Will Marvel's Big Picture Wind Up Killing Iron Man?

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Pop quiz, hot shot: Say you're Marvel Entertainment, and you've got the sequel to $585 million worldwide-grossing Iron Man lined up with the original star and director, plus a recent Oscar nominee and Scarlett Johansson. Do you do everything you can to make sure that movie is the The Dark Knight to the original's Batman Begins, or do you concentrate your efforts on connecting it to other properties that no one but Comic Book Guy even knows exist, like Thor? If you guessed option two, then send your resume to Marvel, because it seems that's exactly what's happening.

Director Jon Favreau, commenting over on the LAT's Hero Complex blog, says that -- spoiler alert! -- Iron Man 2 won't end with a cliffhanger. Okay, that's fine -- especially since not every movie has to feel like one big build up to the next sequel -- but it's his reasoning for the decision that will certainly leave a bad taste in your mouth: He couldn't end the film that way -- even if he wanted to -- because of Marvel's plans to have all of their properties connect into one larger narrative:

"I want it to be completely self-contained because a lot is going to happen between now and the next chapter. You've got Thor, you've got Captain America and you've got Avengers. I don't know how all of that is going to impact this little handmade story of ours that we've been doing over the last two films."

Favreau goes on to say that it still didn't stop him from including "eight different story-lines," but it makes you wonder if the larger ambitions of Marvel Entertainment won't end up killing the Iron Man franchise. Not that it's some bastion of creative brilliance, but if the third Iron Man has to fit into the boxes established by Thor and The Avengers, won't that sabotage what Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. have created? Of course none that matters now, especially with Iron Man tracking to have a mammoth opening weekend, but a few years from now when you're complaining about how stupid it is that Tony Stark is worrying about Thor and Ant-Man, don't say you weren't warned.

· Don't expect a cliffhanger ending in 'Iron Man 2' [LAT/Hero Complex]



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