quesada’s always full of info column, Cup O’ Joe, we have some new insights into the making of Iron Man 2 and Thor, so far.
Here’s what the Editor in Chief for Marvel had to say about a conversation he had with Jon Favreau very early on for Iron Man 2:
He wanted to know who he is and why Tony Stark does what he does. That was really key to Favreau: why put on the suit and try to do good things? It was a much tougher question once he defeats the Iron Monger, gets his tech and his company back…why continue doing this? What does Tony Stark stand for? In essence, the thing I never revealed about that conversation in the past is that Jon was looking for these answers because he was already thinking ahead, he was thinking about Iron Man 2.See, it doesn’t quite work on film that he goes and stops a little lady from getting mugged. While that may be an ancillary part of it, when you have that suit of armor, the world’s greatest weapon, the story has to be bigger, and your reason for being has to be bigger. But at the same time, it has to be small and streamlined enough that an audience can grab hold of it. Favreau is all about that. And at the same time, where do Tony’s allegiances lie? It was almost the same kind of questions we had during Civil War. So time with Favreau is sort of spent quietly huddling and talking about a character’s reason for doing what he does. Again, that’s also a part of that Marvel formula.
He also gave a very interesting description as to how, of all people, Shakespearean actor/director Kenneth Branagh sold Marvel Studios on his vision for the movie adaptation for Thor:
We had one big creative meeting with the Marvel Creative Committee, which now works on all of our movies and I have the honor to be a part of. We sat with Kenneth and discussed the “Thor” movie and the overarching story of what that’s going to be, just to give our input before anything was put down to paper by screenwriters. And it was one of the highlights of my time here at Marvel because not only did Branagh sit there and give you the story beat for beat, he and [Marvel Studios head] Kevin Feige formed a great team. It was performance art. Kevin would give us the establishment of the shot and the situation: “Here we are. We’re in (take your pick of location). And here’s Odin and he’s coming up to (pick a character).” And then Kenneth would come in and give you the color commentary. “Odin has an air of majesty to him” and he’d act out the Odin part or the Thor part. So we sat there and literally got a three-hour one-man show from Kenneth Branagh. It was fantastic. People pay a lot of money for that kind of performance by one of the world’s greatest living actors.” … “He’s very Shakespearean in his delivery. He’d sit there and give us the emotions between the characters as they are in scenes – what the character’s motivation is in that particular moment and how it relates to the overarching story of the movie. He’s definitely about character, which is the quintessential trait you have to have to understand the Marvel characters. It’s not just big hammers and capes and things like that. It’s about what makes the character tick. There’s definitely a reason for Thor, a reason for him being and a very deep family relationship and story in the movie that I think is going to be very cool. Oh yeah, and there’s reasons and motivations for him to hit people with his hammer… hard!