EXCLUSIVE: Jon Favreau Says Central Relationship In ‘Iron Man 2’ Is ‘Still Pepper And Tony’

Yesterday, our chat with “Iron Man 2” director Jon Favreau yielded the news that Favreau won’t be directing “The Avengers,” but today we get a little insight into Tony Stark’s upcoming return to the big screen.

Bouncing around a golf cart during the “Couples Retreat” press junket in Bora Bora, Favreau told with MTV Movies editor Joshua Horowitz that the primary relationship driving “Iron Man 2” is still Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow)—despite the introduction of Scarlett Johansson’s Russian superspy, Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a Black Widow).



“I think the central relationship is still those two characters,” Favreau told MTV News. “It’s still Pepper and Tony.”

“We introduce Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and she has a dual identity, so that ends up affecting both the superhero side of things and the personal side of things—as I think all good superhero plotlines do,” he explained.

According to Favreau, the addition of War Machine into the mix only adds to the new complexities in Tony Stark’s life.

“Then we have Don Cheadle. We’ve upped Rhodey’s significance in the film and now I think the cat’s out of the bag about War Machine, so he’s in that suit,” he said. “How does he become War Machine? What’s his relationship to Iron Man?”

And as if that wasn’t enough to make things difficult for the head of Stark Enterprises, a pair of new villains have entered the fray in the form of Russian criminal Ivan Vanko (a.k.a Whiplash) and rival businessman Justin Hammer. Celebrated actors Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell bring Vanko and Hammer to the screen, respectively.

“We also have Mickey Rourke and we have Sam Rockwell, two of the best actors of our time. We really have an embarrassment of riches,” said Favreau.

“Now it’s up to me as a director to make it all come together, and to also have a light enough touch so that people who just want to go see a fun summer movie will go,” he explained. “I think ’Iron Man’ delivered on that. My kids who don’t really know the comics and are young were able to go and enjoy the first one and I want to make sure [’Iron Man 2′] is a movie that won’t insult grown-ups’ intelligence but will also be appropriate for kids.”

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