Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Three-Point Landings” with a minor in “Alcoholism”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
This week is the long lost supercult speech for that one time we all just decided to go see Iron Man 3 together!
When brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark finds his personal world destroyed at the hands of a new enemy, the fanatical terrorist known as the Mandarin, he embarks on a harrowing quest of redemption and retribution. With his back against the wall Stark must rely on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. Along the way Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him…ever since the writers needed to think up yet another character driven subplot: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man? Even heroes fall…it’s Iron Man 3!
Robert Downy Jr. returns to the role of Tony Stark and is joined by Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall, and Jon Favreau from the previous films. Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley join the cast as the spurned rival Aldrich Killian and the enigmatic Mandarin, respectively. Jon Favreau, the director of the first two Iron Man films, is also replaced with Shane Black, who is best known as a writer for the Lethal Weapon series, but made his directorial debut with “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” in 2005.
Blank excels at giving his characters a morbid edge and writing witty banter (which Robert Downy Jr. is well suited to deliver) but some have doubts about his ability to direct explosive block-buster action sequences like those demanded by this new breed of Marvel Super Hero film.
Black doesn’t come without a recommendation however. Robert Downey Jr. had previously starred in Shane Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and spoke highly of Black replacing Jon Favreau, saying that “bringing in Shane Black to write and direct the film is basically the only thing that Favreau and the audience and Marvel and I could ever actually sign off on.” Shane Black also admitted that Jon Favreau gave him tips and advice during filming (for which he was very grateful and thankful) though noted that this film would have a “different feel” from the other two.
Producer Kevin Feige has had a lot to say about the themes of the movie:
It’s “a full-on Tony Stark-centric movie… He’s stripped of everything, he’s backed up against a wall, and he’s gotta use his intelligence to get out of it. He can’t call Thor, Cap or Nick Fury, and he can’t look for the Helicarrier in the sky.”
Robert Downey Jr. further described the character as influenced by a post-Avengers world: “What are his challenges now? What are some limitations that might be placed on him and what sort of threat would have him, as usual, ignore those limitations?”
Feige described the film’s core theme as a love story:
“The love triangle in this movie is between Tony, Pepper and his obsession with those suits, and the obsession with technology. Yes, there’s a bad guy. Yes, the stakes are very, very high. But the real stakes are, is Tony going to be able to set aside spending every day in that workshop tinkering with the suits in order to focus on Pepper, the one thing that matters most?”
The Mandarin he says is inspired from Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now: “He wants to represent this sort of prototypical terrorist, someone who worked for the intelligence community, who went nuts in the field and became this sort of devotee of war tactics.” The Mandarin himself is portrayed with an ambiguous background: “It’s less about his specific ethnicity than the analogy of various cultures and their iconography that he perverts for his own end. We’re not saying he’s Chinese, we’re saying he draws a cloak around him of Chinese symbols and dragons because it represents his obsession with Sun Tzu and various ancient arts of warfare that he has studied.”
Lots of Trivia for this one…
- At 130 minutes, this is the longest stand-alone Iron Man film to date.
- As we all know Disney bought Marvel Comics, but they also bought the movie distribution rights from Paramount for $115 million. This deal also includedThe Avengers. However, as with The Avengers, under the conditions of the deal, Paramount will be the studio logo to appear and not Disney’s. It is expected that no reference to Disney will be made until the very end of the closing credits, “Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.”
- One scene from the film was shot inside Epic Games, the video game development company known for the Gears of War franchise.
- Unlike the first two Iron Man films, Industrial Light and Magic is not involved with the film’s VFX. Instead, Digital Domain and Weta Digital took over.
- Including the bonus scene in The Incredible Hulk, this will be Downey’s fifth portrayal of Tony Stark. This will also mark the first time Samuel L. Jackson does not appear in an “Iron Man” related movie as Nick Fury.
- The film was originally budgeted at $140 million, but after The Avengers became a huge hit Marvel Studios and Disney upped it to $200 million in order to allow Shane Black, the screenwriter, to make the best movie he could.
- The character of United States President Ellis in this movie is named after comic book writerWarren Ellis who wrote the 2005 Iron Man story arc “Extremis”, a primary influence for this film series’ story lines.
- Joss Whedon makes a cameo in the film. He’s the man hiding behind the car that Tony acknowledges during the attack by Ellen Brandt.
- Iron Man 3 is the first Iron Man film not to feature any songs by AC/DC.
Now for all the things I can say now that I couldn’t say when I gave this speech way back in May of 2013:
- With an worldwide gross of $1.21 billion, Iron Man 3 is the highest grossing Iron Man film to date. Iron Man 3 is also the second Marvel film after the Avengers to pass the $1 billion mark.
- With an IMDB score of 7.3 and a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, Iron Man 3 is the 2nd highest rated Iron Man film to date behind the first in the series.
Every now and then Supercultists, we’ve just got to take a break and watch a movie that we didn’t buy from a fat nerd in a back alley or steal from the bargain bin of Wal-Mart…
Get ready for some heavy metal!
The Supercult show is proud to present Iron Man 3!