Iron Man isn’t really an A-list superhero. “You could really go down the list till you get to Iron Man,” says director John Favreau. But Marvel Studios is banking its future on Iron Man, and its titular hero isn’t even the riskiest part. There’s also baggage-laden star Robert Downey Jr., and Favreau, a comedy director who hates CGI.
Favreau wanted to make an adult comedy with a mythic edge. “People think they like the explosions,” he says. “But they’re really responding to something a little more inspired.” Downey, meanwhile, overcame objections that he was too old with a slam-dunk screen test. The two had so much fun, they’re already talking sequel. “People are saying, 'You didn't drop the ball,’” Downey says. “So we're like, ‘Okaaaay . . . so give us the ball again.’”