Monday, July 24, 2006

Mandarin! Why Not Fu Manchu?


This poster was given out at the Comic Con, but Mr. Favreau says it's not the final design.

Translation: "Marvel wanted to hype Ironman at the Comic Con, but we haven't done shit yet, so they made me give out a poster of art from the comic that has nothing to do with my designs for the film!"

Advice for Mr. Favreau: Use the poster to design the suit. That shit is tight!! In all fairness, Jon mentioned that the old grey suit will be in the movie too, which is cool, however I want to see the gold and red too!!
Here's a nice interview with Jon. Check it out.

Jon also announced the villain would be the Mandarin, who is not a orange or a weird looking ape (that's a mandril silly!) No, far better, the Mandarin is a tired, evil, stereotyped, Chinese villain similar to a Fu Manchu with a whole set of power rings. I'm sure we can all be proud that, from the fine legacy of Iron man lore, this is the most interesting villain they could pick.

Superherohype has the story...(Here!)

Iron Man Villain Confirmed!!
Source: Blake Wright

July 22, 2006

Iron Man director Jon Favreau confirmed at the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday that the villain in the movie will be fan-favorite Mandarin! The Mandarin is one of the world's greatest scientific geniuses who is seeking world domination. Although The Mandarin has no superhuman powers, he is a superb athlete with tremendous skill in the various martial arts. For weapons, he uses ten rings he wears on his fingers that respond to his mental commands. Marvel Studios has set a May 2, 2008 release date for Iron Man. Paramount Pictures will distribute the film.

Wiki, let's shed some light on the Madarin....(Here!)

The Mandarin is a Marvel Comics supervillain and enemy of Iron Man. He first appeared in Tales of Suspense #50 (February 1964).

The Mandarin's father was one of the wealthiest men in pre-revolutionary mainland China (who claimed to be a direct descendant of Genghis Khan), and his mother was an English noblewoman. Both died soon after their son's birth, and he was raised by his father's sister, who was embittered against the world and raised him with much the same attitude. He displayed scientific aptitude at an early age and used his inheritance for education in various sciences in China and abroad. As an adult he became a high government official, or mandarin, and became renowned throughout China for his administrative brilliance.
However, with the success of mainland China's Communist revolution, the Mandarin was deprived of his position, his palace and his wealth.

Hoping to find a means of restoring himself to a position of power, the Mandarin explored the forbidden "Valley of Spirits," where no one had dared set foot for centuries. There he found the skeleton and starship of Axonn-Karr, an intelligent dragon-like alien from the planet Maklu-4, who had come to Earth centuries ago and died. Over the following years, the Mandarin studied Makluan science until he had mastered it. He also learned how to use the ten rings he found within the starship which were apparently its propulsion source, among other things. The Mandarin then subjugated the villages around the Valley, and, through his super-science, rapidly became a power that not even the Chinese Army could successfully challenge.

He then embarked on a long series of attempts to achieve world domination. The Mandarin saw technology as the surest means to achieve his goals. Over the years, he would frequently attempt to turn various nations' weapons against them. Among the Mandarin's earliest schemes was the sabotage and theft of American missiles and spy planes built by Anthony Stark. To restore public confidence in his workmanship, Stark donned his Iron Man armor and flew to China to investigate. Iron Man soon became the Mandarin's principal obstacle against his plans for world domination. On three occasions in their early confrontations, the Mandarin managed to take Iron Man (or his alter ego Tony Stark) captive, but the Mandarin failed to kill him. Similarly, Iron Man thwarted the Mandarin's various schemes, but was unable to bring him to justice. Some of the Mandarin's early technological achievements were the launching of a small orbiting satellite whose "death-ray" he aimed at Stark Industries and the building of Ultimo, a 30-foot android possessing vast destructive powers.

The Mandarin would employ Ultimo four times over the years, but it was always defeated by Iron Man.
The Mandarin's teleportation technology, derived from Makluan science, enabled him to kidnap people at will or teleport himself out of threatening situations. During his fifth encounter with Iron Man, the Mandarin teleported Harold "Happy" Hogan, a friend and confidant of Iron Man, to his castle in China half a world away, precipitating his fifth encounter with Iron Man. Hogan had been wearing the Iron Man armor at the time to help protect his employer's secret identity, and the Mandarin mistook him for his true foe. Rescuing Hogan, Iron Man physically bested the Mandarin in personal combat for the first time. Iron Man redirected the missiles that the Mandarin had launched at the Mandarin's castle, destroying it. The Mandarin escaped by means of his teleportational machinery, and he materialized aboard his orbiting satellite. There, he constructed a gemlike device capable of broadcasting "hate-rays" toward Earth. The Mandarin assembled several superhuman allies to perform certain missions for him as a new incarnation of the Masters of Evil: the Living Laser, the original Power Man, the Swordsman, the Enchantress, and the Executioner. The Avengers managed to thwart the Mandarin's scheme and destroyed his satellite.

The Mandarin is one of Marvel Earth's greatest scientific geniuses. Not only has he made himself into an authority on Makluan science, but he has also built upon this knowledge by making further discoveries based upon it. Although the Mandarin has no natural superhuman powers of his own, he is a superb athlete with tremendous skill in the various Oriental martial arts. Through repeated practice he has toughened all the striking surfaces of his body, especially his hands, which are covered with thick callus. Without artificial aids he can split wood, cinderblock, or even mild steel with a blow of his hand. When he surrounds himself with a thin but intense protective force field, he can even split Iron Man's magnetic-beam reinforced alloy armor with repeated blows from his hands.

The principal personal weapons of the Mandarin are the ten rings which he wears on his fingers. The rings' operations cannot be explained by contemporary Earth science, but it is known that they served as near-limitless energy sources for the warpdrive engines of the starship of Axonn-Karr. The Mandarin learned how to convert the rings to his personal uses and to make them respond to his mental commands. The fingers on which he wears each ring, and the known functions for which he uses each ring, are given below.

Left Pinkie -- "Ice Blast," with which he could encase foes in bands of ice or create walls of ice to block pursuers.
Left Ring Finger -- "Mento-Intensifier," which amplifies the Mandarin's own mental energies and allows him to control the minds of others.
Left Middle Finger -- "Electro Blast," unleashing powerful lightning-like bolts.
Left Index Finger -- "Flame Blast," a flamethrower-like gout of flame.
Left Thumb -- "White Light," a laser-like beam.
Right Thumb -- "Matter Rearranger," which can rearrange the atoms and molecules of a substance. The Mandarin usually uses this ring to change the shape of objects, such as causing a giant stone hand to erupt out of the earth and grapple a foe. He has, however, used it to transmute the molecular composition of objects, such as changing the air around a target into a poisonous gas.
Right Index Finger -- "Impact Beam," a blast of concussive or gravitational force.
Right Middle Finger -- "Vortex Beam," allows Mandarin to control air and wind, allowing him to fly.
Right Ring Finger -- "Disintegration Beam." Unlike the others, this Ring requires a twenty minute recharge time between firings.
Right Pinkie -- "Black Light," which can create areas of absolute blackness.

Over the years, the Mandarin has established a strong psionic link with his rings, which was made many times stronger during the period in which his mind/spirit actually inhabited them. One result is that no one who wears the rings other than the Mandarin himself can command them. The Mandarin can now command the rings even when they are separated from him by vast distances. He can mentally monitor events taking place near a ring that has been separated from him. Continued exposure to the alien rings made his hands green and scaly.

Oh Yeah, Asian folks are going to be so proud to take their families to this one!!

The amazingly productive folks at Superherohype interviewed Director Jon Favreau at Comic Con.
Check out the full thing HERE!:

SHH!: So why did you decide to do an Iron Man movie?

Favreau: Avi [Arad] and I had been talking about working together for a while, since we met on "Daredevil"--I played Foggy--and I sort of became a director and we always got on very well. I don't know if you've spent any time with Avi, but he's really a salesman at heart. He just has a very big personality and he really makes you feel like you're good friends with him, and there are a lot of people who feel like they're good friends with him. He has a tremendous…he connects with people in a way you feel special. I don't know if that comes from his background in toys and sales, he just has this personality that is bigger than life so every time I'd see him he'd always grab me and we would talk for twenty minutes and I'd always ask him about "Captain America," this was long before Marvel broke off and became its own studio, so that was the one I was interested in, because I thought there were a lot of comedic possibilities with a guy who got frozen and then turned around and now is fighting for America. "Iron Man" has always been the flipside of "Captain America," representing maybe more pragmatic, darker aspects of America. When we irst talked about the notion of doing "Iron Man," I felt excited because it lends itself, very easily, to the technology that is available today. Where as an organic superhero, you know anybody who is a guy in tights is a little scary in CGI, but a robot-based guy is really a marriage made in heaven, so I'm exploring what the technology has to offer. To me, with the political climate what it is now, it's such a complex character and these times are so complex, mirroring in a lot of ways, his inception in the 60's when on the cusp of Vietnam, it was just as unpopular to have an arms manufacturer as your hero. I really wanted to explore that so it's very exciting to me in that way. It's also exciting because it's Marvel's first movie on its own.

SHH!: Do you have a favorite "Iron Man" run?

Favreau: Visually… the good news about "Iron Man" is that there's no run that is sacred in literary terms. He's had his ups and downs. The quality on the book has been spotty over the last forty years.

SHH!: A lot of people like the Michelinie, Romita Jr, and Bob Layton run...

Favreau: He sort of had that, but I feel like the fans are more concerned about the character and about the look, which is really freeing as a director. People ask about "Demon in a Bottle" or they ask about the "Armor Wars" but really what they're most concerned about is "What Tony Stark are you dealing with?" and "What suit are you dealing with?" Cinematically, I was very much drawn to the Adi Granov stuff, and he actually met me through the MySpace page.

SHH!: Oh, the recent "Iron Man" artist?

Favreau: Yeah, very recent. He said, "Hey, all the artwork you're putting up on your page is stuff I've done." I knew who he was, and I considered at some point approaching him, but he sort of made the introduction formally over MySpace. We sniffed each other out over a few emails, figured out we were the real people, so I reached out to him and asked Marvel if it was okay that I bring him on, so he's been doing development work. Actually, the teaser image we brought to Comic Con (see right) is something we worked on together.

SHH!: Where do the various Iron Man cartoons fit in with your plans? There were so many of them, it seems.

Favreau: Oh, you mean like… (starts singing) "Tony Stark makes you feel, he's the cool exec with the heart of steel… " I don't know. They did some interesting stuff in the "Ultimate Avengers" that's kind of cool to look at. I know they have a new animated straight-to-video thing coming out. It's all interesting and cool. There's a pendulum that these superheroes have, where they become too powerful and then they sort of come back to basics. Over the lifetime of these guys, there are different versions, and I think you want to keep it as simple as possible, so it's not such a big buy in the movie. It's not the Marvel Universe, where there are lots of superheroes. Tony Stark comes up with propulsion technology, and that's the thing that allows him to build the suit and that's the thing that has changed the normal world into a world that has a superhero. Grounding it as much as we could into the politics and realities of today is going to make the movie, I think, more relevant and more emotionally accessible than a movie where superheroes are flying all over the place and it's fantasyland.

SHH!: Maybe an Avengers will happen now that Marvel Studios is bringing all of those characters back to the screen.

Favreau: Yeah, I think you could work your way toward that, but I don't think you could start off that way.

SHH!: What do you think about the plans to release the next James Bond movie after "Casino Royale" on the same date that Marvel staked out for "Iron Man"?

Favreau: Is that true? I don't know, man, it's a long way away. A lot changes. We're gonna make a great movie I think. By the time we're done with this, they're going to have their hands full.

I like Favreau, especially his "Dinner for Five" show. I wish him well...

UPDATE!! This was just posted by Jon on his Blog.

Posted: Jul 26, 2006 9:58 PM

I just got back from San Diego. The Marvel panel was great. The crowd seemed to really dig that we hired Adi Granov to help with the suit design. He joined the panel and got an enthusiastic response. He is listed in my top 8 if you want to send him a post. We signed the teaser poster he drew at the Marvel booth until the line was gone. It lasted well over an hour.

For those of you who haven't heard, Mandarin will be the villian. But don't expect a magical Fu Manchu stereotype. We are taking many liberties to update the villian. He will still size up as Stark's nemesis, but we're throwing in a few surprises for the fans of the books.

I also heard the James Bond has since planned to release its next installment on our same date: May 2, 2008. The only weekend of 2008 taken, I might add. I'm sort of surprised by the move by Sony as I'm sure we share some of the same audience. It feels like two cars fighting over the same spot in an empty parking lot. I guess they expect us to move. I really don't get it.

I had dinner with Joe Quesada and Joss Whedon. What great company. We spoke about Iron Man, Civil War, and Wonder Woman.


Anonymous said...

Hey, your comments are real stupid... Do african american people need to feel offended because kingpin was black in Daredevil? Or industrialists feel bad about the green goblin? If handled correctly, he can be a cool villain, with a twist on geography for once...

I once liked your column, but I think you're feeling miserable and tend to attack everything, from Transformers to Spider-Man to Iron Man... that's the easy part of being a critic

Stuff Daddy said...

Dude, you may take this wrong, but thanks for the criticism!! I really don't get a lot of angry mail. On to your points...

1) I think that many people, not just African Americans, were offended by Michael Clarke Duncan and DareDevil on the whole. If you think racism is just a bunch of people getting upset about nothing and making everything about race, let's talk some other time. I'm white and I get that a lot of people think that liberals own the media and racism doesn't exist, I don't agree and I am willing to talk about it in depth if people want, but I don't want to have a flame war about it. I got lots of friends who are conservative and we share more in common these days then many might think. I can suggest reading anything by Cornell West, who is an intelligent man who people from the left and right have found to contain great wisdom on the subject and the answers. You may be surprised.

2) The words "if handled correctly" are really true. But by that matter, handled correctly, you could make a great movie about a tin can and a spoon. The problem is that Marvel has really been dropping the ball since X2 and Spidey (Spidey still seems to be going strong) and they really need to have better luck with Ironman then they had with FF and Electra.

3) Bet you ten buck that "The Mandarin" pisses people off! Did you know that Asian Americans were greatly offended by the "Trade Federation" in the three newer Star Wars films? "The Mandarin was created as an angry Asian stereotype. Actually Ironman mostly fought Asians and Communists in the earlier years, when he wasn't fighting Asian Communists that is. I'll admit that I loved reading about the Mandarin when I was young, but I think that a modern Ironman story could be diminished if he fights a fellow with a racially backwards name and a freeze ring! (Would a white dude play a character called "The Scarsdalian" or "The Caucasian?") Certainly they could make the Madarin cool, maybe they will? I'd rather see some cooler villains or other guys in armored suits.

4) I don't criticise things lightly. I care and always try to back up my concerns with reasons, please don't paint me as a "IT WILL ALL SUCK!!" dude. I always talk realistically about what could make things better and that, I think, is the heart of true criticism. I love comic book movies, and I am really sad when they suck. Then, people think that DareDevil isn't an amazing character. Hollywood wants your money and believe it or not, I lived through years of Hollywood butchering great source material before I got jaded. Guys like Raimi get it and people should learn from him. Plus I own some Marvel stock, dude I want them to do well!

5) I love Spidey!!! Don't be telling me I give him any grief!!! Sam is the man!!! Spidey 2 is my favorite Superhero film.

6) Sorry you hate me! Thanks for your comments! I feel fine thanks!