Intended 2008 blockbuster Iron Man supposedly begins filming today. He has never been one of my favorite characters but then, neither was Spider-Man and those movies have proven themselves the gold standard of superhero films. I'm crossing my fingers.
Still, Marvel's recent trending towards the shotgun approach to movie-making (i.e. just point and shoot, the bullets will hit something) makes me wary. So, too does the casting of Gwyneth Paltrow as "Pepper Potts." I have nothing against Gwynnie ...nor nothing for her come to think of it. She's one of those actors that I am completely middle ground on. I can go either way with each new appearance. But didn't the casting directors see Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow? That's as close as the Oscar winner has gotten to a comic book film and she was dreadful in it.
Different genres challenge actors in different ways and not everyone slides easily into each. Even the great Meryl Streep claims a genre she doesn't understand how to act in (ftr: the pscyhological thriller which she tried only once: Still of the Night, 1982).
The heightened boldly colored performances that superhero films thrive on, performances rooted in reality but with a touch of the fanciful, have brought out wonderful things in actors as diverse as Tobey Maguire, Christian Bale, Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer (the latter's take on Catwoman remains the absolute pinnacle of this brand of performance). But there are plenty of actors (Halle Berry, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner among them) who just don't have the right chops or imagination for it, even though they're good in other things. So, I worry... If she flops though, Robert Downey Jr (as Tony Stark / Iron Man), Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges (the other members of this films pricey cast) will hopefully be overcompensating to cover for her.