Genndy Tartakovsky has made an impressive name for himself in animation. He is the creative genius behind titles like Samurai Jack, Dexter's Laboratory, and now with Primal. Something many of his fans might not have known he was involved with was Marvel's Iron Man 2. Tartakovsky has worked on comic books before but Iron Man 2 was his first dive into the world of live-action comic book movies. His work extended to laying out storyboards for director Jon Favreau for the iconic pavilion fight sequence which put Iron Man and War Machine against Justin Hammer's droids. Tartakovsky connected with ComicBook.com in the interview seen in the video above, sharing his behind-the-scenes memory of helping shape the sequence.
"I got really lucky cause Jon was a fan, and he liked the sensibility that I had on Samurai, and he wanted a flavor of that," Tartakovsky said. "And so, basically he kinda gave us the third act, the big fight,in the pavilion, to see what we can do with it. It was great because, I know what I would want from this situation, so, I just tried to give it to him and he could use all of it or none of it, and it's his baby."
The ride to seeing the finished product was a bit bumpy from Tartakovsky's perspective, though. "We were able to beat out the action beats, do boards, and then I was able to oversee all the pre-viz," he explains. "So much so that I would get into the dot suit, and Brian Andrews and I boarded it. We would do the fights, and they would put the Iron Man suits on us and CG, and then I would be able to shoot it, and then edit it and then put sound effects and music on it, and then present to Jon, like, "This is what I envisioned it to be.' All cut. Because the thing about my stuff is, it's all about timing and pacing. And there's a sensibility to it, that I kind of realized that I have when I do action. And it's this rhythmic pacing thing. And so, we boarded a lot of jokes and stuff, and he would be like, 'Oh, that's a joke that's in the movie. Ah, this one, not so much,' and stuff. And so, trying to find the tone... So, we presented all that stuff and then I even got to do some second unit stuff, where I would go on the set and see how crazy things get on a live action set."
Tartakovsky made an effort not to focus on how big the production of Iron Man 2 was by comparison to other work he had done before. "It was just like, he believes in what I do, I'm gonna do the best that I can, and hopefully he could use some of it," he says. "And then luckily it worked out. There's like an interesting story where... So, I edited the sequence and I showed it to him, and he liked it and then it goes into production. And then next time, he invited me to see a rough cut of the movie. And then when the ending came, the ending fight, it was all rejiggered around. Re-edited." The version which Tartakovsky saw was much different from what he imagined.
Of course, he still played ball and respected Favreau's work. "I was like, 'Oh, okay, it works.' And I said like, 'It works, but it certainly lost a lot of the intent that I thought what makes it cool.' It became kind of normalized a little bit," Tartakovsky said. "And then the next time I saw it, it was put back together more or less. I mean, there's so many story changes that go on also, but then certain parts of it were put together exactly the way we did it. And it was really nice to see. And it was awesome to see it, with all the bells and whistles and finished, and yeah. So, it was such a really fun and great experience."
Do you think there are other character Tartakovsky's style could help craft sequences for? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram! Tartakovsky's Primal has new episodes on Adult Swim beginning October 4.