‘Iron Giant’ takes whammo, concrete steps

Robot's footprints unveiled at Mann's Chinese

The Iron Giant himself had a scheduling conflict, but his giant footprint put in an appearance at Saturday morning’s premiere at Mann’s Chinese Theater. Johnny Grant emceed the unveiling of the 12-by-6-foot concrete slab bearing the robot’s imprint and a surprisingly dainty signature. Grant pointed out that only once before had the cement gone to the footprinter rather than the other way around: Cecil B. DeMille was too busy with production to trek over to the Chinese, so his footprints were taken in his office on the Paramount lot.

Grant introduced “Iron Giant” director Brad Bird, producer Allison Abbate and actors Vin Diesel and Eli Marienthal. Diesel, who gave the Iron Giant his gravelly voice, revealed that he and co-star Marienthal, voice of young Hogarth in the film, had only just met that morning, not while working on the animated feature. The two hugged and seemed to be getting along as well as their characters in the film.