An incredible shot-for-shot remake of the first trailer for Iron Man 3 was posted to YouTube’s Cinefix channel this week. The trailer, put together by Dustin McLean and his DustFilms crew (the same gang that brought you the low-budget/no-budget trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness that we wrote about a few months ago), employs no special effects at all, relying instead on the liberal use of cardboard, paper plates, string, glitter, and a blow torch.
Like Mike and Jerry in Michel Gondry’s Be Kind, Rewind, the DustFilms version of the Marvel blockbuster has a (very) homemade feel to it, while remaining quite faithful to the original trailer’s shot sequence. The remake is definitely inspired by Be Kind, Rewind‘s “sweded” adaptations of films like Ghostbusters, Robocop, and Rush Hour 2, but they’re even more innovative in the way that they manage to recreate the film they’re mimicking.
Marvel’s Iron Man 3 teaser opens with a shot of falling snow (the DustFilms version uses glitter), the screen goes black and then cuts to a battered Robert Downey Jr. in full Iron Man mode—he’s apparently just fallen from the sky and landed in a snow bank. In what is definitely one of the best shots in McLean’s trailer, his cardboard Iron Man lies in some sand (standing in for snow) and removes his mask, revealing the black electrical tape that holds it together on the inside. Bits of tape stick to the actor’s face. It’s funny (and pretty endearing, too).
McLean recreates a lot of the difficult, grand scale stuff using action figures, modified toy helicopters, and scaled down, lovingly crafted paper plate sets which he then destroys in a cardboard avalanche. It’s probably the best use of paper plates I’ve ever seen on film (there’s a really clever paper plate ventilator, too). Another standout element of the homemade trailer is the way they’ve redone the scene where Tony Stark demonstrates his new suit’s “Extremis nanotechnology.” In Iron Man 3, Stark can control the Mark XLVII suit using his mind, causing pieces of it to fly through the air and wrap around his body. McLean shoots the scene in reverse, pulling one cardboard glove off the sweded Stark’s hand using a string, and then edits the shot into the trailer backwards to make it look like the glove is flying on to the hand.
The clip is set to what is becoming the DustFilms homemade trailer trademark: an a capella soundtrack (the Iron Man one is pretty good, but the Star Trek one borders on greatness). Check out the original trailer below and then watch the homemade version to compare: