There was some good, promising footage from Iron Man 3 shown off at the Marvel panel at Comic-Con tonight: After his post-Avengers high, cocky Tony Stark is literally leveled when Ben Kingsley's Mandarin sends some jets to demolish Tony's Malibu compound ... when Tony and Pepper are still inside it. But there were even more fireworks on the panel itself, where Robert Downey Jr. entered to the sounds of Luther Vandross, Don Cheadle cracked wise, and former director Jon Favreau and his replacement Shane Black both held court. As always, Downey Jr. cracked up the crowd, but the others more than held their own. Here were the ten moments that got the most laughs.
• Downey Jr.'s first lines to the crowd: "I've got three questions. How much do I love you? Question number two: How much do you love me? Question number three: Why aren't we watching any footage yet?"
• When Black said of Downey Jr., "He is Tony Stark," it was intended to be a compliment, though Downey Jr. cracked, "So I'm an asshole?" "A rich asshole," Cheadle added.
• The following exchange, when Cheadle and Downey Jr. were asked how long it takes them to get into their costume armor:
Cheadle: "A half hour."
Downey Jr.: "Mine's about three minutes."
Cheadle: [After a pause for comic effect] "...Racism."
Downey Jr.: "His has got bigger guns."
Downey Jr.: "I'm sorry, next stereotype? I mean, next question?"
• When a fan from Guam pleaded with the cast to come to her home island. "Is that near Encino?" asked Favreau. "You heard it here first: world premiere of Iron Man 3 in Guam," said Downey Jr., as Black wondered, "You're not at war, right?"
• When Downey Jr. was asked whether he'd continue making Iron Man films after the third installment was finished. "Don's and my deal runs out after Iron Man 3, and then we're going to figure out exactly what Brinks truck [of money] we want to continue," he said.
• "I think every movie I ever do is going to be one of the three biggest movies ever, and it finally happened," bragged Downey Jr. of The Avengers and its massive box office take. "We're actually shooting another end scene for The Avengers after this press conference," he joked, saying of that hastily added closing credits clip, "Shawarma sales increased 700 percent. That's good for business."
• And don't worry, The Avengers gets referenced in Iron Man 3. "You were off with the superfriends," complains Favreau's Happy Hogan to Tony in the footage we saw. "I don't even know what's happening with you anymore." Happy tells Tony that his grandma in Manhattan freaked out when she saw Tony tussling with the flying robo-snake in The Avengers; Tony brushes it off, saying simply, "We handled it."
• Favreau had rushed to the Iron Man 3 panel after making an appearance at the event for Revolution, the NBC fall series whose pilot he directed. The giant Comic-Con ad for Revolution, which covers every single story of the towering Hilton Bayfront, had not escaped Downey Jr.'s notice. "It's the biggest ad I've ever seen in my life," said Downey Jr. "You've got network money." Noted Cheadle to laughter, "It ain't like Showtime money. House of Lies, Sundays."
• When Black took a gratuitous swipe at Sam Raimi's last Spider-Man movie, by way of explaining the complexity of the Iron Man 3 script: "We've got all these interlocking parts. It's not like Spider-Man 3 where they're all separate." Late burn!
• When a fan dressed in full Iron Man regalia asked Downey Jr., "Is it okay if I borrow your suit?" Replied Downey Jr., "Of course. It's like Rhodey: You don't really ask and you never bring it back. How long did it take you to get into that?" When the fan replied that it took "about five minutes," Cheadle got up dramatically and left the dais in a mock huff.