‘Iron Man 2′ shoots to thrill with AC/DC

April 19, 2010 | 5:53 p.m.

“IRON MAN 2″ COUNTDOWN: 18 DAYS

Tony Stark breaks all the rules (even the one that says superheroes must keep a secret identity), and he always seems to comes 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 and a look at all things Iron Man.

ACDC

Most superheroes try to keep their secret identities just that — a secret. Not Tony Stark, who has what you might call a confetti personality (as in, “Where’s today’s parade?”) and a showman’s soul. For director Jon Favreau, that presented fun filmmaking opportunities for “Iron Man 2″ but also the challenge of delivering outsized moments that lived up to Stark’s life and ego.

“He’s Iron Man, he’s Tony Stark, he’s going to go a million miles an hour, so what do you expect this film to be and how can we take it past those expectations? When I was watching AC/DC with my wife and my son and they were playing ‘Shoot to Thrill’ at the Forum, I thought, ‘You know this is how he should show up, right in the middle of this and take the armor off. That’s the Tony Stark version of doing things.”

The meet-the-adoring-public scene also sets up the film’s themes about the dark side of celebrity, but it was an expensive and unorthodox addition to a superhero film. “It was a big leap. It was not a cheap thing to do. Whether you’re blowing up a tank or landing in a rock concert, it’s the same thing [for a visual-effects team], once he’s moving around, he’s moving around.”

The music of AC/DC, meanwhile, has become the signature sound of a superhero franchise that is, after all, quite familiar with the possibilities of heavy metal.

“What’s fun about them is they were the full-on real deal of heavy metal when I was in high school,” Favreau said. “They were as real deal as it got. They made some people nervous — people questioned whether they were devil worshipers or not. And now these days they put on the same show … and there’s a sense of humor about the whole thing. And my kid loved the whole thing, and to me, there’s an almost nostalgic thing about the whole show; there’s even a strange gentleness to the music to me now, even though at the time it was as edgy as you get. It’s celebrating immaturity and youth, really, at the worst.”

Just like a certain billionaire superhero…

Check back. We’ll have more on AC/DC and the music of “Iron Man,” including a chat with the band.

– Geoff Boucher

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