Iron Man Jon Favreau

Iron Man Jon Favreau
Jon Favreau knows it could have gone the other way when he confesses some trepidation about Iron Man during a feature-length series of "making of” shorts, but the film’s artistic and commercial success suffuses this whole two-disc offering with an aura of celebration. Favreau, who’s last action-oriented film, Zathura, was universally ignored, teams up with Robert Downey Jr. as famed genius inventor/playboy Tony Stark — an actor more famous for drug convictions than performances meets the lowest-profile Marvel character put to film since Elektra. Add in that Marvel comics, not two decades out of bankruptcy, wants to launch a franchise of Avengers-related films — if Iron Man failed, it would have brought down more than just a minor comics property. But with great, unusual casting (Oscar nominees and winners in Gwenyth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard) and a comics-true vision of a story that isn’t anchored to a convoluted mythology, Iron Man broke out of its superhero niche. Given that a similar set of circumstances failed in the case of The Incredible Hulk, there’s cause for the giddy enthusiasm found here. The seven-part "making of” actually feels a little perfunctory — clearly, much more footage will be revealed in a more extensive release down the road — but a six-part look at the character’s comic journey fleshes that out. Added in are some choice goodies, like half an hour of extended/deleted scenes (there’s Ghostface at a party!), Downey screen tests and an effects featurette, to flesh out the two-disc offering. Keen fans will have to wait for a Favreau/Downey commentary but a post-credits scene hints that more Marvel properties will be cross-pollinating from the seeds that found such purchase here. Plus: art gallery, "The Actors Process,” more. (Paramount)