|Robert Downey Jr. speaks at Marvel Studios "Iron Man 3" panel during Comic-Con International 2012 at San Diego Convention Center on July 14, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Kevin Winter/AFP)
“Iron Man 3” took over Hall H at Comic-Con Saturday night, as Robert Downey Jr. sashayed in to Luther Vandross and asked the crowd just two questions: “How much do I love you?” and “How much do you love me?”
Yes, there was a third query, pertaining to footage, which Downey introduced before director Shane Black and co-stars Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau took the stage.
In the clip, Downey Jr. (Tony Stark) experimented with a new way of putting on his suit - a crowd-pleaser - while new cast members like Rebecca Hall, Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce all showed their faces.
The panel offered a bit of casting news - Stephanie Szostak (“Dinner for Schmucks”) has signed up - but otherwise it had a breezy feel.
When asked how long it took him to put on the “Iron Man suit,” Downey said three minutes after Cheadle (“Rhodey”) said 30, prompting the “Hotel Rwanda” star to joke about racism.
When a fan dressed as Iron Man said it took him five minutes to put on his suit, Cheadle abruptly left the stage (only to return seconds later).
The panel members sang “Happy Birthday” to a 15-year-old girl in the audience, and despite mucking up her name, it made for a touching moment.
And then there was all the buddy-buddy stuff.
Though Favreau directed the first two “Iron Man” films, Downey said it was Black who actually got him the role in the first place thanks to their work together in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.”
“Marvel wasn’t sure about me,” Downey said. “That was kind of a screen test before the screen test.”
Black said Downey holds a special place in his heart and that working with him has been a “dream.”
Favreau also praised Downey and said he relished the opportunity to focus on portraying Happy Hogan now that he isn’t directing.
“I never got a chance to worry about the role before; I never got to have fun,” Favreau said. “Now I get to play with , which I never really got to do.”
As for Black, who is taking over a can’t-miss franchise, he assured the audience he would not screw it up.
“We’re halfway through,” he said. “If we don’t (screw) it up the rest, it’ll be great.”
Oh, and he also saved time for a dig at another Marvel superhero, Spider-Man.
Black said his film has characters and interlocking parts meshing together well - “not like ’Spider-Man 3,’ where they’re all separate.”