As soon as Iron Man hit the movie screen comic book fans began speculating as to whether Tony Stark would turn to booze. This, of course, comes from the highly praised Demon in a Bottle storyline in which Stark falls into a depression, forsakes his Iron Man alter ego, and becomes an alcohalic. With Marvel Studios casting Robert Downey Jr. in the title role, someone who has battled similar demons, it only bolstered the idea that this story had to be addressed at some point.
Neither Marvel nor Downey Jr. have said much about Demon in a Bottle. The party line thus far has been little more then acknowledging they know the story exists, but have never committed to its inclusion in the films. Now, thanks to comic book artist Bob Layton, we’re beginning to hear more about how Demon in a Bottle may play out in the films to come:
“I think they’ve come up with a terrific segue to the third film, which I think is going to be fairly powerful,” he said. “My understanding is that the third film could very well be the ‘Demon in a Bottle’ story mixed in there with everything and I’m kind of looking forward to that, if that’s where they wind up going.”
Layton, who co-wrote Demon in a Bottle with David Michelinie also helped create War Machine, the suit of armor worn by the James Rhodes character, played this time around by Don Cheadle (formerly Terrence Howard). His comments come with some authority as well considering Layton has been acting in a consultant capacity on the Iron Man films.
Moreover, even from what we’ve seen of Iron Man 2 thus far the elements are falling into place to setup this particular story arc. Stark’s downfall begins when Justin Hammer attempts to take over Stark International. As such, it’s probably no coincidence that the Hammer character is being introduced in the sequel, played by Sam Rockwell.
I for one have to give everyone involved credit for going down this road (if they choose that is). It’s not too often you see films like this take such a dramatic turn but these are the stories that make a good character great. Furthermore, it almost seems like Downey Jr. was destined to play this character and face this issue. While I have no doubt it will be difficult content to deal with, who better then to portray this serious issue in a very real context.
On another note, Layton also commented on the introductin of War Machine in Iron Man 2:
“If they’re doing the Avengers film, they always have the option of using War Machine instead of Iron Man depending upon what happens contractually…But there’s always the possibility that if it does well, it can spin-off. Because obviously there’s a different character and a different motivation with War Machine than there is with Tony Stark.”
First, an Avengers movie without Iron Man just wouldn’t be an Avengers movie. That said, I’m all good with a War Machine spin-off. I’m not sure how fleshed out the character could become next to Tony Stark but if battles between armored men are involved they’ve got my money.
Iron Man 2 hits theaters this Summer on May 7.