Moments before Marvel Studios took over the legendary Hall H for the panel, which we live blogged here, executive producer Kevin Feige, filmmaker Shane Black, and of course Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle gathered to answer questions for the press. Our very own master nerd newsy Steven Sautter was on hand to capture the event. Taking into account who was in attendance, it was a fair guess the topic was going to be the first post-Avengers Marvel Studios movie, Iron Man 3.
Highlights from the Q & A are up after the jump.
Pressure on big set pieces after avengers?
Shane Black - Not bigger, just different. Making a nice stew for it.
On The Iron Patriot rumors?
Kevin Feige - The fun thing is that it’s a practical suit. It’s an awesome suit, that Mr. Cheadle does get to wear in the movie.
Don Cheadle - But not fun on set.
Shane Black – What’s also fun is how much of the guessing is so wrong and completely off base! We love the rumors. We love that. That’s fun..
How did the success of the avengers, how did it affect this movie?
Robert Downey Jr. - The Avengers surpised us to a degree. I feel that Rhodes and Tony haven’t been explored.
Shane Black – The way to go about doing a [third film] is you have to find a way the first two aren’t done yet. By the time you finish three, you want something resembling the culmination of a trilogy. I think we’re finding ways of making this organic and new based on what’s happened before..
How is Iron Man 3 going to focus on Iron Man, rather than Avengers 2?
Kevin Feige - It’s to prove they are just as interesting on their own. It’s a serious character study.
What’s it like working with Shane again?
Robert Downey Jr. - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was one of my favourtie experiences. The script was nearly perfect, but we improvised anyway.
Shane Black - You improvised anyway.
Robert Downey Jr. - It was the storytelling.
How many more generations does the suit have to go through?
Don Cheadle - There are some different iterations that War Machine goes through in this film that I don’t want to give away, but it’s fun seeing these things morph and shift
Robert Downey Jr. - I like that in the comics, there was a little suit envy between the two.
Shane Black - I found it interesting to learn how angry some of the fans were that the suit was gold.
Do you get to see Tony’s Dark Side?
Robert Downey Jr. - We realized the beginning of Iron Man 2, Tony’s dying, wow, then he has a party and he’s drunk, wow. So we don’t like him. There’s a way to enjoy all that kind of shadowy stuff. We just kept thinking about what would it really be like if this guy was in this country and where else could he go in this country? If you look to the history of films Shane’s written and directed, there’s a real desire to hearkening back to some of those themes in mainstream films. They will occur in Iron Man 3.
Shane Black - Tony will not fall off the wagon.
Robert Downey Jr. - You haven’t seen my rewrites, Rhodey picks him up at Betty Ford, scene two.
How does China factor in?
Shane Black - We’re not going to China. I can say that we’re setting aspects of the story there, but not first unit filming. Don’t tell anyone.
Don Cheadle - That stays in this room.
Kevin Feige - Iron Man 3 is the beginning of the next phase so it will set the tone in a lot of ways, Tony’s journey and things could spin forward but it’s as self contained a story as we have done since Iron Man 1..
How importance is romance to the story?
Shane Black - The remarkable thing is favreau did, is top gun style thrills with romantic comedy. That’s part of my favorite things too.
Robert Downey Jr. - There’s never been a movie like this, where your lead character has a girl he’s going home to. But Rhodes is single.
Don Cheadle - Is this a dating service?
How do you keep all the Marvel stuff from overloading?
Kevin Feige – Just try to make good movies. As long as they all feel fresh.
Shane Black – We were allowed to take risks. I think that is admirable in a superhero film.
How does it feel to be a hero?
Robert Downey Jr. - I think I speak for any of us who get to live in this world. There was just one of these photo things with a bunch of kids where they dressed up as Iron Man. There were a couple of War Machines, too. There’s something about it that’s just … wow, a great opportunity. It’s an odd thing. I take this as seriously as Shakespeare..