Jon Favreau / Marvel
END TITLE | MAIN TITLE | VFX
The Marvel Cinematic Universe began its monumental run in 2008 with the release Iron Man, directed by Jon Favreau. Iron Man stars Robert Downey Jr. as the genius, playboy billionaire Tony Stark. After inheriting Stark Industries from his father, Tony is in the Middle East conducting a weapons test on the new “Jericho” missile. When his convoy is ambushed, Tony is taken hostage by terrorists and forced to create a deadly weapon. He does, machinating his escape by constructing a suit of iron, thrown together with the limited materials at his disposal. Using his new weaponized suit of amour, Stark successfully escapes from the Afghan cave he was imprisoned in and returns home, refining the instrument of his liberation to combat threats on a global scale.
Prologue contributed to Marvel Studios phenomenon by designing and executing the opening title reveal, the Darpa VFX sequence, all of the holographic interfaces in the film, and an end title sequence.
We produced and animated the opening title reveal, following the prologue set in Afghanistan. The main title features Prologue typography, designed to look as if the letters are made of iron. As soon as the title dissolves, the story rewinds to 36 hours before the Afghan ambuscade. We are now at the Apogee Awards, an event honoring the Stark legacy and introducing our hero. With the crowds focus on the projectors behind the podium, the Darpa VFX sequence kicks in, functioning as a vehicle to tell Stark’s backstory. With Tony being a child prodigy, we conceived an array of widely recognized magazine and newspaper covers with the appropriate headlines to communicate his brilliance from a young age, and all of his future accomplishments. The sequence also expounds upon Stark Industries’ history, highlighting the untimely passing of Tony’s father, after which Obadiah Stane took the governing position of the company, until Tony was of age. Stane would go on to prove his disloyalty to the Starks, igniting the lethal conflict between he and Tony. The sequence concludes by honoring Tony’s revolutionary achievements thus far in the weapon industry, for which we designed the CG animations of the futuristic missiles and GPS tracking systems.
The holographic displays in Iron Man are an integral part of the story, as well as Tony’s character. His intellect gave way for the creation of futuristic technologies that do not exist in the real world. Prologue was challenged with imagining the language of these advanced systems of information, and how to seamlessly embed them into the film. The holograms enable Tony to perfect the Iron Man suit, piece by piece. Computer screens with high-tech grids and layouts were modeled to further Stark’s pioneering lab, and the technologies in motion.
For the end title sequence, we created a graphic fly through of the original and perfected Iron Man suits as a wireframe. The wireframe design allowed us to explore the deconstruction of certain parts of the suit, while also exhibiting its cohesiveness in a 3D space. This coincides with the holographic language of the film, cutting edge graphics complemented with Prologue typography to celebrate the cast and crew. The sequence was treated with a retro display to pay homage to the era in which Iron Man made its initial debut (Tales of Suspense, March 1963).