Movie ‘Iron Man 2’ features expo in Flushing Meadows

"Iron Man 2" director and Flushing native Jon Favreau looks at a model of Flushing Meadows Corona Park during filming of the sequel. There is at least one scene that will be set in the park. Photo courtesy Marvel Studios
By Ivan Pereira

Iron Man’s stories have taken him everywhere from the bottom of the ocean to the depths of space, but this summer the Marvel Comics superhero’s latest adventure will take him to the heart of Queens.

A promotional Web site for the movie “Iron Man 2” teases a fictional event dubbed the “Stark Expo” that is set to take place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park May 7, the date the highly anticipated sequel hits the big screen.

The celluloid extravaganza has been planned by Tony Stark, Iron Man’s cocky yet intelligent industrialist alter ego, and will transform the park into a 21st century World’s Fair complete with state-of-the-art tents, fireworks and shows in the movie.

“We’re planning on building a better planet for tomorrow, today,” a short video on the Web site boasts.

The site includes concept art and 3-D maps of the expo’s venues that will be set up all across the park’s grounds in the movie. The Unisphere serves as the center of the “Stark Expo’s” and other park landmarks will be the home of companies.

Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., will have his presentation at the New York Pavilion towers, according to the Web site. The expo’s Web site also has a video from Stark’s father, Howard, played by John Slattery, who held his own Stark Expo in Flushing Meadows in 1974, according to the movie.

“This isn’t just a business for me, it’s a dream,” the elder industrialist said.

Although the movie’s plot is under wraps — in the comics, Iron Man has done everything from battling aliens to fighting evil businessmen — the expo and the park will be featured in the sequel. Footage from the movie’s previews shows Iron Man flying through Flushing Meadows and touching down inside the Stark Expo arena inside the Pavilion to a roaring crowd.

Stark then emerges from inside his armored suit in a tuxedo and greets his fans. Other scenes include Iron Man and his sidekick, War Machine, fighting bad guys in a park-like surrounding.

The first Iron Man movie was predominantly set in Los Angeles, but the film’s director, Jon Favreau, is a Flushing native and has starred in movies that were set in New York. Representatives from Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures, the studios producing the film, said they could not comment on the movie’s plot details.

The city Parks Department confirmed that the movie’s producers scouted the park and filmed some footage of the area for the film last year, but said principal photography with the actors was not done at Flushing Meadows.

“I understand they came down and measured things and built this World’s Fair in the park digitally,” Parks spokeswoman Trish Bertuccio said.

This is not the first time the park has been featured in a summer blockbuster. The Pavilion Towers served as a major plot device in the movie “Men in Black” and was also the location for the climax of the 1997 film.

The Pavilion was digitally recreated for that movie as well.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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