MarvelVision: Phase One – Iron Man 2, With Julia Alexander

Iron Man 2

It’s sequel time as our MCU rewatch podcast takes on Iron Man 2 with guest Julia Alexander (Senior Streaming Editor, IGN)! Tony Stark returns, and brings a slew of new characters with him, including the debut of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer, and Mickey Rourke’s bird. But how does the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first sequel hold up, over a decade later? Number one Iron Man 2 fan Alexander weighs in, and we don’t necessarily disagree. Plus, we talk about what’s coming next including — finally — a Black Widow movie, Secret Invasion and Armor Wars.


Full Episode Transcript

Alex:                 Welcome to MarvelVision, a podcast about Marvel, the MCU, and right now Iron Man 2. I’m Alex.

Justin:              I’m Justin.

Pete:                I’m Pete.

Alex:                 And as mentioned, we’re going to be talking about Iron Man 2 as we continue our work our way through the MCU, through phase one. And this week we have a special guest. We have Julia Alexander, the senior streaming editor of IGN, and as far as I know, the number one Iron Man 2 fan on the internet. Julia, welcome. So excited to have you here.

Julia:                Thank you guys for inviting me. This is truly an honor for me to be invited on this episode.

Alex:                 No, it’s our honor. Thanks so much.

Justin:              It’s our honor. We reached out to a lot of Iron Man 2 fans and let me be honest, it was just a bunch of aliases of your names. So it’s great to-

Julia:                There are literally dozens of aliases that I run.

Justin:              Your Iron Man 2 burner accounts.

Alex:                 Smart. Well, let’s start off with this because honestly when I knew we were going to do, we’re doing this walkthrough the MCU through phase one from the end of Falcon and Winter Soldier and then picking up Loki and then presumably we’ll come back to phase two at some point, but when I knew we were going to schedule out Iron Man 2, you were absolutely the first name on my list because you take any opportunity to talk about Iron Man 2 in the absolute best way.

Alex:                 What is it about this movie in the MCU in particular that you like so much?

Julia:                It’s funny, when I first saw Iron Man 2 back in 2010, I hated it. I was part of the mass people, arguably the majority of the people who think it’s a terrible film. And then in 2018 when Infinity War was coming out, AMC was doing its marathon.

Julia:                And so I went and sleep deprived already by the time Iron Man 2 started playing, I watched Iron Man 2 and was like, “This is not as bad as I remember it.” And then I kept returning to it, I just kept watching it over and over again. And eventually, within the span of about eight months, Iron Man 2 had become my favorite party movie.

Alex:                 Yes.

Justin:              Wow.

Julia:                And I think for me, as someone who very much likes, and Alex knows this because he follows me on Twitter, who likes sad characters and just likes sad superheroes in particular, whenever I read Marvel, DC comics, I’m always drawn to any, for example, Dick Grayson arc. I’m just like, “Oh sad people,” and I love it.

Julia:                And I think Iron Man 2 is the closest we could ever get to Demon in a Bottle and the closet we could ever get to Tony just being extremely sad and trying to figure out how to deal with his sadness. I just became in love with it.

Julia:                And so even though I can look at Iron Man 2 objectively as a critic and say, “Not great, Bob.” Subjectively, I’m like, “This is my favorite Tony and this is my favorite Iron Man film.”

Alex:                 [crosstalk 00:02:51]… oh go ahead, Justin.

Justin:              Well, I was just going to jump in and say I’ve got to agree with you. This movie, it got such a bad rap, and I remember not hating it, hating it like everybody else, but I was like, “Yeah, it was sort of a bummer,” and it is a bit of a bummer movie because our hero is wrong for like 85% of the movie. And I think that’s something that we don’t expect from a) watching the first movie or just in general to have a superhero movie where the hero’s literally fucking up the whole time. You’re like, “Come on dude, fix all this stuff. You’re so close to fixing it. The blood toxicity thing, it’s like we know you’re going to fix it, but you can’t just walk around getting your blood weird. Fix your blood!” It’s-

Julia:                I think I realized upon my most recent rewatch, which was today, because I was like, “I have to rewatch it again for the podcast,” and not just because I wanted to. And I was like, “Oh,” the whole story arc of Iron Man 2 is basically dude, wealthy dude is out of control, wealthy dude gets grounded and is effectively at home, wealthy dude comes to terms with his daddy issues, and then wealthy dude goes about trying to be a better person so he harms less people.

Julia:                And I was just like imagine if we gave people therapy, what could’ve been avoided in this movie because it’s just him realizing like, “Oh I don’t have all the answers and I do need help, and I am leaning on substances I shouldn’t be leaning on to try and make everything hurt less.” And I was like, “You could use therapy, Tony Stark, so badly.”

Justin:              No, I was going to do therapy, but I just put a square of palladium into my heart instead. It’s working fine.

Pete:                [crosstalk 00:04:26] it’s a triangle. Use the triangle. It’s the better.

Justin:              Nah, I like the hard stuff.

Alex:                 The thing that I like about this movie and I think even back when I watched it in theaters, to your point, Julia, you could watch it and there’s things that don’t work about it. The third act gets a little CGI-

Justin:              Oh here we go.

Alex:                 Massive fight. And there are things that go on too long and it goes in weird directions. But even back when I first watched it, and again watching it again for the podcast, I was really struck by I would rather these movies take big, weird swings on things and I would so much rather watch that than something that is calm and safe and just sort of makes sense.

Alex:                 And the fact that, the thing that brings me back to this movie time and again is Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke. They are incredible villains. They are great.

Julia:                Yes.

Justin:              Yes, so good.

Alex:                 Their performances are so over the top. I love Sam Rockwell’s performance in particular more every single time. And this is something we talked about in the Iron Man rewatch, which I didn’t know, he was originally supposed to be Iron Man. That was the plan. They were talking about that. So to bring him back as Justin Hammer makes this sort of sense to it in terms of the MCU and he’s just this spectacular dweeb throughout the movie that becomes dorkier and dorkier as he goes towards the end. And it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful.

Alex:                 I wish, he’s like, and I’ll just put this out here, this was what struck me watching this time, he’s a Loki level villain in terms of being interesting to watch and they should have been using him more.

Julia:                And it’s also great because he’s such a departure from my favorite Justin Hammer arcs in the comics, where Justin is… my favorite arc is where Justin and Tony are kind of longtime not friends, but longtime acquaintances and kind of have this ongoing rivalry, which we kind of get to in the movie, but it’s just he’s much more full swagger in the comics in my favorite arcs.

Julia:                And having Sam Rockwell come in, and to your point exactly, Alex, just be like this dweeb who very much wants to be Tony and can’t be Tony and gets all of his leftovers, and it’s just like him partnering with Mickey Rourke, who I believe within the first 10 minutes of that film is getting his bird drunk, is like the greatest-

Pete:                It’s great.

Julia:                It’s just a perfect random sequence of events in Iron Man 2 that it’s like this beautiful mess all written by Justin Theroux-

Justin:              Which when I saw that, I was like, “Right, Justin Theroux is just shirtless at a typewriter probably just banging out the script to Iron Man 2.” Unbelievable, unbelievable.

Pete:                It really is.

Alex:                 Oh go ahead, Peter, and then I’m going to give a little background on this here. Go ahead.

Pete:                Okay, it really is like that first 10 minutes, you get a new villain reveal. You have pieces of information. It’s that very cool intro to a villain and done well. And yeah, I’m impressed with this movie going back. There are some things that don’t hold up. But I do think that every time I watch it, I get to be like, “Yeah, Sam Rockwell loves to dance and you’ve got to let him do it. You’ve got to let him dance.”

Alex:                 Let him dance.

Pete:                Yeah, and Mickey Rourke is such a creepy dude in general. It kind of matches the hiring of Tony Stark. So I liked it. I thought it was… yeah, every time I watch it, there’s just a little something that I was like, “Oh this isn’t as bad, there’s something else that you can enjoy a little bit.”

Alex:                 Yeah, [crosstalk 00:07:57]

Justin:              [crosstalk 00:07:56] Mickey Rourke’s gotten a bird drunk on his own-

Alex:                 Absolutely.

Justin:              Pre movie.

Pete:                Oh yeah.

Alex:                 Well, the thing is he paid for his own teeth and bird apparently. Everything was his idea.

Pete:                Money well spent.

Alex:                 He’s like, “Yeah, [crosstalk 00:08:09] tattoos.” He went to a Russian jail and did research. He got his own gold teeth and he bought his own bird, and he’s like, “Yeah, this is what I’m doing.” And it’s some of the best stuff in the movie. It’s great.

Julia:                My favorite moments on, the website, are when people at me, they’ll at me and they’ll be like, “Hey man, just wanted to let you know I watched Iron Man 2 randomly this weekend. I don’t think it’s that bad. Your points hold up.” And my favorite moment, I used to be at The Verge for a long time until recently I left to go to IGN and my greatest moment was when my bosses kind of DMed me on Slack one day and was like, “I watched Iron Man 2 on a plane. You have a point.” And I was like, “Yes, it’s just if you revisit it,” but it’s one of those things where for me, I think the Star Wars equivalent would be Attack of the Clones, where for so many people, Iron Man 2 is, “I don’t want to go back and revisit it, I’m just going to skip over it when I’m doing my rewatch,” and it’s like there are so many good moments in this movie and it’s my favorite Tony Stark. It’s my favorite Tony in all of the films.

Pete:                Wow.

Justin:              I like that you’re the internet’s triangle just being charged up by people’s love of Iron Man. Triangulum, I guess, is probably the official element that that is.

Pete:                Do you like [crosstalk 00:09:23]

Alex:                 So a couple of things that I probably should’ve… what’s up, Pete?

Pete:                You like a good drunken DJ is what you’re saying?

Alex:                 Yeah. Well, that’s kind of a sad thing because that’s DJ AM, who passed away right after the movie-

Pete:                Oh yeah.

Alex:                 And they paid tribute to him at the end, but that still is a very good scene and a lot of fun.

Alex:                 So I should’ve mentioned this stuff at the beginning, just as kind of groundwork for it, but it came out May 7th, 2010, which was just two years after the first one. I don’t know if folks listening out there remember this, but I remember very clearly there was a phone call the Monday morning after Iron Man came out with Kevin Feige, where it’s like, “That was an enormous success, even bigger than we thought. But guess what, here’s what we’re doing. We’re going to skip a year because there’s a lot of stuff coming out in 2009. We’re going to go right into production on Iron Man 2. Iron Man 2, coming out in two years, followed by Thor, followed by Captain America, followed by The Avengers.”

Alex:                 And everybody’s minds were like [explosion sound 00:10:17] right there. But the big thing that happened and I think the thing that people point to, particularly detractors of this movie, is it was a very quick turnaround verus Iron Man that had this incredibly long gestation period where finally Marvel got the rights back. They figured it out. They got into production even with all the improv going on there.

Alex:                 When it came to Iron Man 2, yes, there was still improv, but there were a lot more things in the works and that lead to, again something we’ve talked about a little bit on the Iron Man podcast, but it seemed to have lead to some friction behind the scenes. Terrence Howard was switched for Don Cheadle. There’s a lot of different reports. They vary there in terms of Terrence Howard saying, “Robert Downey Jr. stole all of my pay.” The people at Marvel and particularly Jon Favreau have said that Terrence Howard was very hard to work for, work with, excuse me. So we don’t know exactly what went on there, but certainly some things behind the scenes. Even Samuel Jackson apparently was very low balled by Marvel here and wasn’t going to come back originally.

Alex:                 So the interesting thing from a business perspective, I think, about this movie is Marvel is very much figuring out their model here, that they had this huge success with Iron Man, Incredible Hulk is this little asterisks there that’s kind of in the middle, but with Iron Man 2, they were saying, “Okay, what we want is we want to put together a team. We want to put together these team players. We’re not going to pay you quite as much money, but you’re going to get a nine picture deal, Sam Jackson, and that’s where we’re going to give you this job security here. We’re almost going to treat it like sort of a TV thing.”

Alex:                 So it lead to them balancing a lot of balls, which again, I think is the thing that people point to as not the strongest part of the movie. You’re trying to set up Avengers. You’re setting up Black Widow. You’re setting S.H.I.E.L.D. You have this shoved in thing about Thor where Coulson wonders every once in a while and is like, “Hey, I’ve got to go see about this hammer in the southwest. I’ll see you later. Did I mention about the southwest?” over and over again. But-

Justin:              The Coulson stuff has big Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show energy where it’s like, “What? What are you talking about?” Just relax, we’re going to get to your part after the credits. That’s when we get to your part.

Pete:                No, no, no, no. Don’t undercut Coulson, dude. Coulson’s a big part of this and it gets its due.

Justin:              He is a big part, a larger part than I remember with him being like… he’s so cocky. [crosstalk 00:12:30]

Pete:                Yeah, he’s [crosstalk 00:12:34].

Alex:                 This was something I was going to mention a little bit later on. I constantly forget that Disney+ has an insane amount of extras on everything where you can basically watch every DVD extra. It’s a terrible system. They should just run it straight into each other. You have to watch one one-minute deleted scene and then pop out, go back, and go again.

Alex:                 But the best Coulson scene is the scene that they cut from the movie where he’s hanging out in the back of the courtroom at the beginning and Pepper goes up to him and they just have this very funny back and forth, which is not about plot or anything. It’s just them hanging out and it’s very funny. So if you were not quite on the same wavelength as Coulson in the movie, I highly recommend checking out that one minute scene on Disney+.

Julia:                But this [inaudible 00:13:17] really important, which is that this set up a lot. So its set up Natasha Romanoff and it sets up Natalie Rushman or it sets up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D with… not Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it sets up S.H.I.E.L.D with Fury. It sets up a lot of the Howard Stark stuff.

Julia:                It sets up so much that we look back at post-Endgame and it’s like, “Oh so much of what happened in this movie is so important because of Thor,” and I always come back to these two movies specifically where I think they are two of the least regarded films in the entire MCU, but Iron Man 2 and Age of Ultron end up being two of the most movies. When we look back on it, they were doing so much to set things up that it was like they lost parts of narrative along the way where it was like, “Oh right, we’re spending so much time making sure people are aware that we’ve working this person here and this person here, we’re going to set this up. We’ve got to tie this in,” that you’re kind of like, “Oh right, in between this we’re making a movie,” where it’s like they’re-

Justin:              Yeah, they-

Julia:                Yeah.

Justin:              I was going to say these movies have big Brussels sprout energy where it’s like, “I guess I’ve got to finish these so I can grow up into the big movies that will come later.”

Julia:                And I also will say this movie has my favorite of all time… I think with [inaudible 00:14:33], who I really love and I know you guys are going to get this on the podcast eventually, but when Fury and Tony have little heart to hearts, it really warms my heart.

Julia:                So in Iron Man 2, when they’re first talking and at the end of the film, and then in Age of Ultron when they’re talking in the barn, and it’s one of those things that I look back on whenever I think of Iron Man 2, the scene where Nick Fury is talking to Tony about his dad and Tony’s like, “My father never loved me. He never even liked me.” And so now we have to have this whole conversation where he’s kind of being vulnerable with this person he doesn’t know, but who is a very paternal figure kind of already in his life, who’s essentially grounding him and being like, “You can’t be out of control. You have to be here and think about what you’re doing and be better.”

Julia:                And to me, that was always this beautiful moment where they’re reigning in Tony Stark, this young genius and playboy philanthropist, and it’s those little heartful and heartfeld moments that I always come back to with Iron Man 2.

Julia:                People always come back to Tony peeing in the suit or him and Rhodey fighting or the really dumb moments, or I think they’re dumb. And I always come back to, “Yeah, but you get Tony at his worst, which is Tony at his best,” because he realizes he’s not indestructible.

Julia:                And so that’s why whenever I think of this movie, I think of Fury and I think of Natasha and Tony being vulnerable with Nat, which then becomes a very good friend of his. And it’s like that, you never really see in the first film and then you kind of see it in the third and then it kind of comes back when Tony realizes he’s a total disaster post-Avengers.

Alex:                 Yeah, it is… there’s a little bit of a side point to what you’re saying, but it is so fascinating to see Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow here because just looking back, how much that character has grown, how much that character has changed. And we are very much skipping ahead here, but you think about her in Endgame being the person who’s running The Avengers and holding everything together, back to here where it’s basically like it’s just a feint that they’re setting up, it’s just the twist of if you don’t know it’s Black Widow, suddenly you’re going to be surprised that she’s a S.H.I.E.L.D agent. Every comic book fan is like, “That’s Black Widow. Stop lying to us the entire movie.”

Alex:                 But they’re figuring out the characters as they go and it’s kind of neat to see. It’s fun to revisit that. What did you guys think? Justin, what did you think of Black Widow in this movie in particular?

Justin:              I had forgotten about that big fight sequence later on, the sort of Black Widow with Happy fighting, beating the one guy and her beating everybody else.

Alex:                 Oh you forgot about that?

Justin:              Great fight sequence.

Alex:                 Come on!

Justin:              Yeah, I haven’t rewatched this movie in so long and that’s what I loved coming back to this and really it feels like a new movie once again. And I thought she was really-

Alex:                 That walk by macing that she does? Come on, that was just-

Justin:              Yeah, I’m pro it. Are you mad at me because I forgot about it very briefly?

Alex:                 Yes, I am. Yes, I am. I’m mad that you forgot about one of my favorite fights.

Justin:              I don’t treat each fight sequence as a child the same way that you do.

Alex:                 Oh you should. You’ve got revisit them and cherish them and help them grow.

Justin:              They grow up so fast. I do think they hadn’t quite nailed, the scene that she’s changing in the back seat and Happy’s looking at her and sort of like-

Alex:                 Yeah, that was really ugh, yeah.

Justin:              A lot of… her hair is very strange and very like, “I’m not here to fight. I’m here to look a certain way.” And I do think they had to move past some of that stuff to get to the real character that we get in the later movies. But that’s my only criticism.

Julia:                Yeah, I think with Marvel Studios in particular, and not even just Marvel, I think every major studio who is working on blockbusters that they assumed were geared towards men and probably still are to an extent geared towards men and boys, is like, “Oh we forgot women might be interested in this and they want to watch it.”

Pete:                Yes.

Julia:                And then you see as they get closer to by the time Wanda gets introduced later on and then we get into Black Panther and by the time we get there, it’s like Kevin Feige and Marvel and Disney and I assume any women they hired were kind of like, “You need to do better.”

Justin:              “Come on, guys, yeah.”

Pete:                “Do better.”

Julia:                [crosstalk 00:18:37] but for a long time-

Justin:              Yeah, because there’s some gross moments in this movie, for sure.

Julia:                Yeah, and there’s very much… I think about in the comics, not to be that person, but where Tony’s the womanizer and that’s his whole thing and then he eventually gets sober and then he’s not and that’s a whole thing. So I guess that they’re playing into his character in the first one and even this one when you kind of have the Parmamount background and it’s like there’s a little bit more you can do when there’s no big castle kind of appearing before in the classic Disney ways, there’s more that you can kind of get away with.

Julia:                But it’s going back and seeing Natasha Romanoff basically be like, “You’re a sex object. We’re treating you as that and then you end up becoming this really cool spy informative,” and then also reremembering from press junkets and things where everybody would ask Scarlett Johansson, “How do you wear the tight suit? How much exercise do you do?” And it’s like we’ve gotten past it finally to an extent.

Justin:              Yes.

Julia:                But that moment of superhero and blockbuster genre entertainment in general is so not great to women.

Justin:              Yeah.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Yeah, [crosstalk 00:19:36]

Justin:              Yeah, and I think you said a minute ago, but it was this misunderstanding like, “These movies are for boys and boys sure love them, and they’re going to keep seeing them over and over again.” And it’s like, “What are you talking about? This is clearly becoming the mass form of entertainment.” They just didn’t slow down and look at it. They just had this idea for like what, 20, 25 years. They’re like, “Boys, boys, boys. We’ve got to get boys.” And it’s like, “You have boys. Make better movies for everyone.”

Pete:                Yeah, but I want to go back to the there’s no Marvel flip in this, but what I do like is it does have the as the Parmaount logo is happening, we’re already getting the last bit from Iron Man 1. So they’re not wasting any time, which I appreciate. They’re picking right up and being like, “Oh you remember that.”

Justin:              You love that.

Pete:                Yes, I do.

Justin:              You love that.

Pete:                I love a little bit like, “Hey, we’re not going to waste time on credits. We’re going to give you a villain intro, then we’re going to fade into AC/DC and Tony Stark jumping out of the back of a plane and fireworks, which are going to be big later, but-“

Justin:              I have a question for you, Pete.

Pete:                Yeah.

Justin:              When you say you love it when they pick right up at where the last movie left off, why is that? Does it bother you when time passes between because you feel like you’ve missed something?

Pete:                Yes, exactly. What happened? Why don’t we want to know what that is? We’re rolling with you and it’s like, “Okay, great, but then what?” And then you’re leaving gaps and-

Justin:              Do you feel like maybe you fell unconscious or something? What do you do when you go to sleep at night?

Pete:                I want to know-

Justin:              Are you like, “I’m pissed I have to close my eyes right now?”

Pete:                Well, man, yeah, that’s the worst.

Julia:                Pete doesn’t sleep.

Pete:                Yeah.

Julia:                Pete’s like, “I’ve got to wake up every hour to make sure I’m on it.”

Pete:                I’ve got to [crosstalk 00:21:18] shifts, yep.

Justin:              I need to see everything.

Pete:                Yep, what did I miss.

Julia:                Do you know what stuck out to me upon the rewatch? And I keep thinking about this because I think this film’s a macro level of the world. Obviously one of the funnier cameos in this movie, his first ever acting appearance was Elon Musk appearing next to Tony and being like, “I have this idea.”

Alex:                 Yes.

Justin:              Especially right now-

Pete:                Yeah, after SNL.

Julia:                Especially right now.

Alex:                 Wait, just to slightly interrupt you and then get back to your point, I watched this Saturday night and I was like, “All right, I’m going to watch Iron Man 2. I’m going to skip watching SNL because this is my protest against Elon Musk,” I was saying. And then I got to the scene and I was like, “Oh goddammit.”

Julia:                Because he’s in it and it’s that Iron Man, Jon Favreau has specifically said, “Oh in 2008, when we were kind of looking at who would inspire this idea of a modern Tony Stark, it’s Elon.” And I keep thinking about this because when you think about the two big movies that came out in 2008 superhero wise, sorry to Incredible Hulk, it was The Dark Knight and Iron Man.

Julia:                And I think there was this idea at the same time, there’s this huge recession happening in the United States, there’s this moment of being like, “Fuck bankers and fuck investment bankers and fuck institutionalized wealth,” which is very much Bruce Wayne. And at the same time, this cult of Steve Jobs, the cult of Elon Musk coming up, and it’s like pro-tech, pro-what’s happening there.

Julia:                And so when you look at what a superhero is in 2008, it is Elon Musk. And so you base Tony on Elon and it’s like, “We’re going to have him in the movie and we’re just going to make this a thing because we love him.”

Julia:                Then you fast forward to 2018 and Venom comes out and it’s like, “No, our villain is Elon Musk.” In 2021, it’s like Elon is the villain. And it’s like that’s such a fun thing to watch in Iron Man 2 because it just feels like such a moment in time where it was like, “Yeah, Elon was the inspiration for the superhero that was going to save the world throug renewable energy and through all these great inventions.”

Julia:                And then we come back to this point, to your point, Alex, where it’s like you rewatched this because you wanted to not watch him on SNL and it’s like what a moment of frozen in time for this to happen.

Alex:                 Yeah, well I’ll throw something out at you because I think you’re absolutely right about that. But on the other hand, you do have this idea with Tony Stark that even though he is a billionaire, even though he’s on the cutting edge of tech, he does things with his hands and he does things with himself to the point where he creates the triangle thing by bringing these pipes. He bashes his wall. He puts everything together verus Justin Hammer-

Pete:                In a montage.

Alex:                 In a montage even, which you must’ve hated because they skipped several moments in time, Pete. But Justin Hammer even, his factory is Elon Musk’s factory.

Pete:                Yeah, it is.

Alex:                 And it is shot in the SpaceX facility. So I think you could draw a line there and say that they’re kind of pointing to… I don’t think they were saying about Elon Musk in this movie, but I do think they’re saying something about these tech billionaires who run shit and cut corners and don’t really put in the work and don’t really get down on the ground and understand what it is to actually make something, when that is the origin of Tony Stark.

Alex:                 He was phoning it in. He was following his father’s legacy and he had to be thrown into a cave and make something himself to understand who he truly is.

Justin:              I love the idea that you’re pushing a conspiracy theory, Alex, where Elon Musk saw this movie and was like, “Justin Hammer, I want to be that guy. That guy [crosstalk 00:24:38] real well.”

Pete:                And then he became him.

Justin:              “That guy knows how to have a good time.” And he became him, coming to fruition this very past weekend.

Alex:                 What did you think about the scene where Sam Rockwell plays Wario in the movie. I thought that was weird.

Pete:                Wow.

Justin:              Well, that’s the thing. Sam Rockwell has a lot of spray tan on his hands and he does give these crazy speeches and I was like that, watching that back now, that’s got a little Trump feel to it that’s a little creepy. But there is some very interesting things about the fact that Tony Spark was inspired by Elon Musk and then Elon Musk’s monologue on SNL was like, “Hey, come on. I build rockets and we go to space.” And I was just like, “What? Watching this movie now is kind of crazy.”

Julia:                And I distinctly remember in 2008, 2009, 2010, that era, I remember being somebody who was cult of Steve Jobs and was very much like, “The tech guys are going to,” even to an extent like cult of, never Jeff Bezos, but Amazon, the idea that, “Oh these tech guys who are creating jobs and are making a bunch of money and making very cool shiny things I can film podcasts on,” and then on the Elon side, Tesla is coming out much later and doing stuff like that, it was like a moment where they did feel like superheroes and the idea of wealth that came up via the traditional institutions of Wall Street and then you’re kind of Bruce Wayne felt antiquated and gross.

Julia:                And now it’s like on certain parts of Twitter, it’s like, “All wealth is gross and Silicon Valley has too much power.” And with Tony Stark, I see this a lot on TikTok because my TikTok is tailored obviously and just a lot of Marvel, and people when they talk about the Marvel movies, as you guys are doing on the podcast, it’s like when they get to Civil War and on the Iron Man stuff, they’re like, “I don’t understand how you could ever be Team Tony because what he wants doesn’t make sense.”

Julia:                And I was like, “But it’s true,” because if we actually look at the idea of what Tony Stark stands for, a lot of us would probably not agree with most of it. We had a fun game we used to play in newsrooms, which is which of your favorite superheroes will be Republicans? And it was like, “Tony Stark, without question, would be a Republican.” He tax breaks. There’ll be whole things and he’d be like, “Sure, I’m just going to vote for this guy.”

Julia:                And so I think about this a lot where it’s like Steve Rogers is always the guy that’s like, “Oh he wants to fight for the little guy. He wants this distribution of stuff.” But I think with Tony, despite all that stuff, there’s a heart to Tony, and because he’s complicated, because he’s complex, because he’s not right, he’s not wrong, but he’s just trying to do what’s best, End Game doesn’t work if Tony doesn’t realize that he has to be the one to give himself up because he’s the selfish person. I don’t know if I’m allowed to spoil End Game, by the way.

Alex:                 Oh that’s fine.

Justin:              Totally allowed.

Pete:                Spoiler.

Julia:                [crosstalk 00:27:21] that we’ve seen. Yeah, but it only works because he’s come to the place of being like, “I’m just doing this for me.” And I think Iron Man 2, I start to see him where he has the ending conversation with Fury and he’s like narcissistic obviously, like who isn’t, but he’s like, “I want to be a team player. But I want to be here. I want to help out and I want to do more than just me.”

Justin:              And I think that’s such a great point and I think this movie does such a great job of setting up all the negatives. If you look at Iron Man’s arc in the first huge run of movies here that we’ve just finished, this is hugely important setting up Tony.

Justin:              This first sequence, most Marvel movies have a big action sequence in the beginning, this is Tony in front of the Senate in a fight. That’s the big action sequence that starts the movie and it’s just him fighting and being wildly cocky. Basically, he says like four different times challenging anyone to come for him. And then it does and he pays a price for it.

Justin:              And I just thought, I was so caught off guard by that. I thought it was such a great way to start the movie because you admire him, you’re also like, “Ah he’s too much of a dick right now,” but he’s undeniable in that beginning.

Julia:                You know what’s so funny about that too. I have a lot of friends who work in tech and so actually we were talking about Iron Man 2 a few months ago because I was watching in and I had friends over [crosstalk 00:28:43]

Justin:              I like that you’re trying to put a timeline on your Iron Man 2 conversations. It’s a continuum, I hate to tell you.

Julia:                It is literally like every few weeks. I watch it once a week, which is sad, and it’s usually [crosstalk 00:28:58] get people together-

Pete:                Don’t you ever say that. Don’t you dare say that.

Julia:                It’s too much I watch Iron Man 2-

Justin:              Never apologize.

Pete:                No, no, no. You have no idea the kind of crappy movies I watch over and over and over again.

Julia:                Thank you, Pete.

Justin:              I will, just to give you a little window, Pete-

Pete:                Hey, man-

Justin:              How many times have you watched the entire run of Ted Lasso at this point.

Pete:                Oh it’s over 25.

Justin:              There you go.

Julia:                It’s so good though.

Justin:              That’s crazy.

Julia:                It’s so good.

Pete:                It’s so good.

Justin:              It’s very good.

Pete:                Sometimes you need a little happy place to go and kind of recharge. And if it’s Iron Man 2, then that’s great.

Justin:              Yeah, for me, it’s my children.

Pete:                It’s crazy-

Justin:              For you, it’s Iron Man 2-

Pete:                Yeah, exactly.

Justin:              Same sort of thing.

Pete:                Yeah.

Justin:              Everyone has their thing.

Julia:                [crosstalk 00:29:32]

Pete:                [crosstalk 00:29:32] are not better than us because they have kids, okay. So don’t think that.

Julia:                [crosstalk 00:29:36]

Justin:              It’s crazy how much time they’re taking between seasons though, Pete. It’s really got to be-

Pete:                Oh I know, yeah, yeah.

Justin:              It’s like a big nap for you.

Julia:                But we were watching Iron Man 2 and we were talking about this, and they all work at different tech companies and most of them work at the big ones, and it was funny because, and obviously I’m not saying their names, but we’d watch this and we’re watching the Congressional hearing and I would just talk to them and they’d be like, “Mark would never be allowed to say this,” or “There’s no way Jack would be able to say something like that.”

Pete:                Oh man.

Julia:                And it’s like one of those things where I’m like, “Right, we’re in this moment where all these major tech CEOs, including to an extent Elon, who the SEC is always like, ‘Oh my goodness, please stop tweeting,’ they’re testifying now.” And it’s a weird moment where you can watch something from 2010 and it was really funny, and now it’s like, “Oh no, I guess we are putting tech CEOs in front of Congress to be like, ‘Hey man, this stuff you’re building that you don’t think is a weapon can be a weapon,'” to be very kind of blatant about it. And it’s like, “‘It can be weaponized.'”

Julia:                And I just thought it was really funny that all these things they wrote as over the top Tony Stark Hollywood stuff that was just like LOL is now very, very real.

Justin:              100%.

Julia:                Yeah, it’s just a fun… to me, Iron Man 2 is just frozen in time in a very beautiful way and I think about it all the time.

Pete:                Yeah, how about-

Alex:                 Like what you were saying… oh go ahead, Pete.

Pete:                I was going to say something that was crazy to watch is Pepper Potts has a cold and Iron Man’s like, “Put on a surgical mask.” That’s how he, and I was just like, “What? Predicted COVID right there.”

Julia:                Yes, yes.

Pete:                “What is happening?”

Alex:                 I think, and talking about the beginning of this movie though is a good time to get back to Don Cheadle and talk about the recasting there. We, in the first movie, I think we disagreed a little bit, I think Justin and I sort of felt like we kind of Terrence Howard better as Rhodey. We felt like there was more of a bond between that Rhodey and that Tony Stark. Don Cheadle, great. Love his introduction. It’s iconic, him walking in-

Pete:                That is some boss… they handled that so well.

Julia:                Perfectly.

Pete:                Not only were they looking at the audience, giving a wink, but it all fit perfectly what was happening, and even to Tony being like, “Buh, duh duh,” being like, “No. Shut up, nerds. This is how it’s going to roll.” It was really nice.

Julia:                Like, “I’m here, get over it” is great.

Pete:                Yeah, yeah.

Justin:              So good.

Alex:                 But what do you think about Don Cheadle in this movie now that we are actually here?

Pete:                This was like, the kind of switch really helped because Don Cheadle was very more, “Oh I believe this guy is in the military” where Terrence Howard was like, “Ah I can kind of believe it,” but this really felt it more and made a lot more sense for the transformation into War Machine. Even his reluctance to read his stuff like, “You’re taking this out of context. Later, I go on to say,” he’s defending his stance, but he’s still there on the wrong side.

Pete:                And numerous times, you’re like, “What? Rhodey.” So I felt like it really works a lot better for the character moving forward.

Alex:                 Julia, what about you? What’s your take on Terrence Howard versus Don Cheadle?

Julia:                I’ve never really liked Terrence Howard as Rhodey. I could just never get into it and I don’t know why. I remember when I first watched, I was like, “Oh he’s fine,” but I just didn’t think there was enough chemistry there versus Don Cheadle just fit right in. I think Don Cheadle played the character better. I think he makes more sense.

Julia:                I also am very curious though, you’re bringing up this really interesting point, my favorite interactions later on in the movie, as you know Iron Man 2 sets up Don Cheadle as this very important character and person for Tony, and I really love his further interactions with Sam and then as they kind of meet other people, and I’m trying to picture Terence Howard with Anthony Mackie, and I just wonder if that would feel like a lot because they’re both so full of personality.

Julia:                And I think what Don Cheadle is great at is he’s an amazing actor and he has incredible charisma and the chemistry obvious, but he’s also very good at being like-

Pete:                His poise.

Julia:                “I know when I’m going to be the lead that I have to be the lead and I know when I’m going to kind of step back and support.”

Pete:                Also that roof sequence with another actor, that would be creepy in different ways. He pulls that off of like, “Hey, I’m also on this roof while you guys are making out.” A different character choice, and that gets real weird real fast, and you can’t fix that in post.

Justin:              Oh wow, we can cut it. I think that to me, it’s not Terrence Howard versus Don Cheadle. It’s the Rhodey from the first movie and the Rhodey going forward are just wildly different characters and I honestly think that Terrence Howard would play a better serious Rhodey like in this movie and going forward because the Rhodey in this movie is less fun.

Justin:              He doesn’t get along with Tony as well. He steals the War Machine armor and just takes it. That’s not good. He steals it from him. And that’s-

Pete:                But they had a huge fight and they punch each other and hurt each other-

Justin:              He still steals it from him. He steals it from him and he gives it to the government-

Pete:                [crosstalk 00:34:41]

Justin:              The one thing that Tony said, “Don’t do is don’t give this to the government. I don’t want it to be a weapon.” And he’s like, “I’m going to do it anyway.”

Pete:                Well, don’t punch him in the face.

Justin:              Well, that’s not that good a reason, enough reason to take his intellectual property and sell to the government to become a weapon to go do bad stuff-

Pete:                He’s got 18 of them. He just took one.

Justin:              Pete, you’re wrong. You’re wrong here.

Pete:                No-

Justin:              You’re part of the military industrial complex, Pete, and I’ve know for a long time.

Pete:                Well, don’t put… whoa, whoa. Don’t put that on me.

Justin:              You’ve been stealing my military secrets and selling them to the government.

Pete:                Well, I’ll tell you where he’s great is when he was in the suit and fighting. That was really-

Justin:              Yes, and I do think he is good. I like Don Cheadle a lot as an actor. I just wish… Don Cheadle is such a great comedy actor. I want that fun Rhodey for that Don Cheadle to play going forward and we get a little bit of it-

Pete:                You get moments of it. You get moments of it.

Justin:              You get a little bit of it. But the scene that we talked about in the Iron Man 2 podcast or the Iron Man 1 podcast, that moment when he’s like, “Tony, I can’t drink any sake,” and then it cuts to them and he’s having this long intense conversation. I want scenes like that where they are friends first as opposed to competitors/co-workers [crosstalk 00:35:49]

Pete:                Sometime friendships get weird, man.

Justin:              Yeah, I know. I know you.

Julia:                Do you ever think about Bob Iger being like, “We’ve inherited this world,” and sitting down and watching like, “Cool, should we sell the princess dresses and all the Buzz Lightyear,” and then we’ve got Robert Downey Jr. and Terrence Howard and all these strippers on a plane and then yeah, just Tony peeing in a suit in Iron Man 2. I think about that all the time where they must’ve been like, “So things have to change a little bit in order for our audience to be met.”

Julia:                But yeah, I think of House of Lies Don Cheadle and I’m like, “He’s just so good,” and I would love House of Lies Don Cheadle in this. I’m not a filmmaker and I don’t know, but I wonder when you have someone partnered with Robert Downey Jr., who’s just so commanding and his presence is everywhere on the screen, how much you kind of have to be like, “We need a guy who can do like, ‘Yeah, you’re funny and charismatic and this, but you also have to be Rhodey to his Tony. He can’t be the Tony to your Rhodey,'” if that makes any sense.

Alex:                 I do think… this is something Pete got very angry at me about when we were talking about Iron Man, but I think one of the strengths, but also one of the weaknesses of both of these Iron Man movies is the level of improv that they do in them. Sometimes it really hits. Sometimes it really works and it really flies and it’s very funny.

Alex:                 But I think, without speculating too much, based on the fact that what we’ve read, what we’ve seen, and what they’ve talked about, things were very chaotic in terms of making Iron Man 2 and I think that comes through in some of the improv, where it gets to what you were saying Justin in terms of Don Cheadle is much harsher to Robert Downey Jr., just Robert Downey Jr. going wild, Don Cheadle just having to respond with a bunch of “No, but. No, but.” And Gwyneth Paltrow, the same way, is just they’re yelling at him the entire time and it’s not as much fun [crosstalk 00:37:50].

Justin:              He deserves it the way he’s talking. He deserves it.

Alex:                 He deserves it. He deserves it, but he’s going wild in the first movie, but it’s much breezier in terms of the way that they’re doing it. Here, it’s a little shriller across the board.

Julia:                I also-

Justin:              Okay.

Julia:                I also hate, hate, hate, and I realize this is going to get me a lot of hate, I despise Pepper Potts. I just want to edit her out of the film, and I realize how that sounds because she’s really the only lead female character, but everything about her, I think of… I was extremely disappointed. I really thought of it like that.

Julia:                I think about the way that she kind of interacts or even Rhodey interacts with Tony compared to how Bruce kind of handles Tony in the later movies where he’s like, “All right, buddy.” You know when you have a kid with strong ADHD and you’re like, “Okay, we’re going to figure out and kind of go through this,” there’s just a calming presence to it which is Bruce Banner’s whole thing because he can’t be angry, but it’s much less annoying and frustrating.

Julia:                And again, I realize how it sounds because I’m speaking about a female character, but there’s something about Pepper that every time I watch it, I’m like, “Oh my God. Please stop.” Every time she has a scene in Iron Man 2 where she first comes in and she’s yelling at him about the artwork and he’s trying to make her CEO, it’s like, “Obviously, I just want to fast forward through it.”

Pete:                I definitely understand what you’re saying and you’re making some valid points, but I need to get back to what Alex blasphemously said before, but also Tony Stark is a complete douche, womanizer, awful person. Pepper Potts tolerates him at points and then forces him to grow. I don’t know what kind of other person can get through to that character. She has to kind of be that a little bit.

Pete:                But okay, first off, how dare you, Alex, insult the improv that got us to this gold. This land of unbelievable Marvel movies all started with giving an improv guy the director’s chair and letting him-

Justin:              [crosstalk 00:39:59]

Alex:                 Whoa, whoa, whoa. No, Pete-

Pete:                Letting him have the power to be like, “Hey, you want to do a couple takes for you? Let’s have some fun on set,” bring a liveliness to this. Otherwise it was DC sad movie, sad characters, dark, dark, dark, dark. Fuck you, let’s bring in some light. Let’s bring in some fun. So the fact that you’re like, “Yo, improv ruined this whole shit” is very upsetting and you’re way off base right there.

Alex:                 No, Pete. I understand what you’re saying. This is a fair point. But to be fair to myself, I was there at the UCB in 2008 when Jon Favreau and Kevin Feige, they came out with their Harold team.

Pete:                Right.

Alex:                 They said, “Can we get a suggestion?” Somebody in the back of the audience was like, “Iron Man.”

Pete:                “Yo, Marvel.”

Justin:              “Iron Man 2.”

Alex:                 And they were like, “All right, here we go. Here we go. Let’s go. All right, keep it loose. Keeping it loose.”

Pete:                No, no, no, because the whole-

Justin:              Great Harold team.

Pete:                There is like keep it loose, keep it loose.

Alex:                 That’s what you do, right?

Pete:                No, you’re [crosstalk 00:40:57]

Justin:              [crosstalk 00:40:57]

Alex:                 Shake your hands like this [crosstalk 00:40:58]

Pete:                You do it [crosstalk 00:40:59]

Justin:              You brought improv to New York with Del Close, right, Alex?

Pete:                Yeah, first off, yeah, there was a lot of in jokes there that I hope improv heads really enjoyed.

Alex:                 Nobody enjoyed that.

Pete:                But my whole point is there are things that the improv cuts through in a way that shows humor and moves things fastly in a way to not take time that I think you’re not appreciating. [crosstalk 00:41:25]

Alex:                 [crosstalk 00:41:26]

Justin:              Alex isn’t saying… Alex likes the improv. He’s just saying it was a harsher form of it because the characters were fighting constantly. And that’s what we were talking about with Pepper and Rhodey, their job in this movie was to be like, “Tony, you can’t do that.” And that’s like textbook not a fun part of improv and it makes for characters that are harder to-

Alex:                 I’ll give you an example of some improv that I do think worked, not to keep talking about these Disney+ extras that I watched, but the first behind the scenes that they had-

Pete:                One trick pony.

Alex:                 Is absolute chaos for most of it. It’s pretty much unwatchable, but then they get to talking about the scene where Sam Rockwell is trying to sell the weapons to War Machine and that’s something that Justin Theroux apparently wrote the night before and there was no way for Sam Rockwell to memorize it, so they gave him an earbud. It was just Justin Theroux feeding him lines on set and just over and over and over again working on it with Jon Favreau, then coming up with stuff on the spur of the moment and just filming as much stuff as they possibly can. And that scene is very fun and it’s very funny.

Alex:                 And it all works versus Don Cheadle being like, “No, this is stupid. Shut up about that weapon.” It’s all just the cutaways to Don Cheadle not reacting to anything, and that’s what makes it very funny. And I think that does work there.

Julia:                Yeah, I think if you think about the improv that kind of shows up, again to get away from Iron Man 2 a little, but between… [inaudible 00:42:47] made a whole show about it, between Bucky and Sam. We know Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie were very good at reading each other and kind of playing off each other and then turning into their characters, and then having, I think, directors and writers who are like, “Sure, go for it.”

Julia:                I think there’s a difference there where the improv comes through a lot more versus when you’re letting Robert Downey Jr. be Robert Downey Jr. Basically he just does him and it’s like, “You can do all the improv you want, but also these two characters, we need you to be ‘No, but,’ not ‘Yes, and.'” That’s when it gets to feel like, “Oh, this just feel like an argument,” which is how it’s supposed to be and that’s how it’s written, but I think because you already did improv so much of it, it’s like, “Hmm, it just doesn’t really click in certain ways.”

Julia:                But there are scenes where it does. The scene where they introduce Natasha and she comes in and she’s fighting Happy and Tony, and Pepper having a back and forth. I don’t know how much of that was improved. I assume some of it because I just assume with RDJ, some of it always is improved. It’s like that’s a great scene. That scene works really well because they’re bouncing off each other and it’s working really well. And even if it’s fully written, their chemistry in that scene works much better than their chemistry in the first scene where they’re like she’s yelling at him and he’s… it just feels weird.

Alex:                 Yeah, I would like to quickly touch on that scene. Yeah, unfortunately this, because of the time period that Jon Favreau or Happy makes a horrible joke of like, “Oh you’re going to box me? Did you take a little booty camp class,” or whatever. It’s like, “Fuck you.” But yes, I do agree, the introductions, especially with having an improv eye for that kind of stuff, just starting scenes in the middle of action, that kind of stuff, so great and used well throughout.

Justin:              And Alex, you make a good point on improv. All improvisers just have an ear bud in the ear with a writer whispering lines to them.

Alex:                 Yep, that’s improv, right?

Justin:              That’s 100%.

Alex:                 Okay.

Justin:              That’s why it’s so funny because someone wrote it and is saying it.

Alex:                 It really felt like there were-

Pete:                I used to love going to ASSSSCAT and I’d, “How did they write that?”

Justin:              Well, I just know radio frequencies going on. There’s eight people on stage at the same time, everyone’s just like, “[crosstalk 00:44:56].”

Alex:                 All I meant was that they riffed on it until they arrived at the script just did.

Justin:              You got it, dude. I want to talk about one of my favorite action sequences in all of the Phase One movies is the Monaco race.

Pete:                Oh yeah.

Justin:              I think it’s so good. It has the vibe of James Bond. The only lameness comes from its reminding me of the pod racing scenes from the Star Wars prequels. But otherwise-

Pete:                The best scenes from the prequels?

Julia:                Yeah, how dare you?

Justin:              I don’t know about that.

Julia:                The pod racing scenes were incredible.

Alex:                 Let’s not get into the prequel arguments right you.

Justin:              But the way they introduce Whiplash in that sequence is so awesome. The briefcase armor, I love, still one of the best-

Julia:                Love it.

Justin:              Just so well done. It’s so scary. Rewatching it, I was like, “This is so tense.” And there’s all these weird tonal shifts-

Julia:                And funny.

Justin:              And funny, yeah. There are these tonal shifts where they’re laughing and Tony is like, “Hurry up. Hurry up.” It really has [crosstalk 00:45:50]

Alex:                 Yeah, there’s [crosstalk 00:45:52]… well, let me ask you about this part because I saw somebody tweet this out the other day. I didn’t actually watch the scene. They were like, “This is the most chaotic scene in the MCU.” And I didn’t watch it, and then I was watching the movie and I was like, “What are they talking about? This is awesome with Whiplash coming out.” And then they got to the part which they had clearly captured for the tweet, which is where they just run into Mickey Rourke with a car over and over and over again. That’s crazy. That is the craziest-

Pete:                It’s awesome.

Justin:              Yeah, and he’s whipping the car into pieces at the same time. It is wild.

Pete:                What other thing can he do there? He only has a car and a suitcase.

Alex:                 Yeah, sure, I guess that’s fair.

Justin:              I always take-

Julia:                I also like how-

Justin:              People take Happy’s side in any situation.

Pete:                That’s right.

Julia:                Oh yeah. I also like how between the first Iron Man and the second Iron Man, it’s just one movie. And for Pete, it just continues right away. There was no break. [crosstalk 00:46:49]

Pete:                That’s right. That’s what you want.

Julia:                But I appreciate that they spend a lot of time in those two movies showing just how advanced the Mark upgrades are even between those two, which is then a through line for all of Tony’s arcs, which are like in the third one, he’s like, “Oh yeah, I’m on Mark whatever,” and in Infinity Wars, he’s talking to Bruce and he’s like, “It’s nanotech. Do you like it? It’s a cool thing I just made.” And I think between the first and the second, I have a soft spot because it goes from being like, “I made this thing in cave” to “I spent so much time getting this right.” So by the second one, he’s like, “I have a briefcase that turns into a Mark kit that I can just keep on me when I go out.” And it’s a fun little moment where without saying how much he’s working on them, they just show you with the different suits and then it’s him and the briefcase suit, it’s like, “Oh this is what he’s spending his time on. This is it.”

Alex:                 And it’s a cool thing, to your point, that they just challenged the filmmakers to do a more awesome Iron Man suit every time, and it’s very like a lizard brain thing to watch, but then when you jump ahead to Avengers, it’s the same sort of thing where he jumps out of the building and he’s got the gauntlets and it comes on him and everything or jumping to the extremist armor or anything like that. It’s just trying to up the ante each time and it’s fun to watch. It’s at least part to sell toys, of course, and I understand that at an intellectual level, but as a viewer who likes to watch cool Iron Man movies, it’s fun.

Julia:                And it’s fun to watch… I lost my thought but it was definitely about the suits. [crosstalk 00:48:22]\

Alex:                 Iron Man, cool.

Justin:              Were you saying the triangle? The big change from circle to triangle, which I think really caught us all off guard.

Julia:                Yeah, you know what, do you guys have a preference for any of the arc reactors? Do you like the triangle over the circle?

Alex:                 I know you’re making fun, Justin, but I’ve got to say from a comic book reader perspective, when they switch to the triangle, I was like, “Oh cool. Oh I remember this.”

Julia:                Yes. Yes.

Justin:              Yeah, I do. The triangle, when the light laser cuts across the room and lands on the triangle, that’s the one I remember. I love it. And I do love the triangle. It’s just very funny to me to be like, “The secret was a triangle the whole time.” It’s like, “What? That’s not the secret.”

Pete:                Yeah, but he needed that circular shield to get everything level, that perfect shield, [crosstalk 00:49:05]

Justin:              Yeah, good, good-

Julia:                Do you know what’s always so fun about the Iron Man movies in comparison to all the other Marvel movies? All the other Marvel movies, the arc is basically like, “So and so needs to find courage, hope, whatever, blah, blah, blah. They have the cool superpower. They figure it out and then they go and do it.” And Iron Man movies, it’s always like, “Cool, he figures out what he has to do and there’s a little bit of a problem.” But his problem that he has to figure out is always like, “I’ve figured out a new atom. I have solved time travel.” And it’s always like he’s done it in five minutes and he’s like, “I figured it out. Let’s [inaudible 00:49:34].”

Alex:                 Yeah, “I invented a new element. That was crazy.”

Julia:                And I’m always like, I just think about it from the… sometimes I get into my head and I’ll think, “The amount of time it took to get the Pfizer vaccine through and everything in. It’s like, ‘All right, we can deploy this now and give it to people.’ And he’s like, ‘Guys, got a new element. I’m just going to test it out.'” [crosstalk 00:49:55]

Justin:              They should’ve made the pills little triangles, it would’ve been way faster.

Alex:                 I would like to talk a little bit about the suit evolution and how that’s a fun thing because it’s interesting, the time it takes for it to get on. In the beginning, when he’s being douchey in front of the people and he’s got the girls dancing behind him at the expo, it takes a while to get the suit off. And there’s this fun thing where it’s like when he first took off the kind of circle in his chest, it almost killed him with Pepper and it took forever, and then to see him kind of quickly change out and then be able to get in the briefcase quicker and then leading to that, it’s kind of a cool thing that they’re paying attention to all along the way and I appreciate the kind of attention to detail.

Justin:              That does remind me, just as a little quick note, him taking out the arc reactor, it is so gross to me for some reason. Just the fact that he has this huge hole in his chest that he’s just pulling things out, ugh.

Pete:                Deep hole. Way deep hole.

Justin:              Yeah, don’t like it.

Julia:                Yeah, that’s what I was going to talk about. Actually Pete, thank you for reminding me. Yeah, I think that’s one of my favorite behind the scenes stories that RDJ always tells on talk shows when he’s like, “It went from the first one of being in a suit to,” by the time they did End Game, he was like, “I was in a hotel kind of basically reading lines because they didn’t need me in my suit. It was all CGI.” And I think about that where you can see it too where it’s like the first one, it’s him and it’s very much like they’re, CGI is obviously a thing by 2008 and 2007, but it’s not where they want to be. And by 2010, it’s further along to the point that they’re like, “We can do a lot of this with you just in a green screen and talking.” And then throughout, it’s like as the suits look better and as they’re going faster, you’re like, “He’s not even there. He doesn’t have to be anywhere near here.”

Alex:                 Yeah, I want to throw out, this is not related to that, but this is a theory. This isn’t really a theory, this is just something that I’ve thought about with this movie for a while, do you think they at least in part based this on Batman Returns? And the reason I say this is because I think Batman Returns, probably one of the best movie sequels of all time, superhero movie sequels. It really set the mold for these sort of things. But I was really struck by in the opening of this movie-

Pete:                [crosstalk 00:52:07]

Alex:                 What, Pete?

Pete:                Empire. Empire Strikes Back is the [crosstalk 00:52:09]

Alex:                 Yeah, I haven’t seen that one yet. I’ve got to check that out. I hear it’s very good.

Pete:                You’ve got to get to it.

Alex:                 Don’t tell me any of the twists.

Pete:                You’ve seen Attack of the Clones, right?

Alex:                 Oh yeah, I’ve seen Attack of the Clones. I’ve never seen Empire Strikes Back, but-

Justin:              Also, when John Carter 2 comes out, bro, that’s going to be your jam.

Pete:                You’re going to love that.

Alex:                 That’s the new Star Wars. It’s the new Star Wars, mark my words. Batman Returns, though, starting at the beginning here with Mickey Rourke, his dad dying, even kind of the music had the sense of Tim Burton, a Danny Elfman-esque thing to it. But if you think about that movie, that starts with The Penguin at the beginning, he gets sent out by his parents. He’s an orphan. He builds up this army of birds and eventually goes to take over Gotham City. So he’s this weirdo who comes into the middle and kind of messes things up for Batman. Then you have Justin Hammer, who’s kind of like Max Schrek, this businessman who’s hiring and working with The Penguin-

Pete:                Oh wow.

Alex:                 And wants to manipulate him, but eventually The Penguin gets one over on him. And into the middle, throwing things into the mix is this woman in a cat suit, Cat Woman in Batman Returns, here it’s Black Widow. I don’t think it’s necessarily one to one, but I have to imagine they at least looked at it a little bit and modeled things there, but I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. Anybody?

Justin:              Iron clad case.

Julia:                I like it. That’s a case. I like that case.

Justin:              Case closed.

Alex:                 Case closed.

Julia:                I had never thought about it, but yeah, I like it.

Alex:                 All right, cool, sold.

Julia:                If you ever get to talk to Justin Theroux, you should ask him.

Justin:              Definitely ask him.

Alex:                 I absolutely [crosstalk 00:53:33]… we interviewed him about, what was it, Your Highness or My Highness or whatever-

Justin:              I believe it was Your Highness. Your Highness, was that what it’s called. The Seth Rogen stoner movie.

Alex:                 Yeah, Your Highness.

Julia:                The Danny, whatever his movie with Seth Rogen, yeah.

Alex:                 Yeah, I feel like we asked him if he was going to come back for another Iron Man or be in the MCU at one point. He was like, “I don’t know, maybe.”

Justin:              Yeah, and he’s like, “Can I be done with this interview with you two idiots?” And he was like, “Yep.”

Alex:                 Just to run through some trivia, some stuff that I jotted down while I was doing the research. A lot of folks probably know this, but the small kid with the Iron Man mask in the climactic action sequence that Iron Man saves, he puts up his repulsor-

Pete:                Oh man, that was such a cool move and he goes, “Nice job, kid,” like he did it.

Alex:                 So this is something, obviously they didn’t mean it to be this when they were doing Iron Man 2, they retconned it later, but that’s Peter Parker and they officially said that. Tom Holland, I think did one of his going rogue things first where he’s like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, that fan theory’s right. Yep, that’s me. That’s Peter Parker.” And then later on, Kevin Feige and John Watts said, “Yes, absolutely. We could retcon. That all matches up. All good.” Another one [crosstalk 00:54:40]

Julia:                [crosstalk 00:54:40]

Pete:                Yeah, this is in Queens.

Julia:                Do you remember though when this whole thing was happening, it was around the exact same time that they had done, it was yeah, so it was Spiderman: Homecoming and then something else had happened, it’s like Guardians 2 that’s come around, it was around that time period. And they realized that they screwed the math up and they were like, “Oh we set things at a different point.” So all these fans, and by fans I mean me, and my pals on Reddit, and by pals on Reddit I mean strangers on Reddit were like-

Justin:              Good. That’s a good thing.

Julia:                “The math doesn’t add up.” And I remember writing about this for Polygon where I was like, “They retconned it, but then they screwed up the timeline.” And I remember eventually, Kevin Feige was asked about it so often. He was promoting, it must’ve been Homecoming. He was out promoting it, but eventually, it was like, “We are just no longer going to include dates in movies.” He was like, “It’s insane-“

Justin:              Smart.

Julia:                “We didn’t really think about this.” And it’s like, “You didn’t think that the fans would do the math.” I’d be like, “Wait a second, this doesn’t add up at all.” But I remember that, it was part of it where it was like the retcon moment where he was like, “Ah shit.”

Alex:                 It’s funny that they did that later on and didn’t match it up when a lot of the stuff in these early movies, particularly when you get to Captain America, we mention the shield that he kind of shoves under there, there’s all these other Captain America references in Incredible Hulk and in the first Iron Man, and they don’t really match with First Avenger at all, but I think you could write that off as they’re figuring it out. They’re not quite there yet. But the fact that in 2017, 2018 or whatever it was, they still hadn’t quite figured it out, I actually don’t think that’s a bad thing that they’re still kind of flying by the seat of their pants and that keeps them loose with the MCU in a certain way that allows them to be flexible-

Pete:                Improve loose baby.

Alex:                 Improv-

Julia:                And I’m sure it also makes the teams at Warner Bros and DC and Sony very happy that they’re like, “Oh they’re still figuring it out. Don’t worry, we can still do this, guys. Venom is going to be great.”

Alex:                 It is.

Julia:                I love Venom, yeah.

Alex:                 Pete, you’ll probably like this fact. I don’t know if you knew this one. But Genndy Tartakovsky actually story boarded the movie.

Pete:                Oh nice.

Justin:              Ooh.

Alex:                 Genndy Tartakovsky, I thought that was a fun one.

Pete:                You’re goddamn right, man, Samurai Jack.

Alex:                 Lots of folks know this, this is still one of the wilder casting things-

Pete:                Powerpuff Girls.

Alex:                 But Emily Blunt was originally going to maybe be Black Widow, but she had a contractual obligation to do Gulliver’s Travels instead, so she did that. Things have turned out okay for her, so we’re not too worried about her. But the other actresses up for the role, Jessica Biel, Gemma Arterton, Natalie Portman, Jessica Alba, Angelina Jolie, Brie Larson, and Pete, you’ll like this one as well, Eliza Dushku campaigned very hard for the role of Black Widow-

Pete:                Ooh.

Alex:                 But of course, she never got it. It was Scarlett Johansson. This is another one, I don’t know if this is true because I couldn’t find any sourcing for this, but there are a bunch of different folks that said Al Pacino was up for the role of Justin Hammer, and that’s particularly wild because then later on, he turned out to be Mephisto in Wandavision. So that worked out really nicely.

Justin:              It is crazy. I’m glad they saved him for that as we all predicted correctly.

Alex:                 Yeah, another interesting pattern that I think they set with this movie because they had the Sam Jackson end credits on Iron Man, they didn’t really have an end credits on Incredible Hulk, as we talked about as before the credits, but here you get the Thor post-credits and that was directed by Kenneth Branaugh on the set of Thor as part of Thor, and that sets this really nice pattern for the rest of the movies where they kind of hand it off to the next director, to the next team for all these end credits, which I think is a cool, fun thing.

Alex:                 The photo of Ivan being arrested that they show in the montage when Tony is doing the research is actually Mickey Rourke being arrested in real life. But Gary Schandling’s character, Senator Stern, is named after Howard Stern, which apparently Howard Stern loved.

Pete:                Cool.

Alex:                 This is what I vaguely remembered, and while I was reading, I found it again, and it’s one of the weirder things they had cut out there, like we’ve talked about, the previous movie, they did a weird job on the 10 Rings, which hopefully they’re going to clarify a little bit when we get to Shang-Chi going forward, but one of the guards who lets Vanko out is supposed to be from the 10 Rings, but he never talks about it or refers to it in any way.

Justin:              Very subtle.

Alex:                 Yes, another really good Easter egg. This is another one that I did not know. Ulysses scholars probably did know, but this made this joke even better. You probably remember the line where Justin Hammer says that he’s going to write a book that will make Ulysses look like it was written in crayon. Ulysses actually was-

Pete:                That’s the missile that is going to do that.

Alex:                 Oh that’s right, the missile. Ulysses actually was written in crayon because James Joyce’s eyesight was getting so bad that he wrote most of the book in a red crayon.

Justin:              Smart.

Alex:                 A very clever joke, I thought. Shane Black-

Justin:              It is.

Alex:                 Shane Black contributed ideas to Iron Man 2. He went on to write Iron Man 3. I think this gets to some of the stuff you were talking about earlier, Julia, but his big idea was what if Tony was like J. Robert Oppenheimer, the I have become a destroyer of worlds. I don’t know how much it exactly plays out through there, but I definitely think that opening trial scene, that plays in very nicely there or at least people are trying to impress on him that he is J. Robert Oppenheimer, but he doesn’t accept it all.

Alex:                 Let’s see, the last one that I wanted to mentioned. This shows up a bunch throughout the MCU, but Tony’s materials that he gets to make the triangle are crates from Project Pegasus, which shows up in a couple of movies. I think it later actually shows up in Thor. It definitely shows up in Captain Marvel as well. So it’s another one of those little Easter eggy things that starts to pay off later on.

Alex:                 Before we move on to the next section though, any other parts from the movie that anybody wants to call out? Any things that jumped out?

Pete:                Yeah, for on Easter eggs, as we all know, Jon Favreau’s cameo in Friends, he played this dude who had issues with MMA and that was in continuity with this movie. So yeah, [inaudible 01:00:54].

Justin:              I’d love to see what piece of paper you’re holding that has that written on it right now, Pete.

Pete:                But also, something I’d like to talk about is they had when he was in prison, Whiplash was in prison, and that dude came in, that’s his stunt double and it’s nice to see stunt doubles get a little screen time just because they’re the real hero of movies as far as all the action is concerned. So any time you can give them a little nod, that’s always much appreciated.

Alex:                 And he actually killed his stunt double in that scene. That was a documentary, right? Yeah, yeah.

Justin:              Yeah, so he was ready to take… he wanted a new stunt double and that’s the only way to get rid of him. And let me say, that scene is perhaps the worst scene in the movie because that scene makes no sense. There’s no reason any of that-

Pete:                No, blow it up-

Justin:              None of that had to happen.

Pete:                No, no, no, no.

Justin:              None of that had to happen.

Pete:                No, when you blow up the cell and then they find a body that’s similar to his, they think he’s dead. That was Hammer’s whole plan.

Justin:              When a bomb goes off, they can’t see the body anymore, so he doesn’t have to look like him, A.

Pete:                He’s got to have the same body type.

Justin:              B, there’s no reason the guy has to be alive when you put him in the cell. Why did he have to fight him there? He doesn’t need to give him the bomb and the potatoes when he’s handing him the key across the door.

Pete:                The explosion covers up the fact that it’s not exactly him. It blows up [crosstalk 01:02:15]

Alex:                 Explain the potatoes, Pete. Explain the potatoes.

Pete:                The potatoes is the bomb.

Justin:              Oh-

Pete:                And then he gets the key.

Justin:              Oh, I thought they were some weird potato, like very old potatoes.

Pete:                No, no, no. No, no. Yeah, yeah.

Julia:                The last thing I kind of wanted to bring up was for me, so as we know and I’m sure a lot of listeners know, Iron Man 2 is very loosely, but inspired by Demon in the Bottle, which is my favorite Tony Stark arc. It’s a lot of people’s favorite Tony Stark ac. It is when Tony realizes he has a drinking problem and he has to kind of realize or figure out if he wants to continue down that path or if he wants to become sober and kind of get help. And that becomes a continuous thing in the Tony Stark canonical arc in the Marvel comics is that Tony’s sober and it’s something he kind of always deals with.

Julia:                And as much as I love what Justin Theroux tried to do and as much as I understand why they couldn’t lean into it fully, there is part of me that is always like, “Oh I would love an HBO, A24 style Tony Stark Demon in the Bottle arc where he gets to be a total… his alcoholism gets to come to play,” because I think it’s such an important part of his arc and I just like Tony Stark as a character, I always have, and I think without that, a lot of what they’re trying to do doesn’t land as hard.

Julia:                And I think if it was like, “Oh we’re going to discuss substance abuse and wealth, and how wealth and substance abuse kind of ties hand in hand,” I think right now, especially when there is an epidemic, the drugs in our nation, I think it would’ve just been a really great thing to highlight that there’s this characters and he does get sober and he continues to kind of struggle with it, but he is consistently trying to remain sober. I think it’s a power of his. It’s a strength. And while I understand why they couldn’t, I do wish that they had leaned into a little bit more.

Alex:                 Totally agree. That’s been kind of a huge bummer for me and I’m definitely reminded of that every time that I watch the party scene in particular where they go, exactly like you’re saying, they go maybe 60% of the way, 70% of the way, but they don’t quite get there. They don’t quite hit it. And there were so many rumors before the movie came out that, “Oh yeah, it’s going to be a straight up Demon in the Bottle adaptation and that’s what’s going to happen in this movie,” but that’s not what it pans out. I don’t know if they ever will do that. Obviously at this point, you could have a Disney+ series or a one-off or a taking place back in time. But yep, too bad.

Alex:                 Any final thoughts from you, Justin, before we move on to the next section?

Justin:              No, the one thing I want to say is we didn’t really talk about the problems with the movie in depth too much, but I do think there are just a couple scenes like that prison scene where it’s just like, “Ah these scenes just deflate a lot of the momentum they were building,” and they’re spaced out in a weird way in this movie. So that’s the only thing and it’s one of the reasons I feel like the pace of it is a little off and that’s what made everyone sort of upset.

Alex:                 Yeah, it’s something, particularly when you’re rewatching it, I think the first half hour, 45 minutes is great. It’s just really good. It flies along and it’s super fun. And there’s a certain point where it starts to get a little too complicated and have too many ideas going at the same time. Pete, you were raising your little finger there.

Pete:                Yeah, one last thing before we move on, I wanted to kind of, we talked about casting and there was some amazing casting in this movie, but Gary Schandling destroys in this movie. Rest in peace. Really amazing stuff, especially with the kind of callback again to have him give Tony and Rhodey the awards. If you want to talk about comedy, that’s comedy gold right there and that was magic, absolutely magic. And one thing we didn’t mention, a little low key cameo by Stan Lee as Larry King was hysterical.

Alex:                 Yeah, [crosstalk 01:06:05]

Justin:              Good stuff.

Alex:                 Let’s turn to the vision board where we look at stuff that is coming ahead, specifically stuff tying into Iron Man 2. So a couple of things that are coming out of this. The first one, very belated here and most people probably know this, but we’re going to finally get a Black Widow movie 11 years later after her debut on July 9th coming to Disney+ Premier Access, I always forget what that’s actually called, as well as in theaters. What are you thinking about? How are you feeling about this movie right now? Are you excited to see it? Are you going to go see it in theaters? Are you going to watch it in the safety of your home? Julia, where’s your head at on that one?

Julia:                Yeah, so finally glad we’re getting a Black Widow movie nine years after we should’ve gotten a Black Widow movie. No, I’m excited. I think part of me is excited to just go see… I’m fully vaccinated, which is very lucky and I’m very happy and I’m very excited to go to Alamo and watch Black Widow and enjoy that as a [inaudible 01:07:07] treat. But I think… and then I will buy it again on Disney+. I am that person who absolutely will do both because I just want to be able to watch it again when I get home.

Julia:                I think part of me is very concerned it’s not going to be good. There’s like a gut feeling I have where I’m like, “Ah, it might not be great.” Also, I really love Scarlett Johansson. I really love Black Widow. I really love Natasha Romanoff. If they are teasing any part of what happened with Clint in [inaudible 01:07:44] city, but all the stuff that ties into it, I’m really excited. And I think just after 17, 18 months, what is it, 19 months without a Marvel movie in theaters? I’m just excited to sit in a theater with Marvel fans and watch Marvel movies with them.

Pete:                Yeah, that’s great.

Alex:                 What about you guys? How are you feeling about Black Widow right now?

Justin:              Sort of the same. Definitely want to go to the movies to see it. I’m going to get out of the house. And I’m not super worried about it. I feel like this is a movie that they know has to sort of carry the weight of the MCU or sort of reignite the flames, so I do think that they are going to want it to really… it’s really important this movie hits, I think, especially now because there’s been such an extra gap in time.

Alex:                 I think we talked about this a little bit when we were discussing The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and there’s been a lot of varying thoughts, but it’s going to be hard not to watch the movie wondering what has been tweaked or changed or is different in the MCU either because of when Black Widow was coming out or that they have done to Black Widow, although I don’t know if they could do anything, other than excising a scene here or there, but it’s going to be kind of fascinating to watch from that perspective. But yeah, same place as you guys, I’m just excited to watch a big movie.

Alex:                 And there’s been a lot of discussion about this, but I think it’s really actually very smart to release it both places because I think a lot of people are going to do exactly what you’re saying, Julia. They want to go back to the movies. They’re going to watch the big movie and then they’re going to pay the $30 bucks and watch it five more times at home and dissect all the scenes, and Disney gets to double dip that way. What about you, Pete?

Pete:                Double dip. I think that I’m very excited-

Justin:              Yep.

Pete:                And this movie got me even more excited because of the Black Widow fight sequences in here and one fight sequence that we didn’t get to talk about is the one where all the robots and land and Tony Stark gets to do his one-off super move, which was a lot of fun. But I’m very excited for the action in this movie. Like Captain America and Winter Soldier or Captain America and Bucky, whatever name it should’ve been at the end there, but very action oriented, very action driven, so I think going from that into this will be hopefully super enjoyable and I want a popcorn movie in a movie theater that I can very much enjoy. I’m pumped about Taskmaster. I hope that’s done well. So yeah, yeah, and talk about a great cast. I’m very excited for the cast that they have in this movie.

Alex:                 Wait, real quick, not knowing anything about the movie or the plot, and we’ve talked about this before on our live show, but who is Taskmaster? Which character is Taskmaster, Pete?

Pete:                Black Widow.

Justin:              Wow.

Alex:                 She’s also Taskmaster?

Pete:                Yep.

Alex:                 Okay.

Justin:              Good answer.

Alex:                 Justin?

Justin:              I don’t know. What do you mean?

Alex:                 Rachel Weisz. I think it’s Rachel Weisz, right?

Justin:              Oh I see. I, yeah, there’s no… there’s one trick they’re pulling here. There’s not a lot of options.

Alex:                 Right.

Justin:              It’s either in the right hand or the left hand.

Alex:                 Yes. Julia, do you have a guess?

Julia:                Yeah, I think it’s Mephisto finally. I think this is how they tie it in.

Pete:                No. No, that would ruin the movie for me.

Alex:                 There we go, coming back.

Julia:                I think this is how they tie it in.

Pete:                That would absolutely ruin the movie.

Julia:                I think this is how they tie it in.

Justin:              I’m here to take your marriage.

Pete:                Awful.

Alex:                 All right, next one. This is tangential and I think we should probably hold this potentially after we talk about Captain Marvel, but it’s fine, let’s do it now. Secret Invasion is another Disney+ series that’s coming. Samuel L. Jackson is going to be in it, Ben Mendelsohn is going to be in it as Talos the Skrull. There’s a bunch of rumored folks that are almost definitely in it including Kingsley Ben-Adir, Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke, and Killian Scott. It’s starting to film this fall and the showrunner is Kyle Bradstreet, who did a bunch of writing on Mr. Robot, which is very exciting for me. What are you thinking about this one? Justin, what about you?

Justin:              This is the one that I’m like, “I don’t quite see it yet.” It seems a little… I feel like all the Skrull stuff they’ve done in the movies so far has been sort of, “Ah, it’s not quite landing.” It doesn’t seem like a menace. It doesn’t feel like… I just don’t know where they’re falling on the Skrull side of things. And the show keeps getting confusing with everything, more confusing the more we learn about it. So I don’t know.

Pete:                Yeah, that’s-

Alex:                 Julia… oh go ahead, Pete.

Pete:                I’m sorry. But that’s why I’m kind of excited about it. It’s like they’re making different choices with Skrulls in the movies than in the comics and it’s kind of like, “Well, if they’re the good guys, what’s happening in Secret Invasion? What’s going on?” But they’ve been doing such a great job with their movies that I’m excited to see how they’re going to pull that off.

Alex:                 Julia, thoughts?

Julia:                Yeah, I’m stoked. I have a good gut feeling. It’s honestly probably one of my most anticipated Disney+ Marvel shows.

Alex:                 Wow.

Julia:                I’m just very, very… that cast alone too is just so good. And if they do it right, it can be just one hell of a banger and I’m so excited, on the same wavelength I feel about Loki, where I’m like, “If they pull it off, it’s just going to be an immediate kind of, for me, classic where it’s got all the right ingredients for me,” so I’m very excited.

Alex:                 Well, on the Nick Fury banter, we talked about this a little bit with Iron Man 2, but he’s mostly sitting around talking and trying to advise Tony in a certain way. But if they can really lean into the spy aspect of Nick Fury on the show, that will be very cool and very fun, and something outside of Winter Soldier we haven’t really seen. He’s mostly standing on a Helicarrier being like, “I’m here to help now,” and that’s pretty much it. Plus the fact that they have, it’s not Sam Esmail, but one of the guys behind Mr. Robot, one of my absolute favorite shows of all time, doing it. I think there’s a possibility of really amping up the weirdness and tension there that I think is going to be very cool.

Justin:              I hope that’s the way it goes.

Alex:                 Yep, and last one to talk about, very apropos of this movie, Armor Wars is also coming to Disney+ down the road. This is starring Don Cheadle. We know that. It is when Tony Stark’s tech falls into the wrong hands. So let’s throw this out, and this specifically came to mind when I was thinking about Iron Man 2, this is the perfect opportunity to bring back Sam Rockwell, right?

Justin:              Yeah, I would think.

Pete:                Oh yeah.

Justin:              Watching this movie, I was like, “This has got to be the guy.” And now he’s actually, he’s not a failson anymore. He’s been burned. He can come through with some actual tech and not suck so hard as he [crosstalk 01:14:29]

Pete:                Plus, we’re going to hopefully get some more dance sequences, a little bit more Hammer time. Come on.

Justin:              That’s what people… Hammer time.

Pete:                Maybe it’s a musical, I don’t know.

Alex:                 Let me throw another one because apparently they changed the fate of Whiplash a little bit. It didn’t seem very ambiguous to me. He had a bomb on him. But apparently, they cut away from him so you wouldn’t exactly know whether he was dead or not, so they could bring him back if they wanted to. Do you think there’s any chance they would bring Mickey Rourke back as Whiplash for an Armor Wars series?

Pete:                Armor Wars was about anyone who had any similar tech coming back, and there’s no better candidate than Whiplash from this movie.

Alex:                 Yeah, Julia, you were nodding your head no?

Julia:                Yeah, no, I love the idea of him coming back. I’m just like I feel what else is he doing right now, right? Might as well come back and take Disney money and sort of be the guy that comes back. I am just, I’ve been thinking about Armor Wars and thinking about what I would do for Justin Hammer to return in any capacity. I just love the idea of him coming back in a post-kind of Tony world and trying to be [crosstalk 01:15:39]-

Justin:              He’s like, “My time. My time.”

Julia:                And it’s just like there’s a really fun opportunity there. Armor Wars is also, I think, one of my most anticipated. It’s like those shows I’m more excited for than necessarily She-Hulk to an extent, which I am. I love Marvel. I’m a shill. I love all of them. But Armor Wars and Secret Invasion are two of my very anticipated ones.

Alex:                 Yeah. Pete, what about you? Did you have any thoughts about this one?

Pete:                Yeah, it’s going to be interesting. I think it’s Don Cheadle getting to shine a little bit, which I’m very excited about and that will hopefully shut down people with the kind of back and forth of who should’ve played what, and I think it will probably ultimately put this to bed.

Justin:              No one’s saying that anymore. It’s just because we’re talking about this old movie.

Pete:                Yeah, all right well-

Alex:                 Yeah, we’re an MCU rewatch podcast, Pete. That’s why we’re talking about it right now.

Pete:                All right, well, anyway-

Alex:                 What about the bird? do you think he’s going to bring back the bird? Did I do that right? Beard? Bird?

Pete:                Yeah, seamless.

Julia:                [crosstalk 01:16:39]

Alex:                 I was just saying bird.

Julia:                Yeah, my vird, it’s like with a V.

Alex:                 My vird, yeah.

Julia:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Maybe that will come back as well. And of course, Pete, your most anticipated Happy Endings, the Happy Hogan Disney+ series is coming. Are you excited about that one?

Pete:                Shut the fuck up. Are you serious?

Alex:                 Absolutely not.

Pete:                Yeah.

Alex:                 Julia, thank you so much for coming on. It’s been a pleasure having you. Is there anything you want to plug before you go?

Julia:                Yeah, thank you guys for having me. It’s always an honor to be called an Iron Man 2 expert. That is really like the height of my career. Yeah, you can follow me on Twitter @loudmouthjulia. I do tweet a lot. And I do have a, it’s supposed to be weekly, but it’s becoming biweekly just because of timing, newsletter that you can subscribe to. It’s called Musings On Mouse. It’s on Substack and it’s basically about Disney in its different capacity and everything they have going on right now.

Alex:                 I will say I don’t subscribe to a lot of newsletters. I do subscribe to that one. It’s super fun, super interesting if you have any interest in Disney business or anything like that, told in a fun and fascinating manner. Definitely check it out.

Justin:              Nice.

Alex:                 And on our end, a couple things to plug here, if you want to support us, Also, we do a live show every Tuesday night at 7:00 pm through Crowdcast and YouTube. Come hang out. We would love to chat with you about Iron Man 2 or really any Marvel movie. iTunes, Android, Spotify, Stitcher or the app of your choice to subscribe, listen, and follow the show, @MarvelVisionPod on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. for this podcast and many more. Until next time, stay Marvel-ous.

Justin:              You get better every time with that.

Alex:                 [crosstalk 01:18:14] throw that towards the end, right.

Justin:              There’s more gravel in your voice every time you do it. Stay Marvel-ous out there.

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