Two years after Iron Man caused a massive stir at Comic Con, Jon Favreau and his team returned to the convention to premiere footage of the follow-up. Not that they were any less nervous the second time around.
"It was tough walking into that room after what happened last time, and hoping that they would be as enthusiastic about what we brought this time,” said Favs.
“We came out of nowhere, y’know? Now everybody saw what we did last time and you can only do it the first time once. So, it was really a matter of saying, ‘Hey, we’re still here, thank you for putting us on the map and here’s what we’re thinking.’”
Lucky for them, the five minutes of footage that they screened for the 6,000 breath-bated fans went down like a house on fire.
Comic Con also helped to launch the first Iron Man 2 viral. Down on the show floor, Stark Industry ‘assistants' handed out business cards which were printed with StarkIndustriesNow.com.
If you went over to the site, there was a hand-written note from Mr Stark himself scribbled on a napkin, announcing that Stark Industries no longer manufacture weapons.
This was just the beginning of the Iron Man 2 viral campaign, however, with clues in posters and the launch of another website, this one starexpo2010.com, which features images of fairgrounds and an interactive map of the expo. These images are mostly locations from the film’s trailer.
On 6 April, the Stark Expo website opened a new branch for AccuTech Research & Development, a subsidiary of Stark Industries.
While the viral side of Iron Man 2’s marketing campaign was whole-heartedly embracing the trend for online hype-mustering, the film’s production itself stopped short of jumping onto the 3D/IMAX band wagon.
Back in September 2008, and again after the film completed shooting in July 2009, Favs addressed the idea of 3D for Iron Man 2.
During an interview with AICN, he stated that while he was keen on going the 3D route back then (remember, this was before Avatar’s success), it’s something that failed to materialise. The same applied to IMAX.
“I think [IMAX] works well for Dark Knight because a lot of that was just practical shots and helicopter shots or shots where there’s CGI in the background, set extensions things like that,” said the Favs.
“But you didn’t have a CGI Batman running through the frame all the time. The difficulty with our film is that our main character is CG a lot of the time. And when you start shooting in IMAX format... it’s a bit unwieldy on the set first of all and second of all, I’m not convinced yet that CGI is going to look.
“I’m not sure at that resolution CGI is convincing yet. So, there are a lot of drawbacks, but in meeting with them the blowups to IMAX format are as effective in many ways, so we’ll see where we land on it, but I doubt that we’re actually going to have IMAX cameras on the set. It becomes very difficult for processing and all of that.”
Next: Iron Man Forever