Friday, September 29, 2006

Tony Stark, makes you feel, he's a cool exec, with a heart of steel...

I have to admit, I never really thought Iron Man would actually become a movie, but when Jon Favreau was hired to direct, things looked more solid. Now Robert Downey, Jr. has been hired to play Stark, and so the promised 2008 release looks pretty certain.

Downey isn't necessarily the first name that would pop into someone's head, but here's some things on his side.

1) I actually like the fact that he's older. Stark is a man of the world, and shouldn't really be a youngster like Spider-Man or even Bale's Batman.

2) Downey, of course, can actually act.

3) You don't need a big name in a superhero movie. Tom Cruise's name has been attatched to the project forever, but (his current career woes aside), why pay a guy $20 dollars when you can get an actor for half that and put the rest of the money on the screen? In superhero movies the character is the star, not the actor.

4) Downey's signature drug problems, assuming they are actually under control at this time, play into Iron Man's backstory. Back in the '80s, Iron Man was the first superhero to be a full-fledged alcoholic. Presumably they'll be running with this thread now.

Anyway, while Iron Man's not my favorite character, he is a classic Marvel guy, so here's luck to them. Meanwhile, they supposedly are still working on that live-action Avengers movie. I can't imagine it actually happening in a million years, but it's hard to think of anything much cooler than making Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk (the upcoming sequel) and Thor movies, and then bringing all three actors playing them together for an Avengers movie. It would be just like the comics.

In other superhero news, Spike TV's Blade series will not be brought back, but the ratings for the first episode of NBC's Heroes were very strong, easily whipping CBS's sitcom duo, Two and a Half Men and Old Christine. Of course, that doesn't mean viewers will keep watching it, but it's a good start.


At 8:57 AM, Blogger Big Al said...

Never been a fan of Downey but really not a bad choice. Sad to hear about Blade heard very good stuff about the show. Gee, Chuck Sheen sleep walking throuh a half assed sit-com or an itelligently written (at least for the 1st episode) super hero show? What ever will I watch?

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Henry Brennan said...

Damn - I loved the Blade series. Sheesh, I thought it had good ratings, too.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

It'll be interesting to see if Downey can commit himself to playing an outright hero, even a flawed one. (And especially one who is a weapons manufacturer for the U.S. Military.) It's certainly a smart career move, but it might lost him that Indie cred.

Unless, of course, it makes a crapload of money.

And again, I like the idea of a 40 year-old in the part. There's no reason for Stark to be a kid.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I think Downey is a solid choice, and very fitting for Iron Man's story, as you pointed out .. great stuff

At 4:39 PM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

I dunno, since Stark is a weapons maker, he's almost guaranteed to have a "change of heart" somewhere in there. Hollywood couldn't possible have a guy like that a hero, could they?

Downey's not a bad choice, though I always thought Timothy Dalton had the perfect look.

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Matrixprime said...

Downey kind of looks the part, at least as far as the Ultimate version goes.

He's also a very good dramatic character, and Iron Man/Tony Stark was definitely full of drama; in addition to alcoholism he also, several times, hunted down people who stole his technology both out of depression that people were using his tech to hurt others, and paranoia.

He's a decent analogue to Batman (at least as he was written from late 90's to Infinite Crisis) - Paranoid, somewhat bitter, severe loner

As for the Blade TV show, can't say I'm sorry to see it go. The pieces I saw were either Saw level of gore (ripping off someones jaw, the criminal in the skin suit with teeth glued on) or levels of silliness (the child vampire leader).

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Henry Brennan said...

(re: "Blade") - yes, it was ridiculous. That's what I liked about it. You never knew what nonsense they were going to come up with, next. Still, though, I enjoyed their cheesy inventiveness. (the violence and gore level, was obviously not for everyone - but I gave them credit for pushing the TV envelope while not relying on the violence to define the storyline).


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