This was, without a doubt, the biggest panel at Comic-Con 2007. No fewer than ten movies were previewed/featured at this thing, and several big surprises were revealed as well. But of course, the biggest reveal was the premiere of the 'Iron Man' trailer.
Getting to see a full length trailer was actually an unexpected surprise, because the presentation began with a "pre-taped" clip of Jon Favreau saying he's sorry he couldn't be there, he's stuck doing editing, etc., but here's some exclusive new footage from the film - and of course, we get a clip of an old animated Iron Man cartoon.
Oh, that Favreau, such a kidder!
Then, of course, Favreau himself enthusiastically ran out onto the stage, which got big cheers from the crowd. The director said that they had just wrapped filming of the movie, and that he wasn't scheduled to come out for the Paramount Panel but that he was able to sneak away at the last minute - which, once again, elicited huge cheers from the crowd.
He proudly explained that they were able to do a lot of practical effects for the film "thanks to the folks at Stan Winston", who built a lot of the suits. They will be doing some CG work with ILM, but many of the effects in the film were real - which is great to hear, because frankly, non-CG effects are always the best.
Favreau said that they will be showing actual 'Iron Man' footage at the Marvel Panel, and asked if anyone would be attending said panel? Again, cheers from the crowd. Favreau then asked if anyone would not be attending said panel? Many other people applauded and made noise dejectedly. Then Favreau said, "Aww, that sucks, cause it's good footage too - it's really good. But maybe you'll see it on YouTube, you never know. Of course, I could always show it now..." And then the crowd went wild. And lo and behold, they played it!
If you haven't seen the trailer by now (a bootleg of which has been posted and then removed from various online video sites) then let me describe it to you briefly.
I must say, on my first viewing, I was quite impressed. Robert Downey Jr. was inspired casting. In the trailer's opening scenes, Downey Jr. is clearly having fun playing spoiled, self-centered billionaire Tony Stark. My favorite crack is when he tells a soldier who wants to take a picture of him, "I don't want to see this on your MySpace Page" and "Please, no gang signs".
But then Stark's military convoy gets struck by a roadside IED that nearly takes his life - if not for the help of a mysterious man who saves Stark's life by hooking a magnet, powered by a car battery, up to his chest to prevent shrapnel from cutting into his heart. Ouch!
In order to escape imprisonment in the Middle Eastern war zone, Stark decides to become a crime-fighting hero. He builds a crude, bulky version of the Iron Man suit, the Mark I, and starts kicking bad guy butt to the tune of Black Sabbath's 'Iron Man'. The best part was definitely the fact that the bad guys who shot at his armor got killed by the ricochet of their own bullets. Awesome.
And since a billionaire can't be seen in such a clunky-looking suit forever, Stark eventually sports the cool, sleek, red and gold Mark II suit that you've seen on the posters. And not only does the suit look great, but it's jet boots allow Stark to fly. Yep, that's right, fly - right alongside speeding military jets. But of course, Stark is a billionaire, and engineering genius, which means he can build anything - including that kind of technology. I guess I'll have to start watching the skies to see if Bill Gates or Steve Jobs flies by.
After the trailer was over, Favreau pointed out that everything in that trailer, except for the flying scenes at the end, was done with practical effects and no CG. Now THAT was probably the coolest part about the whole trailer. Can't wait for next May!