Comic-Con 2009: Iron Man 2

Forget “New Moon”, the single busiest panel of the entire San Diego Comic Con this year was Paramount’s “Iron Man 2” panel on Saturday.

How busy was it? Even arriving nearly an hour before its scheduled start time with special passes to get in through a VIP entrance, me and many other major press outlets (some smaller, some bigger) were literally not allowed in the 6,500-seat Hall H because the fire marshall had closed off the entrance due to overcapacity issues.

Thanks to some help from a friend, I managed to get in through the back way to catch the second half of the panel and the footage which thankfully screened a second time as I missed that first showing. The clip consisted mostly of a scene from the beginning where Tony Stark is interviewed by a government committee (headed by Garry Shandling) asking him to turn over the Iron Man armor which he refuses. There’s also a scene with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Stark chatting.

After that came more quick cut stuff. We see Scarlett Johansson in a tight leather jumpsuit kicking ass in some white hallway. There’s Mickey Rourke on a race track in costume and swinging around the giant whips on either of his arms while electric bolts run up and down them. One action scene has a missile being fired and hitting Iron Man as he’s rocketing around and he falls towards Earth before stabilizing. There’s also a quick cut shot of girls dancing in front of a giant screen with the American flag like a Lenny Kravitz video.

The ending was a scene with Sam Rockwell offering giant guns to Col. Rhodes (Don Cheadle) who says he’ll “take them all” before the final money shot of the clip – War Machine. The costume is essentially the Iron Man costume, albeit silver and with three gattling guns – one on each arm and one coming out of the back of his head with all of them firing rounds. Ultimately the footage was solid and looks good, but as a non-Iron Man fanboy who enjoyed but didn’t love the first film, this seemed to be essentially more of the same.

During the Q&A, it was revealed that much of Black Widow’s stunts were Johansson’s own work. Favreau joked about Rourke’s time in a Russian gulag to get to understand his character, while he added that the central theme of this sequel is that Stark learns he can’t do what he does alone and needs support. As for “The Avengers”? “‘Avengers’ doesn’t shoot until were done with ‘Iron Man 2′” said Favreau who still has another full year of work to go on the film.