article in this weekend's Boston
Globe Online details the recent positive turnaround for Marvel
Entertainment. The company seemed to be floundering after coming out of
bankruptcy and comic book sales were at an all-time low. More recent
earnings reports painted a much more positive picture for the publisher.
The Globe features an in-depth examination of the the new strategies that
have put things on track.
article also talks about how Marvel's developments in Hollywood are an
essential part of the entertainment company's comeback. Avi Arad, Marvel's
chief creative officer told the Globe, "In March 2002, we'll see Blade
II [starring Wesley Snipes]. Fall of 2002 is Daredevil
[starring Ben Affleck as Marvel's blind superhero]. In 2003 there'll be
Ang Lee's Incredible Hulk and Bryan Singer's X-Men II.
New Line is developing an Iron Man film, and Dimension is
doing Dr. Strange.
is the biggest trump card in the business,'' Arad is quoted as saying.
"What does it mean? It means that all the [comic book] lunatics like
me are going to go to the movie three times on opening weekend."
Xenos for the lead.
By Comics2Film, 11/14/2001:
touched base with Kevin Feige, Senior Vice President at Marvel Studios, to
talk about the various projects they've got brewing.
been plenty of rumor swirling surrounding the casting of the Daredevil
movie. Aside from Ben Affleck in the title role, however, no other parts
have been cast. "We're looking at a lot of women," Feige told
us. "Elektra's an important role." Feige declined to comment on
the specific names offered up recently by the rumor mill.
reports of disagreements over the location for the filming of X-Men
2 may be overstated according to Feige. 20th Century Fox and
director Bryan Singer are a definitely discussing Vancouver and Toronto as
potential locations, however the V.P. said he wouldn't characterize the
discussions as disagreements.
said there is no truth that Tom Sizemore is being looked at for the role
of the villain of the piece.
Feige didn't have any major scoops to share with the fans he did advise
that we stay turned. "There'll be announcements forthcoming on Iron
Man, Namor, Hulk and X-Men,"
has been able to check with our sources about what involvement Joss Whedon
may have with the planned Iron Man movie. A source in the
know tells us that Whedon is being looked at by the producers of the movie
as both a writer and a director.
point Whedon has not signed on to the project, but one source claims that
it looks likely that he will. Should Whedon come on board he will be
starting fresh on the screenplay and not making use of the current draft
by Tim McCanlies.
Onion A.V. Club,
Whedon going to step up to scripting chores on the planned Iron Man
movie? Could be, according to an interview with the
writer/director/producer that appeared recently on The
Onion A.V. Club website.
talking about his nightmarish experiences with the Alien: Resurrection
movie, Whedon made the following remarks: "I think I'd like to do
something that isn't just somebody else's," Whedon said to The
Onion. "Having said that, I'm now considering doing the Iron
Man movie. But that's just because it's got that cool shiny
has been unable to determine if Whedon has signed on to the film at this
to Gilgamesh for the scoop.
spoke with Marvel's Kevin Feige this week in an attempt to get the scoop
on a number of rumors that have been circulating.
we asked Feige if much of the recent talk about X-Men 2 was
true. Rumor had it that certain characters like the Beast and the
Sentinels were likely to be in the movie while other Gambit has probably
been ruled out. Feige cautioned us that any rumors about X-Men 2
circulating at this point should be taken with a grain of salt.
are no definites," Feige told us. "Everything's been discussed.
We've got 30 years of history, thousands of books and hundreds of
characters. So, we're figuring it all out."
asked him if there was any meaning to be taken from the fact that Artisan
Entertainment had registered a number of movie related domain names for Thor.
Thor had always been talked about as a property to be
developed for TV and not for film. Feige said that that is still the case.
"Everyone [registers] every domain name possible so that nobody else
can get it. They'll register the domain name ThorOnMars or
ThorGoesToJupiter just in case one day they want him to go to
also said that recent rumors that Ron Howard is being courted to direct
the Iron Man movie are false. This was also confirmed by Don
Murphy, who is producing shell head under his Angry Films shingle.
also told us that there is no truth to the recent rumors that the upcoming
Johnny Depp movie From Hell is to be retitled for it's U.S.
By CHUD, 12/1/2000:
at CHUD bring this latest update on the Iron
Man movie. The update comes from screenwriter Tim McCanlies via an
aspiring screenwriter. The unnamed scooper met McCanlies at the Screenwriters Conference/Heart Of Film Festival in Austin, Texas
to the scooper, McCanlies is planning to have the Iron Man
movie be an origin story. The movie will not utilize a super-powered
villain but will instead pit Tony Stark against corporate villains who are
after his advanced technology so they can exploit it "to the
detriment of mankind." McCanlies endeavors to make Stark's high-tech
gadgets as realistic as possible.
also confirmed that Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. would be part of the story.
The scooper alluded to a third act scene that would include the
S.H.I.E.L.D. Heli-Carrier. Apparently it's hoped that Fury's appearance in
the movie could spawn a spin-off.
By Entertainment Weekly,
October 13 issue of Entertainment Weekly
has a brief write-up on the Iron Man movie. Sources at New
Line describe the concept as "in the vein of James Bond/Jack Ryan,
only with a superhero in the center." According to the mention, Nick
Fury is also slated to appear in this movie. Tim McCanlies (The Iron
Giant) is hammering out the script.
Hollywood Reporter, 8/01/2000:
Hollywood Reporter tells us that Tim McCanlies has been tapped by New
Line Cinema to pen the screenplay for the big screen adaptation of Marvel's
Iron Man. McCanlies may be best known for writing the
fan-favorite animated feature The Iron Giant (which is based
on a book titled The Iron Man).
By Eon Magazine,
Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot have been identified as the
screenwriters charged with the task of bringing Marvel's Iron
Man to the big screen. The duo, who wrote last year's The
Mask of Zorro among others, recently broke the news in an
exclusive interview with Eon Magazine.
The pair reportedly pitched their take on the character to both New
Line and Marvel and were subsequently hired.
"Obviously, everyone is interested in seeing what
happens with X-Men, but the only real similarity between the
two projects is: they are based on Marvel Comics properties,"
Elliot told Eon. "I think New Line feels pretty
confident, based on their success with Blade, that they're
capable of doing a good movie based on a superhero character -- even if
other studios can't."
And what is their take on Iron Man?
"It's funny, in many ways Tony Stark is one of the most generic
alter-egos in the Marvel Comics universe," Elliot said.
"It is the ways that Tony Stark is different from that model that
best define the character. Specifically he is an engineering genius.
Confronted with a problem, he will work relentlessly until he solves it;
which means first understanding completely the nature of the problem, and
then seeking the most efficient, effective and elegant solution.”
Elliot went on to say, "Taking our cue from some of
the other elements intrinsic to Iron Man -- high-tech
manufacturing, ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. and the U.S. Government, international
businessman -- and some of the stories from the books, we're going to
throw Tony into a very gray world, one which his money and his personality
have isolated him from for the most part. It will be a Gordian knot
of motives, actions and events which forces Tony to solve the most
fundamental question about himself: 'What kind of man am I?'"
The writing pair refused to speculate on casting.
Rumors from previous years have indicated Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise were
interested in the character. However, the property has changed hands
since those stories had circulated, and the question of who would don the
armor is still up in the air. Likewise the pair have not decided on
a villain for the piece yet. "As yet, we have not found a
villain from the comic books who fits the needs of the story," Elliot told Eon. "If we do, we'll use that character-- no
reason to re-invent the wheel, after all."
For more information about Elliot and Rossio, check out
their excellent Wordplay website.
By Comics2Film, 11/16/99:
Following up on
last week's announcement, Comics2Film spoke to producer and comic
fan Don Murphy about Dr. Strange and his other movie
projects. The movie is in the early stages of development at Columbia.
Although previous drafts of a Dr. Strange script had been
written by David Goyer, Murphy told us that he'll be starting fresh and is
presently seeking a new writer.
"Dr. Strange is great idea,"
Murphy enthused. "It's this this big, powerful warlock kind of
thing and he's wearing this cool cloak and he's not wearing long
underwear." Although he's the producer on many comic book
movies, Murphy recognizes the difficulty in translating costumed heroes to
the big screen.
"If you look at everything I'm doing, nobody's
wearing goofy costumes," the producer told C2F. "I
would never want to do Daredevil because I don't see how
you'd make that visually acceptable to a mainstream audience."
At any rate, Murphy does have several comic based
properties in development. Neil Gaiman's Death: The High Cost
of Living is moving again, in spite of being...well...dead for
over a year. "Neil is writing it as we speak," Murphy
informed us. The project just picked up again about about a month
Of his reading habits Murphy told us Alan Moore's "League
[of Extraordinary Gentlemen] is one of my favorites
right now." Naturally the producers also has this concept in
development. A first draft of a screenplay has been completed and a
second draft is in the works.
The producer also confirmed for us that he has Iron
Man in development at New Line. He's also developing Astro Boy, Domu, From Hell
and Parasyte. All of the above projects are in
the early stages, but Murphy promises to keep us informed as things
An article in Mania's Daily Buzz column
claims Industrial Light and Magic "is considering doing movie
versions" of Iron Man and Nick Fury.
A puzzling report considering that ILM, George Lucas' special
effects house, generally doesn't act as a movie producer.
Unnamed sources do claim that ILM will be working
with independent producers on the projects. These sources are said
to have been disappointed by the David Hasselhoff, made-for-TV version of Nick
Fury from last year. Instead they would like famed
eye-patch-wearer Kurt Russell (Soldier) to fill Fury's
|Reported by Daily Variety, 7/13/99:
Daily Variety featured an extensive report
on the status of various Marvel movies in Michael Flemming's Dish
column. The article discusses the re-emerging value of Marvel
properties in Hollywood following the bankruptcy problems of recent history.
Marvel president and CEO Avi Arad told Flemming,
"Look at our library: It is an endless supply of protectable characters with huge
followings. With 3,500 characters at least, it is the only content library of its
kind in terms of sheer volume, depth of characters and range, from superheroes to horror
to comedy and romance."
Marvel's clout has allowed them to cut better deals,
with the hopes of getting truer versions of their characters on the big screen.
"We have story and outline approval, and the script cannot be different from what was
approved," Arad is quoted as saying. "We have a say over how the characters will
look, access to dailies in a timely fashion, and we either exec produce or produce.
Legally, we have a lot of checks and balances, but the way we work with studios is very
Apparently the publisher recently had to flex this muscle during the
development of the Spider-Man movie. The story in
development had the webslinger killing one of his villains. Marvel
nixed the idea. "Spider-Man never kills anybody," Arad said.
We all know that Spider-Man and X-Men
are moving forward. But the article reports on several other projects as well.
Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox are
reportedly looking to hire Raja Gosnell (Home Alone 3, Never
Been Kissed) for directing duties on Fantastic Four.
Chris Columbus is the producer on that film.
Silver Surfer is also making progress.
Andrew Kevin Walker (Seven) has been hired for writing chores on
Even dormant projects like Hulk are now
stirring again. Michael France is writing and Gale Anne Hurd is still on board as
The Malibu universe character Prime,
a project that hasn't shown signs of life for years, now has a new life at Universal.
Doug Chamberlin and Chris Webb (Toy Story 2) are writing
the screenplay about "a comedy about a scrawny little kid who has the ability or
handicap of going instantly from a kid to an Arnold-like man. Its Big
in a superheros body," as Arad describes it. Chuck Gordon is producing.
Staple characters like Captain America and Doctor
Strange are also riding the wave. Mark Gordon and Gary Levinsohn of Mutual
Film, producers of Saving Private Ryan, are in talks
with Marvel about Cap.
Sony Pictures Entertainment, who landed the Spider-Man
license earlier this year are after the good Doctor Strange.
The studio is negotiating the rights for David Goyer to write. Goyer, of
course, wrote the screenplay for Blade.
Speaking of Blade, star Wesley Snipes is not
only on board for a sequel, but he's also eyeing another Marvel
character. Black Panther was a stalled concept that Snipes
walked away from to do Blade. Now he's back on board with
his Amen-Ra production company developing it in cooperation with Marvel.
No major studio is attached.
Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff) is said to be
developing Namor with Sam Hamm in talks to write the screenplay.
Even lesser known Marvel properties are looking viable.
Damage Control, the humorous take on a task force that
cleans up after superhero battles, has been optioned. The concept is at Village
Roadshow Pictures. Neal Moritz and Barry Levine are producers.
The article also mentions that studio deals are in the works for Iron
Man, Daredevil and animated feature for Thor.
|Reported By CNSC, 5/10 and CCA, 5/16/99:
followed up on recent reports (from the Backstage Pass website) that Jeff Vintar's Iron Man
script had been discarded and Jeffrey Caine (Goldeneye) has been
hired to write a new one. In response to this, a Cinescape
correspondent has posted a review of Vintar's script. The review contains spoilers
and is generally negative. It can be read on the Cinescape website.
CCA responded to the review with one of
their own. This review is a rebuttal which defends Vintar's work.
At any rate, CCA confirms that Vintar's script is out
and Caine is in. However, the quality (or lack) of Vintar's script is not the
issue, but rather that the rights to the property have changed hands. Vintar wrote
his script (with Stan Lee) for 20th Century Fox. The script was
apparently well-liked at the studio, but they allowed the rights to lapse, giving X-Men
and Fantastic Four greater priority.
Thanks to Joe Hendren.
|Reported By CCA,
According to a recent article on CCA
a new script for an Iron Man movie is in the works. CCA
cites the Backstage Pass website which references an internal memo from Angry
Films. According to the article Jeff Vintar's script has been discarded and
Jeffrey Caine (Goldeneye) is on board to develop a completely
new script. Don Murphy is quoted as calling Iron Man their
|Reported By CNSC,
Last year it was widely reported that superstar Tom Cruise
was interested in acquiring the rights to Iron Man for his
production company CW Prods. CNSC is now reporting that the deal failed to gel. It
had been suggested that nothing could proceed until Marvel's bankruptcy
issues were settled and perhaps that hindered negotiations.
|Reported By DNCC,
Stan Lee spoke to the DNCC about Marvel's movie deals. Lee commented on mega-star
Tom Cruise's interest in Iron Man, "His partner, Paula
Wagner, contacted us. We had a meeting with her, and he is interested. We have
to wait until [Marvel's] bankruptcy is totally settled and then there is
a lot of negotiating and contracting."
|Reported By VRTY,
The scoop from Michael Flemming's Dish column in VRTY is that actor / producer / mega-star Tom Cruise is
interested in developing Marvel Comics' Iron Man
into a movie. According to Flemming's report, Cruise and Paula Wagner's CW
Prods. wants to develop the movie with Cruise producing and possibly starring.
been previously reported that, prior to being tapped for Superman Reborn,
Nicolas Cage was eyeing the role of Tony Stark. Last year, it was also reported that
the movie was in the hands of a different production team with screenwriter Jeff Vintar
working on a script from a Stan Lee story. No word is given as to what happened to
those production efforts.
|Reported By DNCC,
An aside in a story on the Venom
movie, it is mentioned that Iron Man is possibly on hold until Marvel
straightens out it's legal/financial mess.
|Reported By DNCC,
This article states that Jeff Vintar has completed the Iron
|Reported In CBG,
The Mass O' Media column mentions that Nicolas Cage
is interested in playing Tony Stark.
|Reported In MV #24:
In the Andy Mangels' Marvel Reel News
column, Andy confirms that Jeff Vintar is writing a script. He also shares my suspicion
that Cage will not play Tony Stark due to his involvement with Superman Lives. Producers are reported to be
John Langley, Stephen Chao and Elie Cohn.
|Reported In SSB
(Comics cover dated Nov. 1997):
Stan Lee mentions that he wrote the story for the Iron
Man movie "together with...Jeff Vintar who's also doing the
|Reported In SSB:
Iron Man is one of 12 Marvel films
listed by Stan Lee in the Soapbox column appearing in Marvel comics dated September, 1997.
Stan mentions there are 5 more projects in development that he's keeping secret.