Last night Paramount held a "fan" premiere of Iron Man 2 at the well-known Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin, TX. This is the same theater where attendees of a special Wrath of Khan screening last year were instead treated to a visit by Leonard Nimoy and a pre-release screening of the J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Trek movie.
Before I get any further, let me just say that the Drafthouse is the coolest movie theater EVER. It's big-time retro, you can order food, wine and beer from your seat and is dedicated to showing films appreciated by hardcore movie fans - both classics and new releases.
Harry Knowles of AintItCool.com was on stage to introduce the event and said that while cast and crew were busy with promotional work this week with the impending opening of the film, that Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. had shot a brief welcome video for the audience. It was very funny and Downey Jr. was snarky as always and... well, why don't you just see for yourselves:
The audience, of course, loved them and it set an upbeat tone for the showing of the movie.
Reaction to the movie was very good, with laughs throughout and an actual cheer from the audience at the end of the scene hinted at in the trailers where Scarlett Johansson kicks butt in that white hallway. When Favreau came out again during the credits, he told the audience "stop looking at the screen, there's no extra scene coming." The audience was a bit disappointed, but got over it. He did "hint" that there might be a bonus scene at the end of the movie when it's released (there will in fact be an extra scene at the end of the Iron Man 2 credits).
After the film there was some Q&A where he talked about where the film fits in the timeline of all the Marvel movies - the fact that it takes place just before The Incredible Hulk and that fact keeps coming up leads me to believe there will for sure be Hulk involvement in one of the upcoming films. He also talked about the possibility of his next film Cowboys and Aliens being 3D (I know, I know). He was VERY clear that if he goes that route it will be shot with 3D (stereo) cameras and will not be post-production 3D. His concern is that it limits the cinematography because you only use one stereo camera and he's used to having multiple cameras rolling during a scene to get various angles on a shot simultaneously.
Afterwards everyone in the audience was invited over the to a local bar called the Hi-Ball. A number of movie site folks were there including Neil Miller from FilmSchoolRejects, Peter Hall from Cinematical, Jordan Hoffman from UGO Movies and many others. I had a chance to chat briefly with Jon Favreau again, who was hoping that audiences would be pleased with the film. I know this sounds like an obvious statement to come from a director, but I get the impression from Jon that he really cares what the fans think of his Iron Man movies.
After that Favreau made his way up on the stage where the DJ was providing the music, and he took over disc jockey duties. At first people thought he was just up there to play around a bit and do the equivalent of DJ karaoke, but he just kept going and stayed on the stage. He was mixing modern day rap with classic rock, doing all sorts of transitions and other mixes and I'm here to tell you the man is GOOD at this.
I stood there with my mouth hanging open and people in attendance loved not only the music mix but seeing him up there doing it as well. It was a very unexpected surprise and everyone had a great time.
Iron Man 2 opens in the U.S on May 7th.