Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dynamic Mickey "Whiplash" Rourke and a Little Scarlett Widow

Reports started surfacing last night that Mickey Rourke had finally signed a deal to play a "russian villain" in Iron Man 2. Previous reports had said "Whiplash" (not Russian) which led me to think they had jettisoned Whiplash and his muscle queen "gimp" garb for something more Iron Mannish in Crimson Dynamo.

Both reports are correct. EW's coverage indicates that they're compositing the characters which is smart. In Contention mentioned the importance of compositing in their Watchmen take and it's totally true. Comic books are a long form art -- much more analagous to TV than movies -- and you have to make adjustments and cuts to properly capture them in transfer. Superhero movies get too bogged down in multiple characters and don't we all want to see a bit more Tony Stark and his personal demons in the second installment?

Mickey Rourke vs. Robert Downey Jr with a tub of popcorn on the side and a little Gwyneth Paltrow for salt Peppering. Sounds like heaven for a summer movie and more than enough for a 2 hour throwdown. Sounds like Spider-Man 2 size. Spider-Man 2 was a blast. But ,since it's a superhero sequel, they're going to overstuff it with villains and side characters. Currently, outside of Tony & Pepper they plan to include not 1 not 2 but 6 major characters...
There won't be any room for Gwynnie & Robert!

Did Jon Favreau, who seems to be a smart guy, learn nothing from the dwindling of the Batman, Spider-Man and X-Men franchises? The more characters you add the worse a film gets. It's a law of entertainment physics and yet everyone in Hollywood thinks they are immune to it or can beat it. Like cocaine.

Since the Iron team is still in pre-production I shall pray for script revisions so that we go from 7 major characters to 4. I shall pray for focus, tight focus. Not just tight costumes. Speaking of... I love The Black Widow (one of my favorite comic chicks) but if you're not going to do her justice, why do her? She needs more than a tiny slice of screen time. Bliss when I heard Emily Blunt would play her. Great casting. My intermittent love of Scarlett aside, she's wrong as the replacement. (Yes, yes, I know the body type is fine. But when is Scarlett's body type not right for a comic book movie? Bras only come in one cup size in the DC and Marvel Universes: Double D). And while we're on the subject of ScarJo: Does this film need two of The Spirit's stars? You sure you want to draw that parallel?

But back on topic. Most of the greatest, influential and most popular action movies: Aliens, Die Hard, Spider-Man 2, Terminator & Terminator 2, Speed have very pared down stories and characters. All the better to play off of those gargantuan setpieces. Generally there's but one villain. Even The Matrix (less pared down) essentially had one villain... even if he seemed like many.

good use of multiple characters


bad use of multiple characters

10 comments:

NoNo said...

I've never read the comic books. Who do u think Emily is a better choice than Scarlett? Apparently she signed a big deal with The Avengers movie and individual Black Widow film.

Peter said...

The cocaine joke almost killed me. Well done.

NATHANIEL R said...

NoNo i just think Emily has a little more fire in her eyes whereas Scarlett, though exceptionally beautiful and sometimes hypnotic is a little more reactive/passive as a screen persona -- I just think you need someone who is more alive physically. A moving thing rather than a perfect object if that makes sense.

Plus I can see Emily as Russian easier than I can see Scarlett as Russian for whatever reason.

I guess I'm just a little surprised at how mediocre unimaginative the casting for the sequel has been (Rourke excluded) since Downey Jr was such a masterstroke in casting and Paltrow turned out a much better romantic foil than I'd ever dreamed she would.

NoNo said...

Oh Ok, I get it now. That makes a lot of sense. Well hopefully Favreau surprises us like he did with the first Ironman.

john said...

Like you said superhero sequels always suffer from the too many cooks syndrome. So when Emily Blunt dropped out of the role would n't it have been a relief in that they could just write the character out of the film, thus allowing the film to concerntrate on the remaining characters; I mean they've got Sam Rockwell and Don Cheadle in there too.

Towelie said...

I'm hoping it does not turn as bad as I'm thinking it will... Too many people. Besides, War Machine is just another Iron Man. We'll have two Iron Mans? That's lame, we want a single, cool IRON MAN. Not Iron Man & War Machine.

NATHANIEL R said...

Towelie... that actually makes it three Iron Mans since they're making Whiplash into Crimson Dynamo (in some form)

Brian said...

Ok, time to geek out for a minute. Iron Man being my periodical of choice during my pre-teen (and, lets face it, early-to-mid-teen as well) years.

My appreciation for the first film kinda petered out in the climactic battle sequence, but it was conditional on the direction they take Tony Stark's story arc in future films, anyway. It appears to me that they're setting up a particular storyline for the James Rhodes character, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's going to be War Machine in the next film, or that there are going to be multiple Iron Man-type characters running around in the same movie at the same time. I don't want to go into further detail and spoil for those who haven't read every Iron Man issue released in the 1980s.

Hopefully some of these roles are more like cameos, though considering the star wattage they've placed into some of them, that may be over-optimistic.

Whiplash could be used as a Hammer flunky, rather than a fully-developed character, for instance, except now with Rourke in place that might seem odd. Whiplash didn't have the gimp suit back when I read about him. I wonder if they'll use the manic-depressive angle in his personality. It's hard to imagine him as a Russian- maybe they just think that name is catchier than Crimson Dynamo is.

/geek

NATHANIEL R said...

well it is. Plus Whiplash's weapon of choice will be fun to watch onscreen all f/x'ed up.

coffee maker said...

i swear, if not for the scarring, Mickey Roarke would look exactly like Kiefer Sutherland right now