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IRON MAN 2

The New Armors
After completing work at Edwards Air Force Base, the production returned to Marvel Studios where work began on the new armors for Iron Man. For the filmmakers, the overwhelming popularity of the Iron Man armors was bittersweet due to the passing of special effects makeup legend Stan Winston whose company created the iconic suits.

"I've worked with Stan Winston twice and we became close,” says Favreau. "It was very sad when he passed away. When you saw how many big Hollywood people spoke at his memorial, you realized what an integral part of filmmaking he was in the technological revolution that has allowed movies to explode in terms of scale, scope and the ambition of what you can create on screen.”

The director continues: "Stan was not just a practical puppeteer, but also did practical work that integrated with CG. I think ‘Jurassic Park' is still one of the benchmarks of what was possible in CGI and how to best do it. A lot of that was his handiwork and design work.”

"One of the keys to the success of the first film was that the Iron Man armor was a believable piece of advanced technology and hardware,” says producer Feige. "It wasn't a magic suit or a super-powered outfit. It was made from a character's blood, sweat and tears and really looked like a grinded, sparked and screwed-in piece of technology. What audiences saw on the screen was a fantastic combination of ILM's digital work combined with the amazing practical work of Stan Winston's group. Stan was the best in the business, a true genius. For ‘Iron Man 2,' we brought Shane Mahan back on board, who is continuing Stan's legacy under the new company banner, Legacy Effects. Shane and his team of technicians came into the first meetings with an excellent plan for what the practical suits would be for this film.”

For Mahan and his team of artists, coming back to work on the sequel was far less the kind of trial and error they experienced in designing the suits for the first film.

"There was a steep learning curve and long experimental phase in trying to figure out how to make the suit on the first film,” Mahan explains. "The one mandate from Marvel on the first film was that Iron Man never look or feel simply like a guy in a suit. Although great costumes like that had been created in the past, what the filmmakers wanted was to take the comic book character's proportions on the page and bring them to life. For my team, it was a monumental challenge to build a full suit that had the right proportions, because there just weren't any human beings that have big broad shoulders, tiny, tiny little hips, and a head the size we needed to fit into the helmet. After some modifications to the suit, we were able to find some talented stuntmen performers who were very athletic and able to fit into the suit.”

Mahan continues: "We were Stan Winston Studios at that time, so a lot obviously has changed with his passing—but we have the same team, the same drive and the same energy as we did on the first film. We had a much shorter window to build the suits for ‘Iron Man 2' but we knew the landscape better this time around. The filmmakers really wanted to make the armor lighter and faster for Robert to put on and take off.” Another decision the filmmakers and Mahan made was that, during production, the Iron Man armors Downey wore would be a half suit, allowing the actor to move more naturally.

"The big puzzle Shane had to solve was how to get the proportion of the suit right but still make it comfortable for the actors and stunt people to wear,” says executive producer D'Esposito. "We worked closely with Shane and the Legacy team and came up with the idea of a football suit, where putting on the armor was almost like putting on a pair of shoulder pads. This not only kept the proportions correct bu

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