Remember last fall when movie sites suddenly found themselves being bombarded with tidbits about the then-shoot DARK KNIGHT that were increasingly rousing and occasionally headscratching (Heath Ledger as The Joker?! WTF?!) It seems like IRON MAN is looking to take over that mantel for fall 2008.
Its been only one week after the surprising news that Don Cheadle would be replacing Terrence Howard as Tony Stark's right-hand man James Rhodes/War Machine. Now comes the BIG news that not only has Robert Downey Jr. renegotiated his contract to play Stark in IRON MAN 3 . . . But in the Marvel mash-up THE AVENGERS as well. In it Iron Man will team with fellow do-gooders Captain America, Thor and The Hulk against what will have to be one seriously evil entity to require their combined efforts. Needless to say this becoming the most expensive superhero movie ever is pretty much a given.
The AVENGERS movie shouldn't be much of a surprise since there were clever Marvel superhero crossover references peppered throughout both IRON MAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK movies. (One of them featured Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Shield but no mention has yet been made of either the actor or character's involvement in the project.) Its the fact that nailing down Downey for the project is a huge step towards getting such an ambitious project off the ground. Cheadle will also be in the film. IRON MAN helmer Jon Favreau will produce the film. There'd been speculation that Favreau would direct both IRON MAN 2 and THE AVENGERS but schedule conflicts between the two projects but the kibosh to that (and mostly likely saving Favreau's physical and mental well-being in the process).
Besides THE AVENGERS being transcendentally awesome, its also my deep hope that this will be the final nail in the coffin of the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie . . . Or should I say at least in its currently planned interpretation. I'm not a comics guy so I really can't discern whether Marvel or DC is better. However what I do know is that in regards to their similiar ensemble hero projects Marvel is making right decisions in complete contrast to DC's mildly retarded wrong ones. Key example - Warner Bros.\DC's decision that they should cast young, resulting in pretty boy/girl CW-types playing experienced, battle-wearied heroes. (And inevitably resulting in some of those SMALLVILLE-esque (unconscious?) homoerotic smoldering looks exchanged between all that yummy boy candy. Thanks Chris Nolan for an intelligent, progressive and intriguing interpretation of Batman but now we're gonna go with him being a bad-boy bartender at the hottest club in Gotham City . . . Oh and he's gonna carry a gun too.
Hopefully once again IRON MAN (and company) have saved the day.
"If those Justice League punks try to compete with our movie we just tell them they're
not going to Cancun for Spring Break"