UGO caught up with Justin Theroux recently and quizzed him about the progress of the Iron Man 2 script and the ongoing development:
JT: We’ve kind of got a first draft around. You know what I mean? I just got back from London where I was working with Robert and Kevin Feige. He was out there. We were talking with Robert, who’s out there doing Sherlock Holmes, he was giving his input and his notes. We’re sort of there. It’s just sort of chugging along. The crews, I think, are now starting to see what they need to make, and the places that we might be going and all the rest within the story. That’s sort of one of the more exciting times.
UGO: So you weren’t involved in the whole Don Cheadle/Terrence Howard…or were and you want to tell me something…
JT: No, I wasn’t. I genuinely wasn’t. (laughs)
UGO: There have been reports that the role of War Machine was scaled back and then beefed up.
JT: No, that’s all nonsense. Whatever their reason is, I’ll leave that up to Marvel. We’re writing the thing, virtually the same for Rhodey that we would for any actor. We’re really taking what’s going to be the most interesting story for the fans, and what are they going to enjoy watching. And who ever’s in that part is going to have to play that part and make it work for Jon (Favreau) and the fans who are watching the movie.
UGO: So the size of the role wasn’t ever changed?
JT: No. God, no.
UGO: So did you have to, or did you try to accommodate Don Cheadle’s acting style?
JT: I think that will probably be something that comes up…I haven’t met Don, and I think I’m going to in a little bit and I think once I get a better sense of his voice and also hear what he has to say about what he likes about the character and just pick his brain a little bit, then we’ll obviously start to tailor it to him. Once he sort of gets more involved in the process then we’ll start tapering the length of his character…making it fit just right.
UGO: Everyone’s speculating about the villain. Are we talking Mandarin? Or Evil DJ?
JT: (laughs) I think it’s Evil DJ. He could be the villain in this movie. I don’t know. I mean, I do know but I’m not going to let that cat out. I’ll let Jon start discussing when he thinks it’s the right time.
UGO: Considering that everyone’s coming together for the Avengers movie, were you ever told that certain things had to be in the story or that things had to go a certain way?
JT: No. I mean, I think we’re all sort of conscious of the fact that all these people…it is the Marvel universe, but that’s really about as far as we’ve been made…they haven’t given us any instruction as far as we want you to do this or we want you to do that. And really it’s not really a they/us kind of environment, the way they work. It’s just a bunch of guys and girls sitting in a room, trying to come up with stuff and doing what’s right for the movie and what, at the end of the day, is going to be the most interesting film that can be made. Kind of a fun film. I think once we’re sort of locked on that we’ll be able to think about how we can thread things through. There’s a couple little things that we’ve been working on, but it’s not that we’ve been taking meetings with Avengers people. It’s not like we’re six screenwriters sitting in a room from each movie and thinking about how we’re gonna work on each other’s things.
UGO: Have you written Stan Lee’s cameo yet?
JT: No, I don’t think so. (laughs) I don’t know, I don’t know. Jon will anoint him with that cameo, I’m sure.
UGO: Gwyneth Paltrow is still listed as “rumored”. Is she confirmed?
JT: I don’t know. I don’t know if she’s confirmed or not…I’m planning like she is there but I have no idea.
UGO: Finally, what voice do you think you bring to the script, to make it different from the last one?
JT: I’m not really trying to bring a different voice. I’m trying to mimic and sing in the same key as the script that was there before. If anything, I think I bring a knowledge of the way Robert’s mind works. I’ve worked with him once before. Hopefully I’ve proven I have some modicum of creative relationship with Jon and Marvel. So I really think my job is to work with them and not try and strike any new chords. Of course we want to make the story different and interesting. We want the action to be really good. But I think my job is really just to…serve the ultimate guy, which is Iron Man.