Friday, December 31, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

'The Avenger' shoots in April

The long awaited film The Avengers is set to start shooting in April 2011! The movie will star Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, and Don Cheadle!

Variety reports that The Avengers is now scheduled to also shoot in New Mexico, making it the biggest film to ever film in the area. In announcing the news, Governor Bill Richardson called it “a Christmas present of sorts” to the state, as the production will likely create hundreds of jobs. New Mexico, thanks to its tax breaks, has been a hot spot for major productions in the last few years, recently playing host to Thor and Cowboys & Aliens. In addition to filming in New York and New Mexico, some of principle photography is also scheduled to take place in Michigan. The film will be directed by Joss Whedon and is planned to be in production from April until September.

Fanboys, you better start planning your costumes for the 2012 premier. This movie has been talked about and talked about for so many years it’s amazing that it’s finally coming to fruition. The cast is incredible and the anticipation will just continue growing. Hopefully Thor and Captain America are great movies in 2011 so The Avengers will have legs to stand on. It’s such a high concept movie it may be a hard pill to swallow for many. Expect a lot of hype at next year’s Comic-Con as the release draws closer. I’ll keep you posted on the happenings.

Source: Cinema Blend

Which Actors Have Died the Most in Movies?

Robert Downey Jr. is 11th in the list:

- Has died in 5 films which include: 'Less than Zero', 'Natural Born Killers', 'Richard III', 'The Gingerbread Man' and 'U.S. Marshals'

- An interesting fact: In 'The Singing Detective', Downey did kill himself, BUT it was a hallucination sequence.

Here Lies 15 of Hollywood's Most Killed Stars
(contain spoilers)

Robert De Niro

-has died in 14 films which include: 'Bloody Mama', 'Bang the Drum Slowly', 'Mean Streets', 'Brazil', 'The Mission', 'Cape Fear', 'This Boy's Life', 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein', 'Heat', 'The Fan', 'Jackie Brown', 'Great Expectations', '15 Minutes' and 'Hide & Seek'.

-An interesting fact: While De Niro was killed by Pacino in 'Heat', Pacino was then killed by De Niro in' Righteous Kill.'

Bruce Willis

-has died in 11 films which include: 'Billy Bathgate', 'Mortal Thoughts', 'Death Becomes Her', 'Twelve Monkeys', 'The Jackal', 'Armageddon', 'The Sixth Sense', 'Hart's War', 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle', 'Sin City' and 'Grindhouse: Planet Terror'

-An interesting fact: In both 'Mortal Thoughts' and 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle', Willis was killed by his ex-wife, Demi Moore.

Johnny Depp

-has died in 10 films which include: 'A Nightmare on Elm Street', 'Platoon', 'Freddy's Dead', 'Ed Wood', 'Dead Man', 'The Astronaut's Wife', 'From Hell', 'The Libertine', 'Sweeny Todd' and 'Pirates of the Caribbean 2'.

-An interesting fact: On this list, Depp holds the record for Bloodiest Death from when he was turned into a giant plasma fountain on 'Nightmare on Elm Street'.

Dustin Hoffman

-has died in 9 films which include: 'Midnight Cowboy', 'Who is Harry Kellerman And Why Is He Saying Terrible Things About Me?', 'Lenny',' Death of a Salesman', 'Billy Bathgate',' Hook', 'Wag the Dog', 'Perfume' and 'Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium'.

-An interesting fact: In 'Hook', Hoffman was eaten by a reanimated crocodile.

Al Pacino

-has died in 9 films which include: 'Scarface', 'Dick Tracy', 'The Godfather: Part III', 'Carlito's Way', 'Donnie Brasco', 'Insomnia', 'People I Know', 'The Recruit' and 'Righteous Kill'.

-An interesting fact: In 'Carlito's Way' and 'Insomnia' Pacino is killed by comedians John Leguizamo and Robin Williams.

Jack Nicholson

-has died in 9 films which include: 'Easy Rider, 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', 'The Passenger', 'The Shining', 'Batman', 'Hoffa', 'Mars Attacks!', 'The Departed' and 'The Bucket List'

-An interesting fact: Most of Nicholson's deaths tend to be horribly violent. He was shot, dropped from high places and beaten to death.

Brad Pitt

-has died in 9 films which include: 'A River Runs Through It', 'Kalifornia', 'Legends of the Fall', 'The Devil's Own', 'Troy', 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford', 'Burn After Reading' and 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'.

-An interesting fact: While Pitt died in both 'Cool World' and 'Fight Club', he was revived in one as a cartoon character and in the other he never actually existed.

Denzel Washington

-has died in 8 films which include: 'Cry Freedom', 'Glory', 'Heart Condition', 'Malcolm X', 'Fallen', 'The Preacher's Wife', 'Training Day' and 'Man on Fire'.

Christian Bale

-has died in 8 films which include: 'Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna', 'Henry V', 'The Secret Agent', 'Mary Mother of Jesus', 'Shaft', 'Harsh Times', 'The Prestige' and '3:10 to Yuma'.

-An interesting fact: In 'The Prestige', Bale got to have it both ways, without spoiling the fun. Those who saw it know why.

George Clooney

-has died in 5 films which include: 'Return to Horror High', 'Red Surf', 'The Perfect Storm', 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' and 'Syriana'.

-An interesting fact: Although Clooney died in a couple early budget movies, his character actually survived in 'Return of the Killer Tomatoes'.

Robert Downey Jr.

-has died in 5 films which include: 'Less than Zero', 'Natural Born Killers', 'Richard III', 'The Gingerbread Man' and 'U.S. Marshals'

-An interesting fact: In 'The Singing Detective', Downey did kill himself, BUT it was a hallucination sequence.

Sean Bean

-has died in 5 roughly 20 films, which include (but are not limited to): 'Equilibrium', 'The Fellowship of the Ring', 'Goldeneye', 'The Hitcher' and 'Patriot Games'. See an entire list of his deaths here.

-An interesting fact: Bean has a scar over his eye given to him by Harrison Ford while shooting his death scene in 'Patriot Games'. Ford accidentally hit him with a boat hook.

Gary Oldman

-has died in 5 9 films which include: 'The Book of Eli', 'Bram Stoker's Dracula', 'The Fifth Element', 'Leon', 'True Romance', 'Lost in Space', 'Sid and Nancy', 'Hannibal' and 'Harry Potter'

-An interesting fact: It makes sense Oldman made the list since his known character trade mark is a borderline psychotic.

Mel Gibson

-has died in 3 films which include: 'Mrs. Soffel', 'Hamlet' and 'Braveheart'.

-An interesting fact: While Gibson only has 3 deaths, he holds the record for number of tortures in the films 'Lethal Weapon', 'Conspiracy Theory',' Braveheart',' Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome' and 'Payback'.

Carl Weathers

-has died in 3 films which include: 'Happy Gilmore', 'Predator' and 'Rocky IV'.

-An interesting fact: After Creed's Death in 'Rocky IV', Weathers met with producer Joel Silver and agreed to play an important supporting role in 'Predator'.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Iron Man (2) is the best drunk superhero of 2010

Best Drunk Superhero: Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man 2Iron Man 2 briefly tackles Demon in a Bottle, the classic eighties story line where Tony Stark literally stares down his alcoholic demons during a wild birthday bash. Much to Pepper's dismay, Tony mans the turntables, dances, and recklessly blasts Champagne bottles while three sheets in the wind. It's all a bit awkward, but Downey Jr. totally sells Stark's downward spiral. (It's safe to say the actor knows his way around a bottle of Jack Daniel's.)

Read the rest here:

Robert Downey Jr ranks 4th on Forbes top earners 2010!

"Robert Downey Jr. ranks fourth with $808 million thanks to Iron Man 2 and the comedy Due Date.Iron Man 2 was the seventh-highest-grossing film of the year with $622 million. Due Date has so far performed decently for a comedy, earning $186 million at the global box office."

Here's the original source:

Sherlock Holmes 2: Jude and RDJ

Friday, December 17, 2010

Robert Downey Jr Exclusive (written by Jonathan Heaf) PART 6

"Susan is cut from a slightly different cloth to Deb and I, and she's provided a great new framework for a lot of things. Susan doesn't really care if this building fell down and we never did another movie again so long as we were happy and loving and together, but so long as it hasn't she's operating on the fact there's a lot of shit to get done. She is a master at it - I wouldn't be surprised if she'd built the pyramids."
To this day, Downey doesn't believe in the rehabilitative effects of jail, considering its value more akin to containment. "I do think there is something divine about large-scale humiliation, but no, it never worked for me. It never produced enough of a blow back for me to catch the drift. It doesn't so much produce results as just get your attention; you become a fish in the barrel and there's really something quite beautiful about that. Jail didn't help me any more or less than anything else. But I now know I created that experience for a reason, and I'm only just starting to understand those reasons. Remember this is California, right? 'Come on vacation, leave on probation.' I mean, I can't believe I stayed out of the pen for as long as I did. And I didn't mind it inside really; it wasn't so bad."
I tell him I find this hard to believe. "Listen, a prison is just like a public [state] school. Did you ever go on a film set on location? It's just like prison. Have you ever been in a bad relationship? It's just like having a celly who wants to kill you. Have you ever been in a street fight? It's just like chow-time. Have you ever been to a rave-up? It's like a yard riot. I wouldn't wish it on anybody, but it neither fazed me, nor changed me, nor informed me - but maybe it toughened me up a little bit. It's kind of like a lazy military operation with great moments of delight and horror. Pray you avoid it."
To watch the actor, as i leave him now, discussing with a pretty young member of Team Downey who, out of the two of them, will be calling the star's mother-in-law to discuss the arrangements for a forthcoming Hawaiian family holiday, it's remarkable to think that all this - the three-storey modernist house, the two humdinger movie franchises, the action dolls, the silly-millions in the bank, the second wife who keeps him grounded (despite his protestations otherwise), the son who considers him a real-life superhero, the otherworldly introspection - so nearly didn't happen. Considering Downey's staggering acting talent, if it weren't so very nearly true, it would be laughably preposterous.
Before I leave, I ask Downey whether he ever begrudges the Hollywood elite for not honouring him with an Oscar for Chaplin in 1992. He was nominated for Best Actor but lost out to Al Pacino for his role in Scent Of A Woman. According to legend, as soon as Downey, then backstage, saw how many little gold men they were giving out that evening, his nervousness transformed instantly into flippancy at the idiocy of all the glamorous industry hoopla.
"No I wasn't hurt," he states without missing a beat, followed by a classic Downeyism. "First of all, I want to qualify that there is no physical pain by not winning something. There is psychological turmoil and lack of understanding, but what is really going on here? Because I can say that I've been stiffed. I can lie, and pretend I worry. But I don't care. I. Don't. Care. Honestly. There was a time when I thought the only way out of hell was to win a certain type of award. And then I thought, what a pitiful existence."
We walk over to the edge of his balcony where the iron, slate and concrete movie-star citadel meets real-world meandering traffic and the threat of a double-dip recession.
"Look, as long as I stick around I'm going to end up with a bunch of them anyway as they're going to run out of people to give them to. And I'm probably going to win it one year when someone else deserves to win it. Why? Because it's my time, goddamnit. And that's the way shit works around here. I'm just an uptight mutt at the top of his game. Welcome to Hollywood, bitch! I'll see you at the Vanity Fair party and I'll be holding that golden statue you deserve 'cause guess what? It happened to me too, motherf***er!"
And with that Robert Downey Jr looks at me wide-eyed and laughs so hard he can hardly believe it himself.

Robert Downey Jr Exclusive (written by Jonathan Heaf) PART 5

Talking to Downey can at times feel like being caught in an asteroid storm of Los Angeles psychobabble; a sort of deep-sea introspection full of boxes within boxes and questions locked within semi-confessional proclamations that may or may not be exaggerated. He's like a cross between a Russian doll and the Large Hadron Collider, a stream of ideas and atoms that smash into one another to reveal more dead-end answers and throw-away revelations.
You could knock it as befuddled, sage-burning pseudo-hippie therapy talk if only its restorative effects hadn't harboured such incredible results for the man who, only ten years ago, started a lost weekend with a visit to a strip club, and then finished it two days later thanks to a tip-off from a anonymous caller who told police in reference to the strung-out star, "Uh, yeah, I'd just like to let you know that in Room 311 of the Merv Griffin there is a man that is doing an ounce of cocaine and [with] a couple of guns and is pretty upset."
The last time Downey would feel the cold bite of LAPD steel at his wrists would be on 24 April 2001 in Culver City. As the cop on duty, Yvette Countee, would later testify: "While I was speaking to him [Downey], I then noticed his speech was rapid. He interrupted me on several occasions and rambled on without any questions being addressed to him." Just four months previously Downey had picked up the Golden Globe for his role in Ally McBeal, and, although praised for boosting the show's ratings, this latest public run-in with the law proved too much for the series' producers - he was let go.
In court on 16 July 2001, Downey made a "no contest" plea to possession, as his urine sample had confirmed traces of cocaine. However, thanks to Proposition 36, a new law just passed in California, he was ordered to spend a year at a residential rehab facility, with three years' probation, rather than tie up another county jail bed. He was lucky. But now, finally, even Downey could sense he was playing chicken with his seemingly endless supply of serendipity.
Of course, it wasn't jail, endless botched trips to rehab or even the threat he might never work again that made Downey pack in the bad-boy behaviour. Instead, it was that old romantic - love. Downey Jr met Susan Levin, then executive vice president of production at Silver Pictures, on set of Gothika in 2003. Although batting away the star's advances with sensible parries such as, "He's an actor, I have a real job," eventually Levin acquiesced and the pair began dating. Downey proposed to her the night before her 30th birthday and they married in New York in August 2005.
"I'm afraid no one keeps me in check - not even Susan," laughs Downey. "I can tell by the look in her eyes if I need to immediately stop a line of behaviour. Or whether she is somehow or other able to withstand the onslaught of wanton, well-informed narcissism that is coming at her like an ├╝ber-tsunami." Do they both have to work at the relationship? "More than I thought. And usually more than I would care to. But ultimately, it's just so nice to have pure communication with, for me, a woman. Historically this has been something that, for me, was not really achievable."
Downey's first serious girlfriend, back when he was doing theatre in New York in the early Eighties, was Sarah Jessica Parker - later to be forever known as Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City. Devastatingly for Downey, she just couldn't handle his love for a party and the relationship blistered apart. In 1992, he met Deborah Falconer and within 42 days they were married, Deborah pregnant with Indio soon after. Then, as Downey explains, "The Nineties happened, and it was just about survival."

Robert Downey Jr Exclusive (written by Jonathan Heaf) PART 4

Fatherhood and self-discovery are the big themes coursing through Due Date, themes that, one imagines, Downey has spent plenty of time in front of therapists discussing. The relationship between Robert Downey Sr (the actor's father, who was born Robert Elias but changed his name when he was a minor so he could enlist) and his son is a significant one, especially when trying to decode Jr's maverick genome - containing the firecracker gene that made Downey "that guy" for so much of his career.
Downey Sr was a cultish, independent film-maker working in the Seventies and Eighties and was, in fact, the director to give Jr his first line on film. The clip of the actor, aged five, on the set of Pound is uploaded onto YouTube for anyone who cares to see Iron Man pre-secondary school. The ultra low-budget flick is set in a dog pound and all the actors play one or other of the incarcerated mutts. Downey Jr, for his first time ever on screen, has to look straight at a badass bald guy playing a Mexican Hairless and utter the words, "Have any hair on your balls?" As far as first lines go, it's memorable.
His father's bohemian lifestyle, however, didn't exactly help provide a stable environment for a curious kid out to have as much fun as possible. Downey Lore has it that his father gave him his first spliff aged eight, although it was far more likely to have been one of his dad's rabble-rousing hangers-on. As Downey Jr himself admits, "It was such a permissive time. And we weren't discouraged. As I remember it, I was swinging in a hammock one day, and there was a guy, one of my father's friends, in the room and I literally just put my hand out, and he walked over and gave it to me. And it was on."
Although small parts alongside Anthony Michael Hall in John Hughes' Weird Science came first, Downey Jr's big cinematic breakout came in 1987 with the adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel Less Than Zero. Even back then he was tapping into that tumultuous relationship he had with his own father, using fragments of his own experiences and psyche to bolster his on-screen characters, something he still does to this day. At that time Downey had progressed beyond the odd hit of marijuana: "I took my drugs after work and on the weekends," he admits. "That changed on Less Than Zero."
Talking about one particularly gut-wrenching scene in which his character, Julian, goes back home to ask his father for help getting off drugs, Downey adds: "My life, personal and professional, I've always had these big themes to do with fatherhood and taking responsibility for my own actions. The first day of shooting Less Than Zero, I'm on a tennis court with Marek Kanievska [the director], and I really have no idea what I'm doing. So I started thinking, 'Do father and sons ever really connect? Are they ever truly able to love each other and accept each other?' At this point, I'm getting really choked up... When the scene was done, Marek said, 'You know you're a real actor and I'm going to craft this whole movie around you. People are going to see who you are.'"

Robert Downey Jr Exclusive (written by Jonathan Heaf) PART 3

"Here you go, buddy." After a shower and a surreptitious peak into his son Indio's room (basically a holding cell for the teenager's growing guitar collection), I join Downey at our table for two on the third floor. "These should sort you out." Next to my chair are three packages: the first, a rucksack-sized packet of Epsom salts (weird, I say, as that's the sleepy suburban town where I was born; although I begin to notice weird Klingon mind-sifter moments like this happen around Downey all the time) and two small boxes of Arm & Hammer baking soda. What am I going to do with these? Bake a cake? "You have a bath back at your hotel?" he asks. I do. "Run warm water and empty everything into the bath and then get in. I wouldn't stay in there for any longer than ten minutes." Why not? Downey leans forward and taps the packet of salts in front of me. "Powerful laxative, dude."
Although the consummate host and a killer gym buddy, the reason we're both sitting here is for the release of Due Date, out this month. It's directed by Todd Phillips, the man responsible for The Hangover, a movie that this summer became the biggest-selling comedy DVD of all time. Although Due Date features a cameo from gnasher-flasher Jamie Foxx (last seen with Downey in Matthew Vaughn's The Soloist, a film about a homeless violist that accumulated some significant pre-Oscar heat in 2008, only to misfire when someone actually saw the thing), the true co-star of this project is, unsurprisingly, Zach Galifianakis, the laugh-until-you-wet-yourself "reh-tard" from The Hangover; a man who's part grizzly hobo, part Curly from The Three Stooges.
Due Date is basically a buddy movie, or as Downey puts it, "like the modern, next logical step in a not-too-realistic-but-definitely-natural evolution of two schmucks on the road." Downey plays fast-talking, uptight rage queen Peter Highman, an architect who is jetting back from Atlanta to LAX so he can be at his wife's side at the birth of their first son - in a nutshell, the straight guy. Galifianakis plays Ethan Tremblay, a gay, out-of-work actor with an air-dog who's heading to California to be discovered, or as is more likely we discover, be forgotten and end up smoking his own weight in weed between bussing at the local Jack In The Box. The pair, their opposing lifestyles, opinions and hygiene habits crash headlong into each other at the airport, after which they are both escorted off the plane by an air marshall with a Taser and, now banned from American airspace, forced to make the 2,000-mile, journey together in a cramped, claustrophobic hire car. As is expected, carnage ensues, as Tremblay's chaotic, stoned manner and inability to stay awake at the wheel leaves Downey's character broke, busted, bruised and finally - this is Hollywood, remember - reborn. The movie is cut from a very similar comedic cloth as The Hangover - Phillips will do for early-thirties frat-boy humour what Judd Apatow did for twenty-something languid stoner bros.
Unusually for Downey, his role is to anchor the scene rather than blow its wheels off. It's an odd fit, especially considering Downey's last play-for-laughs part that had him black-up for the deliciously controversial role of Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder, a part that still makes the actor, "uncomfortable, and weirdly apologetic". Here Galifianakis is the one allowed to get creative and punch an anarchic hole through the set.
"It's kind of embarrassing to say this," agrees Downey, "as I always thought of myself as being that type of an actor, but Zach is probably one of the freest artists I have ever experienced. The funny thing for me was having the confidence to play the straight man for once, and it gave me a whole new set of insights into the people whose responsibility it is to hold the mooring lines while the other great talents have chewed up the scenery - and I've been that guy. "

Robert Downey Jr Exclusive (written by Jonathan Heaf) PART 2

"I'm told that I am getting bored less easily," he explains when I ask him whether all this huffing and puffing is absolutely necessary. "I'm managing my impulse to scream, 'boring alert!' a little better. 'Boredom is self-obsession' - I don't know who said that but I think it applies. So am I becoming less obsessed with myself? I think as a function of age you have to, otherwise you can't stay healthy."
The work-out is tough. Not throw-up-all-over-myself-and-fall-back-out-into-the-street-whimpering-to-mummy tough, but hard enough to cause Downey some minor concern. "You OK?" he asks sporadically between swinging 15kg iron kettle bells through his legs (OK, 10kg for me). Gasping, I lie - you have to, right? - and tell Downey I'm "fine", blaming the double espresso with half-and-half I had earlier, but even Jimmy can see I'm feeling pain in muscles I never even knew I had until today.
"Don't worry, British," consoles Downey as we jump into his dealership-pristine ice-white VW Golf, turn down Howard Stern and slipstream into the Venice Beach traffic, just as if he's one of the hundreds of thousands normal Los Angelenos going about their working day, "I've got the cure."
Rebuilt, reborn and restored, Robert Downey Jr has Hollywood at his feet - again - and this time he swears there's to be no reappearance of "Retread Fred, the serial relapser", the term coined by Downey himself to describe his inability to stay off a $4 crack pipe and keep his sorry ass out of a prison-orange jumpsuit. Since director Jon Favreau cast him in Iron Man in 2007 - for which Downey did a screen test for only the second time in his career - Downey's Hollywood credit rating has blown through the roof, smashed the billion-dollar weather balloon at the box office and rocketed into deep space: current position, 45,350 miles past Pluto and climbing. This isn't a comeback. This is a full-scale, karma-reversing body swap.
The three-storey frosted glass and concrete house he takes me to is a monument to Downey Version 4.5. Before I'm shown "the break room" (basically a guest bedroom where I'll shower and change), Downey gives me a tour. "First floor, business": this is the office space where six or so members of Team Downey, the star's production company set up with his wife Susan in 2010 with a first-look deal at Warner Bros, keep a handle on business, which at the moment includes filming Sherlock Holmes 2 in London with Guy Ritchie and Jude Law, pre-production for Yucatan - a heist movie set in Mexico originally devised and worked on by Steve McQueen prior to his death - and looking for a movie for Downey to direct.
"Second floor, pleasure": along with the break room, this is where the Downeys sleep and - well, he said it - pleasure themselves. Their bedroom is a dark affair, the Venetian blinds pulled down with various Conan Doyle books on a dresser, clean wooden surfaces stained the colour of black coffee and a low-riding bed with leather trim and matching bedside tables. The bathroom, with its mosaic tiles and straight-edged, free-standing bath big enough for two, is about as messy as a room can be without it being embarrassing. There's also a small balcony where Downey admits he likes to crouch down in the early evening, alone, and eavesdrop into people's conversations while they stand outside his front door.
"Third floor, sustenance. And access to fish tanks": the uppermost floor is where we'll have brunch, consisting of papaya and mango cubes to start, followed by red-pepper quiche and ending with a gluten-free coffee cake with frosted top, all cooked by his private chef. On this floor there is a square sunken seating area with various Taschen editions, several carved wooden insects, a free-standing piano - a gift from Susan - adorned with a Kerouac inscription from On The Road ("the only people for me are the mad ones") and a plastic Iron Man figurine doing the splits. There is also a rock garden and a terrace, presumably where Downey walks out on occasion, breathes deeply and laughs like a hairdryer into the face of all he surveys and into the narrow minds of all the industry naysayers who doubted his future couldn't be so goddamn sweet.

Robert Downey Jr Exclusive (written by Jonathan Heaf) PART 1

8.30am on a clear thursday morning in venice, Los Angeles, and Robert Downey Jr has got that glint in his puppy-dog, brown eyes - the very same one that had him nominated for an Academy Award by the age of 27 for Chaplin; the same one that is a talismanic mainstay of two multimillion-dollar movie franchises, Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man, currently making Downey, against all odds, the "Biggest Film Star On The Planet"; and the same one that played its part in having him arrested in April 1996 after he was stopped by police speeding on the Pacific Coast Highway while in possession of cocaine, heroin and a .375 calibre Magnum handgun. It's a glimmer; an unquantifiable article. But it's there all right, swimming deep within the actor's soft vitreous gel, somewhere between the iris and infinity; always has been, always will be.
Yesterday, when we met for the first time - the 45-year-old actor throwing kung-fu pirouettes at me while squeezing my biceps and gauging the strength of my build - he promised a "restorative work-out. We're not going to kill you, duuuude." Sounding every bit the keenly protective father figure, Downey added reassuringly: "It's about health." Now, facing the grinning actor in his low-key private gym, the Santa Monica Body Building Center (the same sweat shed where Sylvester Stallone trained for Rocky), I feel like I've walked blindfolded into a carefully engineered bear trap for gung-ho journalists who fancy their chances at out-ironing the Iron Man.
"Now, this," Downey declares to the room, walking over to a vast structure of white painted steel that resembles a cross between a sex swing dreamt up by Philip K Dick and a medieval torture rack, "is what we call, 'the War Machine'."  Looking at the spherical tangle of pulleys, weights, clips and twisted metal, I kick myself for picking out the fly-away Orlebar Brown running shorts and teeny-tiny wife beater this morning, rather than the chain-mail vest. Or the Hurt Locker-style bomb-disposal suit. "You've got some serious Chariots Of Fire duds going on there," beams Downey, effervescing wicked glee. The smile drops: "Wait till Jimmy shows you the sledgehammers."
Watching Downey pump it as if his life depends on every lift, it's clear he works on pure instinct. Gwyneth Paltrow, Oscar winner and Downey's love interest, Pepper Potts, in the Iron Man movies, concurs: "Robert's greatest skill as an actor is his versatility; his ability to play many things at one time: incredulity with an undercurrent of self-referential humour, pathos with warmth, triumph with a hint of frailty; whatever the combination, there are always many levels to what he is conveying. And he can do it in any accent." As for the ride Downey provides for those working with him on set, she adds: "I don't think I have ever seen Robert stick to a script; he is the most fly-by-his-seat-actor I have ever worked with."
Dressed to sweat in black jogging bottoms, a cherry-red T-shirt, elbow guards, black trainers and a black, woolly beanie, this particular morning Downey may look like a well-rehearsed gym bunny, but out of the three other times I encounter him over these two days, his outfits never stray too far from "comfy". He seems to dress like a reserve astronaut perennially on stand-down due to bad weather.
As he squats and sips an energy drink in the corner of the gym, an old war wound on his shoulder being strapped up by Jimmy, his Irish-American bodyguard, while his trainer of five years explains to me, somewhat unconvincingly, how Downey's work-outs are about "partnership" rather than "punishment", I notice there's something uncannily simian about Downey's physicality. Perhaps that's why he prefers such soft, stretchy elastic cotton clothes. They give him room to roll, to bank, to bounce, to coil, to remain fluid - to stay on high alert. Downey is, and has always has been, about energy - physical, contained, unleashed or otherwise. The wattage coming off the guy makes the other bodies in the room - even the unit that is Jimmy, who's inked-up like a Manhattan-bound A-train, an Iron Man motif down his left calf, the digits 221b on the underside of his forearm (how's that for devotion?) - orbit him like spare moons.

ComicBookMovie site explanation for Jon Favreau departure

read it here:

Here's the explanation of Jon Favreau departure from Iron Man 3

See larger image
© Nikki Nelson/WENN Jon Favreau turned down directing duties on "" after deciding he wanted to work on a movie which "isn't loaded with built-in expectations". Favreau helped create a hugely successful film franchise, starring as the comic book superhero, by directing the first two installments and bringing in profits of more than $1 billion.

It was announced earlier this week that the actor/director had walked away from a planned third movie, although no explanation was given for his departure. Favreau has now opened up about his decision to quit, revealing he wanted to focus on a new project rather than a massively-hyped comic book movie.

He tells the Los Angeles Times, "(I wanted to) find something that lights a fire (inside me and will) blow people away, which is easier to do with a project that isn't loaded with built-in expectations..." And it was Favreau's desire to bring Disney attraction the "" to life on the big screen which spurred him on to leave "Iron Man 3".

"Between the theme parks and the movies, the Disney iconography was probably the first set of archetypes that I was exposed to. Walt was able to expose me as a child to the full array of emotions, including fear and sorrow. Those movies and attractions haunted my dreams and made a deep impression on me as a child."

But Favreau insists he has nothing but good memories of working on the "Iron Man" films. He adds, "Marvel and I both came of age together. The years that we shared were a pivotal experience. Kevin (Feige, Marvel Studios president) has a firm grasp on the many franchises and how they all interweave and I am happy that I had the opportunity to establish the world that these characters can now play in... I look forward to seeing what others can do playing in the same world."

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Interview with RDJ, Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan and Todd Phillips (DUE DATE)

Due Date cast and crew members Robert Downey Jr. (Peter Highman), Zach Galifianakis (Ethan Tremblay), Michelle Monaghan (Sarah Highman) and Todd Phillips (Director) sat down to talk about the process of making the film.

QUESTION:  Michelle, you’re reunited here with Robert Downey Jr. for the first time since Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang.  Did you stay in touch and were you excited to make this movie with him? 
MICHELLE MONAGHAN:  Yeah, obviously, I’m very, very excited and pumped at the opportunity to work with Robert again.  I adore Robert.  I had such an amazing experience on Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, so this was really exciting for me, and, obviously, I’m a huge fan of Todd.  And Zach’s all right too.  So, I was very excited and, yes, I do get to see Robert occasionally and it’s a nice mug to see.
QUESTION:  Zach, is this character closer to your standup persona than the other film characters you’ve played?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  No, I don’t think that Ethan Tremblay is anything like me.  God, I hope not.  My standup is more like how I am in real life.  I don’t really do a character thing in standup; it’s just a bunch of sentences that are supposed to be funny.  This Ethan guy is a lot more complicated, I think.

QUESTION:  Can you talk about your take on the character and how he makes random statements that end up being funny?  What are his reasons for doing that?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  Well, his reasons are not intentional, I think.  I mean, when you’re doing standup, you’re kind of doing, ‘Hey, I thought of this.  This may be funny.’  But Ethan has no idea he’s being funny.  And I think people that are not self-aware and kind of a truck with no brakes are really kind of funny.  He’s saying things, but he doesn’t understand why they’re funny, which I think is inherently funny.

QUESTION:  This movie is really about fatherhood—about becoming a father and losing a father.  Can you guys talk about that a little bit?
TODD PHILLIPS:  Well, yeah.  I think that’s exactly right.  You know, while it is a road movie and it is a comedy, at its core it’s a movie about Zach’s character, Ethan Tremblay, who’s going through a trauma, having just lost his father, and Robert’s character, Peter Highman, who’s about to become the father for a first time.  And about why they needed to meet at this moment, and why Robert needed to travel with this kind of man-child who was going through this traumatic experience but really is a purely loving creature, much like a child would be, who just needs some adjustments, I guess, and yeah.

QUESTION:  Why did that story of fatherhood resonate with you guys?
TODD PHILLIPS:  I think it’s just an interesting take on it.  For me, personally, it was an interesting movie to make.  I started making movies about college kids.  I sort of grow with my movies.  They’re always about my age range, it feels.  And that’s sort of the next step in life, having a kid or what have you, and fatherhood.  So, it just seemed like an interesting thing to mine, both for emotion and for comedy.

QUESTION:  As a follow-up to that, Robert, were you channeling a bit of Todd in this, or the look for your character?
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  Oh, well, I’m actually glad you asked that, because I think that every time I feel that I really hit critical mass and I’m in the right place is when I feel like the director and I become a third thing, and that’s the character.  And even though the central subject of the movie is Ethan, the person who you’re kind of seeing it through is Peter.  And absolutely, particularly when he said, ‘This is just a lot of hostility,’ and there’s a lot of fear.  His attitude and his anger are covering that fear.  And we like to commiserate.  We’re genuinely pretty happy guys, but we love just getting crabby together.
He is kind of like a hostage child that we’ve taken, who is watching mom and dad or dad and dad.  They just hash it out.  But you’re the first person who’s asked that, and I think it’s absolutely true.  I always feel like I’m playing an aspect of the director, particularly when he’s an auteur.  To me, it’s a way of almost making him a proud parent.  I’m a bit of an appendage of some aspect of the director.

QUESTION:  Todd, Robert and Zach, can you talk a little bit about how you worked out or developed scenes together on this and also, if it does resonate with audiences, would you like to get a franchise out of this or are your franchise dance cards full? 
TODD PHILLIPS:  Yeah, well, the way we work it out is the way I’ve done it on all my movies, but this film in particular had an interesting process because Robert has a very producer-like brain.  He is basically another writer in the room.  So, Robert and I had lots of spirited discussions every morning.  We had the pages and he’d go, ‘Okay, what are we really doing?’  And not to discredit the writing process.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  It’s a script, which made me hate it all the more.  Well done, by the way, fellas.
TODD PHILLIPS:  Yeah, Robert has an aversion to things that are typed, I’ve learned.  [Laughs]  So, even if we just rewrote the actual scene on a napkin, even though it was the same scene, he felt better about it.  [Laughs]  But no, we took it apart, and the great thing about Robert—and I’ve said this before—is that he made me a better director.  And the reason for that is he’s constantly challenging what we were doing every day in the bigger picture of it.  A lot of times you would hear about actors and they’re worried about their lines and their thing.  And Robert thinks of the movie as a whole.  He thinks of every character in the movie as a whole.  And that’s what I mean by a producer-like approach to it.  For me, it was an unequaled experience.  I just never experienced anything like it and I don’t know, I think that was the process.  You witnessed a lot of it.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  Yeah, I mean, just each morning there was a meeting.  I would read the minutes from the last meeting.  [Laughs]  ‘Todd yells.  Robert yells back.  Let’s get on with the new meeting.’  [Laughs]  There was a discussion for at least about an hour each morning, it seemed like.  Sometimes longer.
TODD PHILLIPS:  Sometimes three.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  Yeah, and it really helped.  It really did.  And as far as the franchise stuff goes, we were kind of fantasizing about it on the last day, certainly that I was working.  I can’t remember.  But it was towards the last scene, or it was the last scene at the hospital.  There was a moment, and I don’t know if you recall, where Ethan says to Peter, ‘Call me.’  I’m like, ‘No, call me.  Tomorrow. Whenever.’  [Laughs] And we were fantasizing, like I’ve never seen a movie jump genres.  So, the sequel would be more like a Cape Fear thing.  [Laughs] But my character is actually not dumb at all.  It’s just been an act.
TODD PHILLIPS:  An elaborate ruse.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  This whole time—
TODD PHILLIPS:  I like that.  I do.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  --to stalk Peter’s family.  [Laughs]
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  What would be interesting, you just pick it up literally from the minute later, like instead of jumping a month or a year, it’s literally like from that moment you left.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  That would be fun.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  That would be great.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  There you go.  That’s how ideas work.

QUESTION:  Robert, can you talk about the process and also the idea of a franchise?
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  Yeah, that’s what I need is three franchises.  [Laughs] So I can utterly have a personality meltdown.  But I would do it with these guys.  I have to say too there was something so cathartic about it.  And, as we all know, from the writers and Michelle peripherally, and our involvement in it, but I just think it was the most healing project I’ve ever worked on.  I’ve never come up against anyone who is so confident and so thoughtful and so spontaneous that it’s not even daunting.  He’s just in a class by himself.  And I think Todd is the best director I’ve ever worked with, bar none.
TODD PHILLIPS:  Oh.  Did you all get that?  [Laughs]

QUESTION:  Robert, was it refreshing and a pleasure to play a character who had not been 
watered down but had so many real, yet repellant moments in their arc?
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  Absolutely, and I don’t know why, but it was an invitation to me to get in touch with everything that annoys me about everyone, and all the fear I have about everything that everybody can relate to.  So, in a way, I felt like I was a conduit to this.  I’m not a method guy.  I can’t be bothered to have a method.  I just want to be part of a good movie, and I can’t stand being surrounded by morons.  But we had such a great group of people, and the whole thing, it’s funny, because yeah, you could say this is a two-dimensional commercial comedy.  I feel that this is the second greatest story ever told.

QUESTION:  The first being?
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  Oh, come on!  [Laughs]  The Bible.

QUESTION:  Todd, can you talk about casting Juliette Lewis.  You mentioned Cape Fear, and she would be a natural for that. 
TODD PHILLIPS:  I love Juliette Lewis and she has been in three of my movies now or four.  She’s one of those people, and Michelle’s the same way, quite honestly.  This movie is about these two guys and the other parts in the film aren’t huge pieces.  Robert said it best.  Michelle did us a favor.  She came in and she worked for those days and she brought what she brings and she’s amazing.  And with Julie, the same thing.  Jamie Foxx, Danny McBride, I like to think they’re actors, they like to play, you know?  So, if it’s a two-day part for Juliette or a one-day part for Danny McBride, you call them up and say, ‘Hey, I’m doing this great thing with Robert and Zach.  Would you come down and just screw around for the day?  We’re going to have fun.’  I think, ultimately, that’s how it works.  But Juliette, in particular, is just stupendous and she’s sort of sunshine to me when I look at her, and I think she brings so much to, you know, small roles and large roles.

QUESTION:  The two characters in Due Date strike an unlikely friendship.  What’s the definition of friendship for you?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  I think Robert and I formed a friendship on this movie, albeit a very antagonistic but fun relationship.  He’s really very, very funny, and he makes fun of people a lot.  And for some reason I like to be made fun of.  [Laughs]

QUESTION:  For the actors, which of you would be more likely to break up laughing in the middle of a take, and I’d like Mr. Phillips to weigh in as well. 
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  Let me put it this way.  I’m 85 times more professional than Zach.  [Laughs]
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  I was hoping that we’d have some good gag reels, so maybe I’d chuckle a little bit more.  He might not actually know how funny he is sometimes, too.
TODD PHILLIPS:  Yeah, and Zach doesn’t really break up.  He just goes over his line half-way and then makes this choking sound, right?
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.:  He has a ghastly tic.  It’s my favorite thing about him, to tell you the truth, particularly when we’re doing press and it takes him 45 years to answer one question, when he’s trying to think about what the answer is, and then he stutters and then he judges himself and then starts over.  [Laughs]
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  I know my face is turning red.  I don’t want you to interpret it as being embarrassed.  It’s rage.  [Laughs] The color of my face is rage.

QUESTION:  Zach, can you talk about the opportunities that have been opened up for you with the success of The Hangover and how your character has become something of an icon to the degree that it’s a Halloween costume?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  We were shooting Due Date in Albuquerque last year for Halloween and I went to a Halloween party.  I didn’t really know anybody, and I went with a couple people from work.  And I was just dressed like this.  And there was a guy there dressed as the character from The Hangover, and I thought it would be interesting to walk up to him and say, ‘Hey, you’re dressed as me.  I’m the real person.’  And he goes, ‘Yeah, right.’  And he just walked away.  [Laughs]  So that’s a little bit freaky.
And, as far as opening opportunities, well, Todd has told me of late that I’ve never thanked him for anything and I’m here just to say that probably he’s not gonna do it today.  [Laughs]  Todd helped me.  He took a chance, I think, and plucked me out of the standup scene.  Nobody knows a movie’s gonna be so big and we just got lucky.  I got lucky and I’m thrilled that it happened.

QUESTION:  Zach, we all knew you were a comedic actor, but you’ve got a pretty powerful scene in this film in particular.  Was it hard to switch gears to play that scene?
 ZACH GALIFIANAKIS:  No.  It’s not.  It’s fun to do.  If you can make people a bit emotional watching a scene and then make them laugh prior to that, you don’t see it that often, and I think Todd got it right.  But the whole thing about that scene—the bathroom scene, I guess—is what you’re talking about.  To me, it’s not so much what Ethan does, it’s the look on Robert’s face that I think sells that, as Robert told me yesterday.  [Laughs]
TODD PHILLIPS:  Well, it’s true.  It’s not the action, it’s the reaction, and Robert is watching this all happen.  I agree with that.  It’s just all on Robert’s face as he realizes, ‘Wait a minute.  This guy’s actually going through trauma, having a breakdown.’  So it’s very cool to watch.

QUESTION:  Well, in summary then, Todd, do you think your actors left their comfort zone?
TODD PHILLIPS:  Well, I don’t know about that.  I don’t know that Robert leaves his comfort zone, ‘cause I think Robert’s capable of anything, quite honestly, as an actor.  And I think even Zach has so much that we haven’t even seen yet, even in Due Date or in his other roles.  I don’t know if left our comfort zone.  I do think what Zach just touched on is the key to Due Date, which is that the movie takes these tonal shifts that I don’t think you see in a ton of comedies, which for me was the fun part of making it, the challenging part of directing it.  And, I think for these guys, possibly the challenging part of doing it—where you’re in a bathroom scene and he has a breakdown—this guy’s actually feeling emotional.  And for the audience to stay with us and stay on that ride is what makes the movie connect and work.  So, that’s what I’m most proud of with Due Date.