Robert Downey Jr. On Why First 'Iron Man' Was A Success

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No_Name_

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Edited By No_Name_

 The actor gives his take on why he thinks the first movie did so well  

 
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 There is one very interesting element that puts 'The Dark Knight' and 'Iron Man' in the same category. They are two successful superhero films that maintain a certain element of reality that launched them both into the stratosphere of success. In essence, both these heroes are human and maintain very realistic human elements. While the first Iron Man movie was an origin story "grounded in reality," (it was as believable as a superhero movie could be). Making a sequel to an origin story and succeeding in keeping the story grounded may be easier said than done; and considering the success of the first Iron Man film, there were likely to be many challenges for both the cast and crew when it came to trying to create an equally successful sequel. In a recent interview with Rotten Tomatoes, actor Robert Downey Jr. discussed exactly that.


“My take — Jon [Favreau] was in agreement, and Marvel supported us — was that once you tell an [origin] story pretty well, that's usually where things start to get dull, and one or two or three things start to happen over and over again...“That's the big balance to strike,” continued Downey. “It would be so easy to go so far out it would be intergalactic and nothing would be grounded in reality any more...



“I think what worked for ‘Iron Man’ is that it almost seemed like something from the cover of 'Popular Mechanics,'” said Downey. “These kinds of suits were starting to be made in the States and Japan, so people were responding to 'Iron Man' almost as though it was a more of a high-tech 'James Bond.' So how could we start to introduce elements of the storylines in the comics without becoming too outlandish, where it wasn't rooted in some kind of reality? That's my big thing, and the only thing that's really been of been of any benefit with my - quote, unquote - successes recently, is that they have allowed people to trust my instincts more comfortably, and to give me a little more creative leverage. And that's all that matters, because all the other stuff comes and goes.”
“I'm really, really, really hell-bent on protecting what's beautiful about my relationship with Marvel and my relationship with Jon Favreau first and foremost, then, secondarily, 'Iron Man' at large,” added Downey. “And the tertiary element is always the audience: what would I pay to see if these schmucks had me roped in to come see the movie again? Because I kinda know I'm going to go anyway, and I hope that I'm not sorry I went.” 

I know that I personally adored the first Iron Man movie for many of the reasons that Downey listed above, but what do you think? Why do you think that such a wide audience was so receptive to the first Iron Man film? Are you looking forward to the sequel, and more importantly, do you think that it will be hard to make the sequel live up to it's predecessor?     
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Darkchild

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#1  Edited By Darkchild

I agree with Tony..i mean Robert

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aboynamedart

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#2  Edited By aboynamedart

Funny thing is, he didn't seem to name anything really specific there.

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kid_keio

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#3  Edited By kid_keio

i think with war machine and black widow this cant be that much of a let down , im hoping for the best 

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goldenkey

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#4  Edited By goldenkey

there's those glasses again
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MrCipher

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#5  Edited By MrCipher

I think the overall concept of "grounded in reality" is the key. The characters were human. They had ideals, failings and aspirations. Even Obdiah Stane had some likeable qualities in the beginning of the movie.
 
The other aspects were that they did not skimp on the special effects, they dealt with Iron Man in a physical way from the way he flew, to how he landed, to how the armor and it's weapons were developed. Take a simple idea like "Tony is the kind of genius only rarely seen in anybody's lifetime" and you can make an audience swallow lot's of implausiblity as long as you keep your eye on reality and don't take it so far out it leaves Believability-Land. 
Also I had no problem with modernizing the story. The conflict setting changed and things like that but it was still a well-crafted story that satisfied me as a fan and gave me some new imagery to absorb. 
And lastly, filling the movie with quality actors made it worthwhile. Nothing kills any movie more than having one or two actors in major roles whose talent falls flat. 
 
Unfortunately, when it comes to comic book movies and costumes, certain textures look awful on screen; shiny colorful metal just happens to not be one of those things so it's a shoe-in. 
It is much harded to get a costumed hero to look right when spandex comes across so poorly.
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Son_of_Magnus

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#6  Edited By Son_of_Magnus

That picture is great!

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goldenkey

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#7  Edited By goldenkey

I think the movie did well because the commercials sold it.  We were watching trailers and commericals for at least 6 months and when the word got out that is was a mature plot but you could take the kids to go see it, it did great.  We don't need to talk abut how well the acting was, just look at the cast, We weren't sure how Favreau was gonna do with an action movie, but the guy has done so well with Swingers, and Made because the dialogue, and I don't care what kind of movie is being made, the most important part of a film is dialogue, and for those about to disagree look at Glen Gary Glen Ross.  The movie is an office and in a bar and it's the dialogue that carries it, and by who carries it.  Ironman was just fun, well acted, and mature.  Nothing real cheesy, but it's success was because of the commercials being blasted in our faces, and word of mouth.  Hearing it was good by the people who saw it the first weekend and telling us it was good, and everyone was curious because of the damn commercials.  Superman returns sucked, and this was the closet thing people were gonna get to that because Ironman flies, and he's strong.  So once good word got out, the non comic readers flocked in droves to the theaters with thier kids and with thier boyfriends and girl friends.  Knowing you weren't going to waist $10 on bad movie helped a little too.
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@aboynamedart said:
"Funny thing is, he didn't seem to name anything really specific there. "

What I liked about it was the adventure in the experience. It was a fun ride. I liked The Dark Knight for completely different reasons. Iron Man was just a flat-out fun roller coaster ride!   
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#9  Edited By The Devil Tiger

I loved the first Iron man movie, and god know how I hated douchb... I mean Tony Stark in the comics. I loved Robert Downey Jr. as Tony stark and the movie was like a link between Marvel Classic and Ultimate, taking the best of all and keeping true to the character and the public.  
 
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HaloKing343

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#10  Edited By HaloKing343

I think it worked because Tony is a likeable character. Same reason spiderman did so well.

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InnerVenom123

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#11  Edited By InnerVenom123

Because, the actors, the effects, the story... it was all good! 
 
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#12  Edited By SevanGrim

 

Iron Man rocked because the actors Rocked. if you just read the dialogue or actually go through the order of events, the movie is kinda sporadic (wow, it really just took me 5 minutes to remember how to spell that), but Robert and everyone's acting style and the overall feel of the movie kinda balanced it out. If you watch the extras on the DVD RDJ and Jeff Bridges practiced their lines everywhere they could every time they where together. I dont think either of them memorized their lines so much as knew their characters and how each scene was supposed to end. 
 i know Sam Rockwell and Don Cheadle can match the style, because they've done it before in like half of their movies. But I'm betting Rourke and Johansson's scenes are going to feel more like the cave/ terrorist scenes in the first movie: to the script and without the massive amounts of ad libbing.

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Yung ANcient One

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#13  Edited By Yung ANcient One

i dunno besides the simple thing... Graphics were great and looked real... Actions Scences where a plenty... and right on time... and Tony had issues... u wanted to know more about tony...IMO thats how they got it right... comercials and hype helped opening week... and basically if the movie is good more people will tell others to watch the movie... SO it was Jus right... i think this movie will be awesome but not as Good as the 1st i dunno why... its jus gonna be close to epicness but it will fall off short...imo

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theevilhotdog

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#14  Edited By theevilhotdog

why did they change the actor for rhodey?

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Namor1987

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#15  Edited By Namor1987

I like the realistic apsects of the movie instead of the fantasy realms of the MU. But I also like how the MU includes alot of different aspects like the supernatural, scienitific, technological, religious, & different cultures into it
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#16  Edited By theevilhotdog

huh?????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#17  Edited By FLStyle

The reason why I think Iron Man was a success is simply because they took something that's geeky and make it badass without your average person noticing. Like Dark Knight.

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Jamiracles

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#18  Edited By Jamiracles

They were each individually true to what made the initial comic properties successful and the producers of the film benefited because they adhered to that. In other words, i think Hollywoods starting to realize that "Hollywoodizing" a franchise property just isnt a successful marketing tool anymore. Was it ever really? Maybe with Robocop? :S

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#19  Edited By Rocketeer

I agree with Grim - It was the acting that made the first movie. I always thought Tony Stark was sorta boring in the comic books. But Downey made the character rock. Hope the sequel can at least be as good as the first.

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#20  Edited By Moomin123
@theevilhotdog said:
"why did they change the actor for rhodey? "

Because Terrence Howard (the first guy) wanted a bigger pay, and the producers and people like that never really saw eye to eye with him. It's a shame.
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#21  Edited By drawme

Nice to hear what he´s saying.

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