Hero Complex Film Festival – Richard Donner, Geoff Johns, Jon Favreau and Guest

Where do heroes like to meet up on their downtime? Well no place other than The LA Times Hero Complex Film Festival! Day 3

Today was Superman day and boy was it super. Upon walking in there was a life-size statue of the late great Christopher Reeves in full red, blue and yellow. It was so shockingly real, that even Richard Donner, that night’s guest said he couldn’t look at it because it depressed him too much. Between Superman I and Superman 2, we had the opportunity to listen to not only Richard Donner, but as well as Geoff Johns, who is a chief creative officer for DC Entertainment.

Listening to how Superman got it’s start was astounding. Apparently Donner received a phone call, whilst on the john, to direct the film regarding the man of steel. While hesitant and even put off a bit at the beginning, when offered 1 million dollars to do the film he thought of it as a joke, he couldn’t have been more wrong. While it was funny to hear the somewhat humble beginnings of this film endeavor it took a very deep turn when the process for choosing the Kryptonian was discussed.

“You have to find an actor you can believe….believe a man can fly…and it has to have a hot love story.” were some of the truly more difficult decisions that Dick Donner had laid out in front of him while attempting to create the perfect Superman film.While it was interesting to hear about the past of Superman, I was more geared to listening about the upcoming future from the man behind all the scenes, Geoff Johns.

Jumping right into it, in case you didn’t know, DC Comics is making history by issuing a renumbering of all it’s greatest comics. Of course classics like Action and Detective will also be starting back at number 1, which makes it the 2nd time Action Comics has had a number one since the year 1938. The reason being?

“We want to re-energize and re-imagine.” Geoff went on to say about the potential to modernize everything into a brilliantly contemporary kick ass origin story that new readers and old can wrap their head around. He wants it to be different and unexpected.

He closed out by talking about all the flack he has received because of this. There are plenty of people out there who despise this idea, but with a genius quote of “Do it with care and do it great…then all will be okay” Geoff certainly sounds like he’s got everything under control.

While there were no surprises on how epic this day was going to be, I was promised by Geoff Boucher, head of the Hero Complex, that there would be a doozy tomorrow. I just can’t wait for it!


Day 4

Yesterday was the last day of “The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival” and boy did they pull out all the stops.

Offering a free matinee of The Incredibles, to kickstart the day, Geoff Boucher(creator of The Hero Complex) kept promising “a big surprise”. While my mind drifted to the possibility of some Avengers footage, or perhaps a viewing of Favreau’s upcoming film Cowboys and Aliens, what I got was a lot more.

After the conclusion of Iron Man, Geoff Boucher invited Jon Favreau to give a little insight into his creative mind. They started off strong talking about The Avengers, where it was revealed that the Captain America shield and the addition of Nick Fury at the end of the credits was merely a joke. It was never meant to kick off the big intricate Marvel plan to launch an Avengers film. Yet due to the response that was garnered, I remember me cheering quite loudly when I heard that Nick Fury was at the end of Iron Man, so because of me and thousands upon thousands of other die hard comic fans, The Avengers film is now on it’s way.

Other nuggets of information include that a lot of Iron Man 2, locations were inspired by Favreau’s childhood, he sought to make the Iron Man universe as real as possible on film, and that J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg were really responsible for inspiring his kind of film making. But that wasn’t the end of the surprises. Halfway though a discussion about Robert Downey Jr. on the set of The Avengers movie, Jon Favreau asked the audience if we would like to call him. After a few minutes of hopeful waiting there was no answer until….

“What are you doing calling me? I”ve been here the whole time.” Robert Downey Jr. shouted from the back. Met with incredibly joyous applause and a procession of bodyguards, Downey Jr. pulled up a seat next to the man who brought about Iron Man. While tossing around semantics and swapping hilarious stories about the shoot of both Iron Man and Iron Man 2, Favreau posed another question to the audience.

“Would you all like to see some scenes from Cowboys and Aliens?” Of course met with a more excited reaction than the actors, the film began to play and we enjoyed an ample 9 minute piece of what’s to come next month.

Immediately following the short sample of the film Robert Downey Jr. said “That looks badass.” There were of course hints to it’s premiere being at Comic Con, but who knows? All I can say is Geoff Boucher of The Hero Complex, you certainly did not disappoint this year, can’t wait for the next one!


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