Friday, September 29, 2006

Robert Downey Jr., action hero?

On the surface, the idea seems more than a little ludicrous, but I have a feeling this just might work.

Director Jon Favreau has tapped Robert Downey Jr. to don the suit of "Iron Man," the Marvel superhero coming to the big screen. Filming is set to begin in February.

Why Downey? Well, Iron Man was never meant to be a Superman kind of hero. He's a conflicted man, not endowed with any superhuman powers when not in the suit of Iron Man.

The character, billionaire industrialist and Tony Stark, is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Using his cunning to build a high-tech suit of armor and escape captivity, he of course then uncovers a sinister plot with global implications, and becomes our hero.

A superhero who can act? Sounds great to me. And it's often easy to forget with his cartoon private life, but Downey surely can act. My favorite role of his has to be Terry Crabtee in "Wonder Boys" (man, do I love that movie).

The comic debuted in the 1960s, with Iron Man's origin involving Stark being a prisoner of the Viet Cong, but the movie version will be set in the current geopolitical climate (which is, if anything, just as messy).

This should be just plain fun.

"Volver," "Banquet" get Oscar push

Following close behind Mexico's naming of "Pan's Labyrinth" as its Oscar hopeful, things are suddenly getting very crowded in the foreign-language category. Now, Spain has tapped Pedro Almodovar's "Volver" (huzzah!) and China has named "Banquet" as its pic.

Though such movies never play first-run in my little corner of the world, I definitely plan to catch up when I go to New York for the Thanksgiving weekend, and "Volver" is at the top of my list of must-sees. I really didn't care for Pedro's last flick, "Mala Educacion," but with the help of Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura, this one seems like a real return to form. I can't wait to see it.

"Banquet" ("Ye Yan") is a loose adaptation of Hamlet featuring the star power of Ziyi Zhang and Daniel Wu. I'm sure it's good, but without having seen either of them, I was definitely pulling for Yimou Zhang's upcoming palace epic "Curse of the Golden Flower," starring Li Gong and Yun-Fat Chow (yes!).

Even so, with these three almost certain to make the cut to the final five on Oscar night, this should be a very hot competition.

Smigel snags Fox series

Robert Smigel has been, for me, the only reason to tune in to "Saturday Night Live" for the last few years. Now he's getting his own animated series on Fox, and it sounds like the perfect project for his skewed view of the world.

Being written in partnership with Greg Cohen ("King of the Hill"), the show is described as a parody of suburban life using the animal kingdom. Anyone who saw the antics of the animals on Smigel's short-lived Comedy Central series "TV Funhouse" knows that this could be crazy fun.

Even better is, whenever this is ready, it will apparently bump "The War at Home" from Sunday nights on Fox. Good riddance. I have plenty of time for Michael Rappaport, but this show is stupid, mean and, most importantly, simply not funny.

"I'm a Cyborg" trailer

I know this has gone on a bit long today, so anyone who made it to the end deserves a reward. Well, this is the best I can do.

Twitch has posted the trailer for Chan-Wook Park's new movie, "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK" (Saibogujiman kwenchana). It has no subtitles, but I'm not sure it would make much more sense if it did. It's all gorgeously confusing, so I can't wait to see what finally comes of it.

Click here to see for yourself, and let me know if it makes any more sense to you than it did to me. Peace out.

20 comments:

sanchapanzo said...

India has nominated "Rang De Basanti", in the best foreign movie category for this year's Oscars.
I thought it was a stylish movie. Check it out when you get time.

Reel Fanatic said...

I definitely will, sanchapanzo .. thanks for the heads up!

renee said...

Thank you for the great news! I am so, so bitter about "The War At Home". Not just because it is mean and not funny. But because Fox kept it on the air while cancelling "Arrested Development." I'm SO glad to hear it's finally going away.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm not certain it's going away entirely, Renee .. it may just be moved away from Sunday nights, which would at least be a step in the right direction

marina said...

I'm kinda of angry that Favreau has gone back on his initial word that the title role would be filled by an up and coming unknown. Now, that said, I love Downey and if there's one superhero he can play, it should be this one. It'll be interesting to see the final product.

As for the foreign films at the Oscars, I've been thinking the same thing - the list gets longer and the selections are all fairly good. It'll be interesting to see who makes the cut. Volver looks quite funny. I didn't manage to get a ticket to the showings during the festival but I'm sure it'll come back in the Best of VIFF retrospective.

Reel Fanatic said...

I didn't know Favreau had made such a pledge, Marina, but I definitely they've made solide choice with Downey too

Des said...

Not to mention that Tony Stark is also a raging alcoholic. it fits.

I endorse Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. I hope they do away with the moustache though...

Lori said...

I'm not a Downey fan, but I have to admit, after seeing him doing some action-y type styff in 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,' I wouldn't immediately dismiss the idea of him playing a superhero.

God knows he probably wouldn't do any worse than Ben Affleck did in 'Daredevil.'

Reel Fanatic said...

Amen to that, Lori ... Affleck was criminally bad, and Jennifer Garner, if its possible, was even worse ...

Anonymous said...

You were nice enough to leave a comment on my blog, so I thought I would at least check out yours...

I heard on the radio that Downey Jr. was going to be playing Iron Man while I was actually driving to see Open Season.

I don't think Downey is the right man for this role, but that's mainly because I can't picture him as this character. But, it's Hollywood! If the directors, writers and producers do it right, it will probably be a great movie!

emyln said...

I'll agree that Downey is a good actor. Hands down. I've loved some of his earlier work. But its difficult to separate a character from his real life. I know its unfair but we are influenced by an actor's real life actions. Case in point, Tom Cruise.

Of course there is the possibility that they could pull a coop and make Ironman a success but... its going to be a long uphill battle. There's a specific reason why most superheroes are chosen from the ranks of the unknown and lesser known.

Imagine how you felt when you heard rumours of Nickolas Cage being cast as Superman?

Reel Fanatic said...

I have to agree with you that I was happy to hear Cage was not going to play Superman, Emyln, but I'm still holding out hope for this one ... Cage is often guilty of overacting, something I haven't seen yet from Mr. Downey

Anonymous said...

Have you listened to The Futurist? As a singer, Downey's so pretentious that it's funny. And I've known Bobby for a long time.

As for the superhero gig, color me intrigued but not sold.

Reel Fanatic said...

That Mr. Mehta, is easily the funniest thing I've read today, and actually or at least several days . thanks for the link!

Fang Bastardson said...

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man? Maybe. Downey as Tony Stark, Iron Man’s alcoholic, skirt-chasing arrested-adolescent alter-ego? Oh, hell yes. Typecasting, even. They could put anybody’s voice inside the CGI metal suit Iron Man will likely wear on screen; clearly the producers were casting for Tony Stark, rather than Iron Man, and I think their selection is an inspired one.

Which surprises me, because this is the first film Marvel is going to produce “in-house,” which I had naturally understood to mean “No unnecessary expense will be incurred.” Though Downey may come cheap at this point in his career, he’s damn sure paid his dues to play Tony Stark.

Besides which, Bryan Singer miscast virtually every role in his X-Men movies and they still satisfied fans and boardroom goons alike. I’ve got a good feeling about this project.

Reel Fanatic said...

Even with all his troubles, Fang, Downey probably still doesn't come all that cheap, but I have to agree that he is an inspired choice for Tony Stark

Anonymous said...

Just Some Facts About

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, around 11:30 AM LMT, in the city of Ulm in W�rttemberg, Germany, about 100 km east of Stuttgart. His father was Hermann Einstein, a salesman who later ran an electrochemical works, and his mother was Pauline, n�e Koch. They were married in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. Albert's family members were all non-observant Jews and he attended a Catholic elementary school. At the insistence of his mother, he was given violin lessons. Though he initially disliked the lessons, and eventually discontinued them, he would later take great solace in Mozart's violin sonatas.

Anonymous said...

runescape money runescape gold tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gp buy runescape gold tibia gold tibia money buy runescape money runescape items

Anonymous said...

runescape money runescape gold tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gp buy runescape gold tibia gold tibia money buy runescape money runescape items

Anonymous said...

warhammer gold warhammer money warhammer accounts tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts buy runescape accounts runescape money runescape gold runescape gp runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling cheap rs2 powerleveling runescape equipment buy rs equipment runescape runes cheap rs2 runes runescape logs cheap rs2 logs runescape items buy runescape items runescape quest point rs2 quest point cheap runescape questpoint runescape gold runescape items runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape accounts runescape gp runescape accounts runescape money runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling tibia gold dofus kamas buy dofus kamas wow power leveling wow powerleveling runescape questpoint rs2 questpoint Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling World of Warcraft Power Leveling Hellgate money Hellgate gold buy runescape logs buy rs2 items cheap runescape items Hellgate London gold Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold runescape items rs2 accounts cheap rs2 equipments lotro gold buy lotro gold buy runescape money buy runescape gold buy runescape runes lotro gold buy lotro gold runescape money runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling eve isk eve online isk buy runescape power leveling rs2 power leveling tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts Fiesta Silver Fiesta Gold Scions of Fate Gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium SOF Gold Age Of Conan Gold AOC Gold ArchLord gold tibia money tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling buy ArchLord gold DDO Plat Dungeons and Dragons Online Plat