Jon Favreau on Iron Man

Jon Favreau on Iron Man

Actor and director Jon Favreau spills the beans on how he is determining what types of special effects process he will use on Marvel’s new film, Iron Man. Favreau recently appeared on NPR’s (National Public Radio) entertainment program, The Business, to talk with host Claude Brodesser-Akner about Iron Man.

The man who got his start acting in films like Rudy and Swingers sat down to discuss the business aspects of his adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Iron Man. The film is the first film to be released independently through Marvel Entertainment and distributed through Paramount. Marvel has announced the release date as May 2, 2008 and Favreau is already knee deep in production. The film is estimated to have a budget of 100 million dollars, but when asked for a specific number the director said “we don’t’ know what that number is exactly.”

“The questions that we ask in Iron Man are what [is] the best thing to use?” said Favreau on the use of practical effects vs. CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) effects. The director of Made, Zathura and Elf has worked with both types of effects. Zathura primarily used traditional practical effects with some background CGI effects. With Elf he used stop motion and CGI effects. In Iron Man, Favreau looks to use CGI in a subtle way that does not take you out of the movie. The director is quick to point out that by exclusively using CGI filmmakers “run the risk of making it look like you are watching somebody else play a video game.”  Favreau wants to keep the audience focused on the story and not become disengaged or distracted by the effects.

On the Iron Man suit, Favreau said “if you have too clunky of a figure it takes you out of the movie. You can’t do with a Robocop suit, what Iron Man has to do. He flies, he’s athletic, he’s acrobatic, he fights, [and] he shoots. He has to do a lot of things for you to justify making a movie about him.” Favreau will most likely use Motion Capture effects to create more realistic movements of the Iron Man character.

Even before casting the director regarded Iron Man as the star of the film. The director plans to save time and money by shooting the actions sequences without the lead actor even being present, “the sequences that take the most time and the most money to shoot probably will not even require the actor to be involved or even be on set.” By using pre-visualization to map out action sequences they can have these sequences rendered and finished before principal photography even starts in February 2007.

Speaking about the cinema photography of the film, Favreau looks to create shots that mimic real world camera photography. By photographing scenes with a real world eye, the film has a better chance of selling the audience on the overall visual effects.

Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr. will likely hit theaters on May 2nd, 2008.