'Iron Man' NYC premiere attracts heavy star power

Other News Materials 29 April 2008 07:35 (UTC +04:00)

(US Today) - Iron Man, Marvel Studios' latest superhero flick, lured a superstar cast to its Big Apple premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival Monday night.

Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges and director Jon Favreau arrived on the red carpet at the Tribeca Grand screening room for the event hosted by designer Michael Kors and the Cinema Society for the debut of the much-anticipated film, out Friday. Among the other celebs who turned out: Diana Ross, Michael Stipe, Liv Tyler and Helena Christensen.

In the movie, Downey stars as billionaire weapons tycoon Tony Stark and his comic-book-inspired alter ego, Iron Man. Eventually, he decides to turn his life around, leading to a grapple with his ex-partner, Obadiah Stone (Bridges).

Stark is a departure from Marvel's virtuous slew of heroes. "Iron Man's different because the hero is pretty flawed," Favreau said before the screening. "He wasn't just bit by a spider or shot by a gamma ray. He decided to build a suit. He created the superhero. He didn't become the superhero."

As for Downey in the role, Favreau said he "gives it a whole different depth and dimension. The most challenging part was getting this great cast together and getting people to see Robert Downey as a superhero, because that wasn't his work up until now. It was the obvious choice, and now I can't see making it with anybody else."

Did that mean there would be an Iron Man 2? "There are no sequels in the works right now. We have to see if this one does well," the director said.

As for Iron Man's rival, "it was fun to play the nemesis, especially working with these guys," Bridges said. "Great cast. It was like playing when you were a kid."

And what superhero would Bridges play if given the chance? He said he would be Dancing Man. "I would dance with incredible speed, and the sonar would knock down buildings. I would have the power to make other people dance whenever I'd want them to."