“IRON MAN 2” COUNTDOWN: 6 DAYS
Tony Stark breaks all the rules (even the one that says superheroes must keep a secret identity), and he always seems to come out on top — that’s why we love him. But now comes “Iron Man 2,” a film about secret dangers, the sins of the father and the nasty price of modern celebrity. The movie lands May 7 in the U.S., and every day until then, we’ll have behind-the-scenes scoops on the summer’s most anticipated film.
We’re in the final stretch of the countdown. Here’s a Saturday-night roundup of news from around the Web.
IRON MUNN: There’s a part for “Attack of the Show” host Olivia Munn in “Iron Man 2” (she plays television reporter Chess Roberts). But it turns out it was a late substitute for a different character and scene that ended up on the cutting-room floor. Director Jon Favreau explains (somewhat) over
AGENT OF SHIELD: Captain America made a fleeting appearance in an icy tundra scene in the home video version of “The Incredible Hulk” and his shield popped up in “Iron Man” but it was such a fleeting, background moment that it was easy to miss. Now in the new film a version of the shield (or possibly a prototype, since it appears half finished) shows up in “Iron Man 2” and there’s a gag built around the strange item — although the people in the film seem pretty oblivious to what they have their hands on. You can read more at Worst Previews.
DOWNEY SOFT, DOWNEY TOUGH: Men’s Journal has an excellent feature on Robert Downey Jr., and though the full text of Stephen Rodrick’s piece isn’t online (as far as I can tell), you can find some cool excerpts at the magazine’s website. The piece has Guy Ritchie talking about the effect of jail time and martial-arts training on Downey (“He really can scrap. He’s done time in jail, which didn’t exactly soften him up. He has a real physicality”) and this tidbit from Downey’s martial-arts guru:“When he first came to me, insurance companies wouldn’t bond him for movies; he couldn’t get roles. I told him if he didn’t show up to a lesson, I was going to chop off his toes and feed them back to him. One day, he didn’t turn up, and I told him goodbye. Then he had a couple of producers call me and vouch for him, saying, ‘He was with us in a meeting; he didn’t have a phone. It’s our fault. Don’t cut his head off.’ He has committed himself to it ever since and turned his life around.”
THE NUMBER 23: HollywoodChicago.com has (almost) two dozen photos from “Iron Man 2.”
JOBS VS. GATES: One of the key conflicts in “Iron Man 2” is the back-and-forth between Tony Stark and Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), and, who knows, maybe it goes beyond the screen since at the movie’s premiere in Hollywood, Downey was going down the stage introducing his costars until he got to Rockwell and Garry Shandling, whom he referred to as “those clowns down there” — which was met with some tight smiles by the two newcomers to the cast. But is the Stark-vs.-Hammer rivalry based on the computer-world struggle between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates? Maybe, says Gizmodo, citing bits from others.
— Geoff Boucher
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[For the record, 7:36 a.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled Garry Shandling’s first name as Gary. Also the shield item has been expabnded and tweaked a bit to be more comprehensive]