Will Smith by Lester Cohen/WireImage.com
Against the backdrop of Burbank's wide valley, the 2008 MTV Movie Awards attracted some of the biz's hottest stars, from both the establishment and the rising Hollywood set. Just beyond the gold carpet a huge cloud of black smoke hovered from the fire at Universal Studios, but the incident didn't stop the crush of celebs, press and fans that filled the arrivals area of the Gibson Amphitheater.

Making his way into the event, Best Week Ever's Doug Benson acknowledged the unseemly juxtaposition, joking, "I'm not on fire. It's not hot enough out here as it is. Let's get some soot, difficult breathing conditions. This is perfect!" Fitting the spirit of the awards, Benson sported a '420' tee under his jacket, an oddly prescient choice given Seth Rogen and James Franco's joint-smoking moment during the show.

At any given time, the gold carpet was filled with stars, their entourages, Elle Woods wannabes and production assistants, scurrying back and forth. Among some of the passersby was Will Smith, who, when a reporter started rapping the theme to Fresh Prince, obligingly rapped along with her as he strode by, getting a big cheer. Sarah Jessica Parker dazzled in her sparkly minidress ( which we had not seen before), showing off her hot bod that's fresh off the Sex and the City whirlwind. Anne Hathaway, LiLo and Liv Tyler were also sizzling, decked out in shoulder-baring frocks that made them stand out.

Yet, for all the fashion and celebrities swishing by, the focus of the evening was, after all, the year's best movies. Sporting their on-camera unitards (ahem, "fighting suits," as the term was corrected), American Gladiators Wolf and Justice already knew their pick of the night: Iron Man was "off the hook." Was that perhaps because, given their collective girth, they could relate to his Iron Man-ness? Wolf said, "Yeah, because I'm secretly superheroish. Secretly, I'm a billionaire mad scientist, playboy type."

Ultimately, the gladiators got their wish: Iron Man won for "Best Summer Movie So Far," kicking off a season of more hot stars and action-packed movies to come. - Anna Dimond

Use our Online Video Guide to see clips and more of the MTV Movie Awards.

Related:
" MTV Movie Awards Photos: Sizzling pics from the gold carpet
" 2008 MTV Movie Awards: Pop Culture Central
" Universal Studios Fire Ravages "New York City," Ghost Whisperer Sets
" Summer Movie Guide: Summer's hottest flicks