Friday, June 06, 2008

Tobey Maguire to return as Spider-man?

J.K. Simmons spoke with IESB about returning to play J. Jonah Jameson in future installments of Spider-Man. He definitely sounds interested and what's more is that Tobey Maguire sounds interested.
IESB: So we know that James Vanderbilt just turned in a script for Spiderman 4 have they reached out to you yet or anything?
JK: We, sort of, check in once in a while, they say, y’know, we want JK to do it. We don’t know where. We don’t know when. We don’t know who. We don’t know anything, y’know? They signed all of us for the first three films. Sam, Tobey, all the way down the line to me and, we’ll see where it goes. I also, I mean, it's all conjecture and you guys probably know more than I do at this point. There was talk of doing four and five concurrently and I don’t know if they’re still considering that or not and, y’know, I spoke to Tobey in, I guess it was February…sort of awards season time and, y’know, he’s certainly amenable to doing some more and hopefully we’ll be able to get everybody back and make another good one.

IESB: Or a couple of them?
JK: Couple, three, four, five! Whatever, you know, I could buy a bigger house.

IESB: What if Sam decides not to come back as a director but stays as a producer, would you guys still be-
JK: Well-

IESB: Would you and the rest of the gang still come back.
JK: Well, I can only speak for myself, but, if Sam were not the director but was, still had a hand in it then I would certainly have a reasonable amount of faith in it. You know? Obviously if he’s the director I’m there a 100%. If he’s not involved at all, which I think is VERY unlikely, then it would be a situation that I would have to think about. But if he’s involved, hopefully directing or at least as a producer then I’m pretty confident that it would be something that I want to do. Plus they pay money.
In a related note, Sam Raimi updates us on the films.
"James Vanderbilt is writing the script and I'm excited to read it. I think it's going to be done in a few months," Raimi told us, adding, "I'm hoping it's as great as our discussions were about it and I'm hoping it feels right for me because I love Spider-Man. I'm hoping I'm well rested enough to embrace it and I'm hoping Sony wants me to do it. If all of those things come together, I would love to do it. There are a lot of unknowns about the future."

Jon Favreau talks about Iron Man 2 and some of the other Marvel films.
IESB: Are you still working on [Iron Man] DVD stuff?
JF: Yeah, we are going to do a commentary. I just got delivered a whole bunch of extras that look really, really good. We had cameras on the set all the time. They put together something for ‘Iron Man’ that spans from the first story meetings, to designing the suit, all the way through mixing it up at Skywalker Ranch, through the premiere. There are hours and hours of great stuff that will be available eventually. We have to look over all of that stuff so there is still a lot of work to be done. Then there is trying to figure out where the hell we are now and what we are doing.

IESB: Would you launch into another two year movie after this?
JF: Yeah, I would do it. Hopefully we’ll figure out how to get ‘Iron Man 2’ going and I’ll be involved with that. You have got to out do what you did before. So, if the last one took two years, we would need at least that to do what we are talking about, or at least thinking about. Nobody knew about ‘Iron Man’, and that was a disadvantage in some ways, but nobody expected anything. I think people were pleased based on the fact that they had no preconceptions about the project. Now, we have a movie that people seem to like and you can’t give them less. You have to give them more. There are challenges that come with that as well as the benefit of people already understanding who he is and the character. We told the origin story so where do you go from here? There are plenty of story lines to explore from the 40 years of history from that character.

IESB: Have you chosen anything?
JF: No, we haven’t. I haven’t been hired to do it yet. I know that Robert and I have talked a lot about what types of things we would like to do, and how to play into the strengths of what we discovered last time around. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves. Hopefully that won’t be too long in coming.

IESB: Kevin Feige said that he was pretty confident that you guys would get something going pretty quickly. Peter Billingsley said the same thing as well.
JF: Yeah, Kevin is just a gem of a guy. He really walked the line very well of being the guy who is in charge of movies, and the studio, as well as being my producer and somebody who oversaw the way that the source material was being dealt with. That is a lot of hats for a guy to wear. It was a fairly new position for him. I don’t think that he has ever had the responsibility he had on ‘Iron Man’ before. I know that he has worked on ‘The Hulk’ since then, but its great to have a mix of somebody who respects the source material and doesn’t just treat it like something you can use or discard as you see fit, and was very supportive in getting us what we needed to make a good movie. The casting of Robert, the visual effects budget, working with the right vendors, but he had a very high standard of quality control in the film. He was also very helpful in helping me understand the genre, and what people expect from it, while still giving Robert and I the room to have a very different take on the material. We broke a lot of the rules that the genre normally has. We have all been rewarded for taking the chances that we did.[...]

IESB: I know that Samuel L. Jackson talked about expanding Nick Fury’s role for a second film.
JF: Oh, good.

IESB: So, it’s news to you?
JF: I’m not in the loop on that unfortunately. I think that Marvel has their hands full right now. They have another big movie coming out right now, with ‘The Incredible Hulk’, and that’s coming out in a couple of weeks. I know from when I was in that position on ‘Iron Man’ a lot of the heavy lifting for the studio comes in at this stage in the game. They are partnering up with Universal trying to figure out how to roll out the marketing campaign for that, so a lot is riding on that film. I know that they are done creatively working on it, but that is only have the game, so I think right now it’s a small studio. There are not a lot of people and I’m sure they have their hands full on that one. Hopefully when the dust settles everybody will be ready to get their head in the game and try to make some more movies.

IESB: It’s obvious that in the Hulk there is the super soldier serum and Captain America’s shield in your film. So, is there a story there already with Captain America that you guys will put in?
JF: Yeah, truth be told it’s more like instinctively we are gravitating towards combining certain properties, but you don’t really discover how that happens until you roll your sleeves up and get into the story telling. You do casting. There are a lot of ideas floating around. We will have conversations as we all gather and paw the ground in the parking lots. We’ll kick rocks around and start having conversations where we let our imaginations go wild. It’s not like we’ve sat down with a dry erase board and wrote through the whole line of stories. For me I’m pretty confident about who Iron Man is, what that character is, and what the rules of that world are. Maybe Marvel knows, but I have no idea how you relate that reality to the reality of Thor, which seems like a very different set of rules to that universe. Captain America I get, I understand how that would relate, or The Hulk. Especially if you are working towards the idea of doing ‘The Avengers’ how do you make those worlds all feel consistent with one another in the look of the film, the casting of the film, and then the look of the visual effect.

IESB: I guess you will just have to direct all of them.
JF: [laughs] I would love to. Clearly I have stated that ‘The Avengers’ would be fun. But I look at their release schedule and they have announced ‘Iron Man 2’ for 2010 and then ‘Avengers’ for 2011. I know from experience there is no way I could. I don’t know what they have in mind, but there is no way that ‘The Avengers’ could be done in a year. Either they are thinking about somebody else doing it or they have something up their sleeve that I don’t know. I know these movies take time to get right. I know that you have to have a good script. You have to understand where you are headed when you go into it, otherwise you are relying on blind luck and hard work. It’s good to have a game plan, especially at this stage in the game, it’s important to understand where all of this is going. All of these properties are working together and I know Kevin has been very diligent about trying to keep a consistency. I will look forward to having these conversations with the guys at Marvel, to laying out all the puzzle pieces and seeing how they fit together.

IESB: 2010 is pretty soon if you think about it. Is it just an understanding with Robert, you, and everyone just knows it will be a five year thing and you launch into it?
JF: I don’t know how that works. I’ve never worked in that world before. I have never done a sequel to a film, nor have I in the past worked on anything where a sequel felt organic. I think it’s the nature of ‘Iron Man’ because it comes from a serialized piece of source material, that it does lend itself to having sequels. It’s all new ground for me, it’s new ground for Marvel, although they have been partnered up and done sequels with other studios. There are a lot of different approaches you could take. Hopefully we end up going for a sequel that is going to be bigger and better than the first one. That’s not always the case with sequels. Sometimes you end up trying to do just rush, and hit a release date. Hopefully this sequel will be driven by the material and driven by good ideas. I think that is what got Marvel the success that they have had as an independent studio. I have no doubt that they are going to continue with that philosophy of letting the source material, and the quality of the story, dictate all the other decisions. They are not shackled down by what a normal studio, with a release schedule, has to contend with.

IESB: But the team is pretty much the same?
JF: I know that all the actors are definitely in active negotiations. All of that has been agreed to, which is really encouraging, because I think the cast was a big part of the success of that as much if not more than ‘Iron Man’ the character. I think that as long as you got all those people together, and you have a solid take on the material, then I expect great things.

IESB: ‘Demon in a Bottle’?
JF: Yeah, I mean that one is definitely brought up a lot. How do you handle ‘Demon in a Bottle’ and when does it come in? I think it happened in the 80’s, which was 20 years after the first ‘Tales of Suspense’ so when do you play that card? When do you play the ‘Demon in a Bottle’ card? We sort of tip our hat to it, and certainly there is a lot to be mined there, but it’s all a puzzle. How does it fit in? ‘Demon in a Bottle’ also relates to ‘War Machine’ and James Rhodes’s arc. What villains are you dealing with and how much effort do you put into revealing a whole set of characters. We really spent most of the time dealing with Tony in this one, explaining who he is, and why he is the way that he is so that now ‘Iron Man’ comes to life. You then have to reveal, I think, some heavy duty, heavy weight bad guys that you could then counter balance this incredibly powerful super hero.

IESB: You introduce ‘The Ten Rings’...
JF: We have ‘The Ten Rings’ in there, but the Mandarin is still there. I’m glad that we didn’t try to attack the Mandarin the first time around. There is a lot that is very relevant about that character, in the pool of the landscape that we find ourselves in, but there is something off putting and distasteful about the way that the Mandarin had been presented back in the 60’s. I don’t think that is relevant anymore. How do you maintain the core spirit of what makes that villain so formidable without having something that either seemed out of our reality, as far as what his abilities are, or the way he is depicted.

IESB: In ‘Demon in a Bottle’ there weren’t really a lot of villains. It was when Tony realized he wants to be Iron Man again James was like ‘I don’t think so.’
JF: So you have to create. I also want to see what other movies are doing. It seems that ‘Hancock’ is dealing with a lot of those issues too. The comic book fans might see ‘Demon in a Bottle’ as a fresh story line but I haven’t seen ‘Hancock’ yet. From what I’ve seen it seems there is a lot of imagery that seems to be shared. Him flying through billboards and things. The idea of the hero whose biggest enemy is himself, and him fighting through his demons, you want to come at the audience with something fresh. You don’t want to feel like you are echoing something that somebody else is doing. I think you have to look at the comics, look at what else Marvel is doing, but then you have to look at the landscape of super hero films. There are so many out there. I think that part of the reason that ‘Iron Man’ was so successful was that we really chose to break new ground in a new area tonally, cast wise, the way we depict the hero, what his abilities are. It felt fresh in a genre that is beginning to feel stale if it’s not done with the proper amount of inspiration and a strong voice or tone. I think as the summer roles out, and I’m really curious about ‘The Dark Knight’ to be honest with you. That was this looming presence that we knew was going to be a great film. I have no doubt that it’s going to be phenomenal. I think our big saving grace was the fact that we had a couple of months between that film and us and there was room for both of us. We weren’t fighting for shelf space. Even though we weren’t going head to head, it was very clear that we could not take this character that on paper could seem very similar to Batman, and I have no doubt that just the inception of ‘Iron Man’ was a reaction to the DC. It was definitely borrowed a lot from DC because here you have the billionaire bachelor guy, who was struggling with inner conflict, and he has no super powers. He invents his own suit and his abilities come from himself. He’s a self-made hero. We had to really steer clear of everything that ‘The Dark Knight’ was doing. I have tremendous respect for their cast, for [Christopher] Nolan, and so I want to see what they do. I definitely don’t want to fight for the same territory as them. There is plenty of room to tell these stories. As a fan I’m really looking forward to it and I have a lot of respect for the way they approach the material too. He has no second unit on his films. He does all the directing himself. If they are going to do some IMAX work then they shoot it in IMAX. He put together a cast in a way that broke ground for me to be able to use the cast that I did. They made sure the script was perfect before they started shooting it and that’s not typical for all super hero films. A lot of times they just throw them together and try to do them as inexpensively as they can. They try to chase the poster and chase the date. They put a lot of care into that film. I’m looking forward to see how it pays off. From everything I’ve seen so far my hat is off to them. I look forward to checking that film out. I have something to talk about, so that’s pretty kick ass.
Speaking of other Marvel films, Lou Ferrigno talks about the new Hulk film due out next Friday.
IESB: Are you excited about “The Incredible Hulk?
Lou Ferrigno: I am very excited about the premier this coming Sunday. I was very happy to do the voice, because this particular movie will be leaning more towards the TV series. I am very happy to be involved with Edward Norton, and my favorite great director Louis Leterrier. People might think it’s cool. I think it could be a huge hit.

IESB: After all these years doing the “Hulk”, do you have a preference on how the Hulk is being depicted?
Lou Ferrigno: Well, I haven’t seen the movie. But I think it’s nice that the Hulk is nine feet tall instead of forty feet tall. I think Ang Lee did a great job, and that was more like the comic book. But this new one is more like the TV series. You have the cat and mouse chase. And I think the Hulk is more sympathetic. I was glad to be doing the voice, because the character will now be more believable.
And in movie title news, Michael Bay's Transformers' sequel will be named Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen.

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