Friday, May 3, 2013

It's Blockbuster time! This weekend go BIGgest with Iron Man 3.

It's what the summer's been waiting for. The biggest movie of the season opens today and you're going to go see it. Or you're just not as much of a movie fan as you think you are.

Folks on foreign shores have already gotten a taste and Iron Man 3 is predictably off to a rocket boots start. How very Marvel of cast and crew, as Marvel Studios has become as much of a guaranteed hit factory as Disney's other boutique studio, Pixar.

Disney seems to be benefitting wildly from the strategy "if you can't come up with great creative on your own, go out and buy the folks who can". Marvel's Kevin Feige certainly seems to have become the superhero movie's answer to animation's John Lasseter at Pixar. But the wisdom of surrounding yourself with talent doesn't stop at the top.

Marvel and Disney have been dazzling audiences with fantastic talent inside the metal suits, skintight costumes and comic book makeup too. In the case of Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. has become Disney's second coming of Johnny Depp and Johnny Depp isn't a trick easy to repeat. But where the Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise fell off the end of the plank with its third outing, At World's End (2007), and stumbled through a messy first half hour as it regained some footing in On Stranger's Tides (2011), Marvel hasn't dropped a beat.

Sir Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin
And Iron Man 3's cast is staying rock solid. This time out the franchise is bringing one of Marvel's most notable villains, the Mandarin, in for a star turn and the talent behind that role is none other than Sir Ben Kingsley. The reviews that are pouring in are pouring praise all over Kingsley's take on the classic character. And don't worry if you've never read a comic book (shame on you), you've never had to with these movies.

Another name to mention is Shane Black. As director for Iron Man 3, Black follows Jon Favreau's work on the first two films. Shane Black is a familiar name (or should be), if you're a fan of action with a smart-ass twist. He's the writer behind the entire Lethal Weapon franchise as well The Last Boy Scout (Warner Bros., 1991), The Long Kiss Goodnight (New Line, 1996) and the superb Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Warner Bros., 2005), that all starred Robert Downey Jr.. Black wrote the script for Iron Man 3 and his turn as director is yet another sign that Marvel understands how to pick solid talent.

With what the Marvel folks refer to as "phase one" of their role out of original movie productions from their own studio, the lesser known Iron Man character eclipsed even the heights of Superman, Spider Man and The Dark Knight. That feat led to hits headlined by Captain America and Thor and cemented the "Super" in front of box-office numbers when it all came together last year in a movie no one thought would ever happen, The Avengers. Not only uniting this superlative cast of Marvel heroes into one billion and a half dollar box-office sensation, but doing it with all of its name stars intact.

Well, it's time to kick off phase two. So when you go to see Iron Man 3, not only will you be witness to Marvel's latest blockbuster, you'll be treated to the bonus of being on the inside scoop of everything that lies ahead. So pay attention and don't rush out when the credits start to role. Their are very BIG things lurking in Marvel's future.

Along with a UK trailer, I thought I'd give you a taste of the hype and excitement that's already in high gear all around the world. In the last week,  Iron Man 3 has already taken in more than a 1/4 billion dollars and not one cent of that has included a North American theater. Robert and cast have lots of great reasons to be waving to the cameras.

Posters, production stills and trailers courtesy Marvel Studios and Marvel Studios UK.

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