Can you tell us about the set that we’re sitting in at the moment?
This is his workshop, and the beginnings of what will be the Hall of Armor. This is below his house. We built a house that sits on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific up in Malibu, Point View, and we have another set that we’re shooting in today which sits above this, an architectural hi-tech home, and this is his sub-basement. So out those windows you would see the Pacific Ocean. We suggest that all the innovations and inventions that come out of Stark’s mind usually start alone here as opposed to his office at Stark Industries, but this is where most of his work happens at four in the morning.
What can you tell us about casting Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane? Do we see Iron Monger? Jeff has said that their relationship is like a mentor…
Here’s the bottom line, we’re making a Marvel movie and it’s the first time Marvel is making its own movie, so I want to stay true to the books. I’ve been working on this thing for a year, and it’s going to be another year before it’s out, and if everybody figures everything out along the way by the time you see the movie you’ll feel like you’ve seen the movie already. So we try to put in enough twists and turns and things in there, have something that you guys don’t know as we go forward. But, by the same token, because it’s Marvel I want to stay as true to what the broad strokes of the comic-books are. Is he a mentor to Tony Stark? Yeah, that’s sort of the relationship that we found between Jeff Bridges and Robert Downey that would be good. Is it still Obadiah Stane? Yes, it is. Are there certain expectations people might have who’ve read the comic- books for several decades based on who it is, are they going to be waiting for another shoe to fall, I think they probably will, and we’re not going to change the universe so much that to the purists it will seem like we betrayed the underlying truths of it. If you’ve done your homework on the books, it’s going to serve you well when you go into the movie because we’re doing it too.
Is this a big undertaking for you with all the action that this film has?
It is, and we have a great second unit, they’re probably on the other set blowing things up. We’ve been very lucky to have a group of people that are very good at developing and calling the action, I don’t want to sit here and pretend that I have huge action experience, I think I can tell a good story, I think cinematically I can make something compelling. I’m enforcing rules on the story where it doesn’t feel like two completely different films, and there is the possibility that it goes from swingers to power rangers, and everybody’s like, ‘What am I watching?’ So the trick is to bring up the Human story to a world that feels like it’s a comic- book, it fits into the genre, and then keeping the action aspect of it, I wouldn’t say restrained but hold it up to a certain standard of reality that you have a broadness that you expect in a comic-book movie, but it’s not like just do whatever the hell you want because it’s a movie and everybody just wants to eat popcorn.
by Judy Sloane