So rumor has it that Jon Favreau may have decided to cut the much talked about, geek favorite cameo sequence from the theatrical version of Iron Man, forever banishing it to the realm of being a DVD extra. The question is: Why? Followed immediately by: Is that really a good idea? For those of you unfamiliar, the geek world has been abuzz for months now with the knowledge that Samuel L. Jackson would be appearing as the long-time Marvel favorite (and recently revamped), Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. The kicker is, that Jackson is also making a similar cameo in this summer’s The Incredible Hulk. What this does is not only definitively set these movies in the same exact universe, but sets up what could possibly become The Avengers' crossover movie (since The Avengers is a team of superheros which Iron Man and the Hulk were both founding members of).
So does the impending deletion of Jackson’s scene bode poorly on Jackson or the hope of future crossovers? Nah. My guess is that the scene just didn’t work in the pacing of the film. Favreau really knows his stuff. I’ve had a couple chances to chat with him over the years and he’s always been capable of breaking things down and not only figuring out how things tick, but how to explain those inner workings to others. One of the things that has impressed me most is his willingness to openly point out the flaws in his own films. Whether acting or directing, he can always pinpoint what went wrong.
And when someone like that is in the editing room and decides to drop something as anticipated as the Jackson sequence -- well, you know there has to be a damn good reason for it. And since history is riddled with geek movies that have stumbled and occasionally fallen flat on their face referencing other geek works (like the Chewbacca scene in Episode 3 or the pedantic fan groveling in X-Men 3 or forcing Venom into the third Spider-Man where he didn’t belong), I’m willing to watch someone err on the side of caution. No doubt he’s hearing a chorus of “You can’t take that out! Everyone wants it!” behind the scenes. And if he’s willing to wrestle with that, he might in fact be the guy we’ve all been waiting for. The guy more focused on making a great film than placating the fan base.
And really, who can be upset about that? It will, after all, end up on the DVD. You can count on that.