Tag Archives: Iron Man

iFeature | MARVEL STUDIOS 10 Years… Not Just a Phase (Part 1)

In the beginning, 10 years ago, it would have hardly been imaginable that a cinematic universe was in the making, now Marvel Studios has redefined the “blockbuster” and it all began something invincible, incredible and mighty!

The summer movie landscape was always the playground for Hollywood’s big-budget bonanzas! The studios figured it was the most operative and lucrative of opportunities to roll-out the popcorn fair, and it gave them the funds to drop big money into their prestigious Fall Movie releases, which were often star-power draws and dramas ready for awards season. It all started to drastically change when the studios started to see big box office returns from genre-faves like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Bryan Singer’s X-Men.

Warner Bros. always had itself a cash cow with the Batman franchise, but when the studio decided to reboot the franchise and handed it over to visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan Batman Begins jumpstarted a whole new way to envision the superhero film. Marvel was starting to pick up on this as well, and although it saw an interesting swing handing Ang Lee Hulk in 2003, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films were really the path of least resistance for Marvel to take, especially if its plans to control how their properties got adapted to screen was to materialize.

When Kevin Feige the president of Marvel Studios inherited the reigns, Feige imagined something not unlike the popular pulp series books that Marvel Comics introduced and had been publishing for 80 years. He saw a universe of interconnected stories, stand-alone film franchise with characters that inhabited the same linear narrative and would potentially interact with one another, and when the time was right — the people, their stories and worlds would intersect into one — just like the superheroes that Stan Lee brought to life in the Marvel Universe of comics.

Marvel Studios IRON MAN

In 2008 Marvel Studios took its biggest gamble, and it paid off when it handed the reigns of Iron Man to director Jon Favreau. The largely untested filmmaker had certainly carved a niche for himself in comedies and starred in several of his own features, but Favreau had a very deep understanding of the technological wonder that is the character and was a natural fit to bring The Invincible Iron Man to the big screen. The story goes that Favreau called in several favors, including reaching out to Academy Award Winner Gwyneth Paltrow to appear in the film.

The director’s greatest advantage came from landing Robert Downey, Jr. to star as billionaire weapons manufacturer Tony Stark, who after getting kidnapped by terrorists who want him to build them super weapons instead constructs for himself a life-saving armor. Stark becomes the Iron Man and heralds in a new hit at the box office. Iron Man took in a gross of 585.2 million and inspires a new movement with the post-credits “stinger”. At the conclusion of his epic battle with Iron-Monger (Jeff Bridges), Stark is approached by a mysterious secret agent with a proposal.

Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury suggests to Stark that it’s the beginning of a New Age and that he’s recruiting a team to tackle the threats that will require some “avenging”. This stinger sent a seismic shift through Hollywood introducing the idea of “The Avengers Initiative” — and the Marvel Studio cinematic universe was born! Favreau and Feige had a plan, a bigger picture in mind, a narrative that would run a thread through several big-screen franchises, but lead to a larger scale adventure the realm of which audiences couldn’t imagine would ever make it to the big screen.

Marvel Studios THE INCREDIBLE HULK

Perhaps the unlikeliest follow-up to the success of Iron Man was the release of The Incredible Hulk especially given how recently the big Green Goliath had been adapted for the big screen. Ang Lee took a stab at the monster’s story five-years earlier with his near art house adaptation starring Eric Bana. Credits were not amused and that movies ending left a lot to be desired, but Marvel Studios plowed forward with a “reboot” with Louis Leterrier in the director’s chair and Edward Norton now filling the role of the gamma radiated Dr. Bruce Banner.

The film almost feels like a sequel to its predecessor, although it recasts all the major roles including Liv Tyler as Betty Ross and William Hurt as General Ross, who has made it his mission to hunt down the fugitive Banner who has proven most elusive. Banner has taken to moving all over the world in an endless and tireless quest to contain the beast within him; that proves precarious when Banner gets wind of a possible cure and resurfaces. Ross has also recruited the bloodthirsty Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) — who becomes an Abomination!

The film was received with mixed reviews, but still made a dent with a take of 263.4 million in box-office; not Iron Man numbers but still proving lucrative by studio expectations. The film, in fact, did exactly perform as anticipated and served to set the ball rolling. The inclusion of a particularly important moment, at the end of the flick established Tony Stark (Downey, Jr.) in this world with an interest in Banner’s extra angry alter ego. This may not have set well with the movie’s star. It had been reported that Edward Norton clashed often with the film’s director and producers.

Norton had his own ideas about how the story should have progressed and was very vocal about his dissatisfaction with the final edit. The actor had been approached about continuing with the role, and it was also rumored that Robert Downey, Jr. was brought in to persuade the actor to stay on with the studio. It appeared that Marvel Studios would have other plans and the next time that the Hulk would appear on screen he would be embodied by a new actor that would make his mark and a smashing addition to the ensemble.

Marvel Studios Iron Man (2008) directed by Jon Favreau and starring Robert Downey, Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Download.

Marvel Studios The Incredible Hulk (2008) directed by Louis Letterrier and starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth and William hurt is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Download.

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Marvel’s CIVIL WAR II: Second Engagement

With the future hanging in the balance, Iron Man and Captain Marvel clash over exactly how best to stem the tide in this latest crossover epic!

Can’t we all just get along? It doesn’t look like it especially if you’re a Marvel Super Hero. The big-screen action hit film Captain America: Civil War adapted one of the more interesting and far-reaching arcs ever presented within the scope of the Marvel Universe’s landscape. In that first series by Mark Miller and Steve McNiven lines are drawn when a rogue villain goes nuclear and takes with him an innocent population. The Avengers, including Captain America and Iron Man are forced to intervene, especially since it looks as if some “super heroes” may have been at fault for causing the accident.

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The US government of course decides that it’s time that these so-called “superheroes” step up the plate and demand that heroes, like the members of the Avenges, are registered with the government and collaborate as agents on behalf of the world’s best interests. This does not sit well with Cap who feels that it would infringe on the civil liberties of the masked community, while Tony Stark thinks it’s a good idea to comply with the order. With these two major forces on either end of the spectrum, it isn’t long before the heroes begin to pick sides and “civil war” among the Marvel Super Heroes ensues.

The sequel, timed to coincide with the release of the new Captain America sequel of the same name, written by Brian Michael Bendis with arc by David Marquez isn’t a big leap from its predecessor, but it does take advantage of the complex evolutionary turn that has taken over the Marvel Universe after the recent “earth-shattering” event of the Secret Wars II. After the Marvel multiverse collapses and has time to reasssert itself into its current configuration, as the dust settles new alliances have emerged and the species of “Inhumans” have endured.

Civil War II pits Iron Man once again on one side, although this time around, Stark is destraught and mourning the loss of a dear friend when a mission to take on the villainous Thanos goes horribly wrong.  The leader of the Ultimates, a newly sanctioned version of the Avengers that works alongside S.H.I.E.L.D., is Carol Danvers, the newly minted heir to the title of  Captain Marvel. Carol learns of an Inhuman — a young man named Ulysses — that has just discovered his gift to see into the future. The captain seizes on what she believes is a tactical advantage, and when Ulysses has a vision about an imminent attack from Thanos, the Ultimates spring into action.

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Iron Man prepares for the fight of his life taking on the Ultimates and the Inhumans in a bid to save the Marvel Universe present from its future in Civil War II.

The battle comes at a cost when James Rhodes, War Machine — friend to Stark and Danvers lover is killed by the raging Thanos. Although Stark had warned Danvers about tampering with the future, Captain Marvel believes that she is working in the best interests of everyone. When Tony learns that Carol’s brash tactics have resulted in the death of War Machine and has put She-Hulk in a coma, the Iron Man suits up and decides to take initiative of his own.

The Iron Man’s action could lead to an internation incident when he kidnaps Ulysses who is under the protection of Medusa the Queen of the Inhumans. Tony means to learn exactly how the young man is able to see into the future, but there is no way that he can stop the full force of the Ultimates and the Inhumans from coming down around his ears. Iron Man may have his hands full, with no other choice but to summon the Avengers in for support, but when these forces clash whose side will come out on top?

That’s the question as Civil War II continues to unravel.

 

 

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” Trailer is No Holds Barred!

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It’s WAR! Captain America takes on Iron Man in the next episode in Marvel Films cinematic universe…and he’s bringing along some friends.

It’s hard to imagine discord in the Marvel Comics universe but one of the publishing giant’s greatest moments came with the crossover event “Civil War” which pitted Avengers and allies; on one side the forces of Captain America facing the corporate might of the United States government and Iron Man.

Although both had the best of intentions, Cap and Tony found themselves at odds over the government implementing a mandate that any and all super-powered individuals be registered with the government, and by order serve when called upon. Captain America believed this action to be an infringement on the individuals civil rights, while Iron Man was convinced it was every hero’s social responsibility.

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It’s war! Avenger vs. Avenger…”Civil War” is about to get the big screen treatment next summer.

The epic saga played out over several months in 2006 and into 2007 under the watchful creative arc of writer Mark Millar. The series also had repercussions throughout the Marvel Universe, and played out in practically every one of its monthly publications — especially profound was the impact on Spider-Man as Peter Parker found himself revealing his secret identity publicly at Iron Man’s insistence, but when a battle with Captain America’s resistance force ends in a major casualty, Parker switches sides.

The storyline resulted in several “Avengers Initiatives” afterwards, until Captain America finally resurfaces to oppose a rogue nation.

Iron Man and Captain America ultimately must but their differences aside when they discover the truth in their folly. As Avenger battled Avenger, the villainous Norman Osborn inserted himself into world affairs and ultimately places every major super villain in a position of power!

This confrontation eventually plays out, and the Marvel Universe has never been the same, and now the battle will play out on the big screen when the Captain America: Civil War the third in the series of solo films featuring the “First Avenger”, but how will fans react when Cap faces off against his fellow Avenger Tony Stark. If the just released trailer is any indications…sparks will fly!