It's not a secret that filmmaker Shane Black helped Jon Favreau behind-the-scenes on the first "Iron Man" movie. Now, the roles are reversed: Black is the director of "Iron Man 3," and Favreau is the advisor in the shadows.
But Favreau's participation in Tony Stark's next adventure isn't just behind the camera; to hear Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige tell it, he's very much in front of the camera as Happy Hogan, Stark's bodyguard and old friend — and a very important player in "Iron Man 3."
"This is by far the biggest part that Happy has had in any of the films," Feige told MTV News during our recent chat with the Marvel chief. "He's just great in this."
"When you put Jon in front of the camera, he tends to steal every scene he's in, just by reading the scripted lines, but also by going off-book and ad-libbing with the best of them," he continued. "He's got some amazing scenes that he steals. But there's a deeper storyline for Happy in this one, and more of a connection with Tony. The movie goes into why they've been friends for all these years."
Favreau shot his scenes as Happy Hogan "very early in production," according to Feige. It shouldn't surprise you to hear that having the original "Iron Man" director on set so early on ended up being very beneficial for the cast and crew of the threequel.
"It was wonderful for Shane, because he had Favreau right there, sitting next to him," said Feige. "Shane was not shy about going over and asking Jon questions, whether it was as simple as, 'How do I navigate this giant green screen?' Or if it was a question about the character and the franchise. Jon is incredibly gracious and incredibly conscious with other filmmakers to not step on their toes. At the same time, he gives advice and input when he's asked."
"It's been a pleasure having Favreau involved," Feige added of the "Iron Man" veteran. "It feels like a natural evolution and a natural continuation of the storyline, even behind-the-scenes, in the making of the movie. It's not a right turn from where we started."
Are you excited to see what Favreau has planned as Happy Hogan? You tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!