The actor gives his take on why he thinks the first movie did so well
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 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?
“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.”