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Iron Man (Archives)
Reported by Boston Globe Online, 12/2/2001:

An 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.

The 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.

"Marvel 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."

Thanks to The Xenos for the lead.

Reported By Comics2Film, 11/14/2001:

Comics2Film touched base with Kevin Feige, Senior Vice President at Marvel Studios, to talk about the various projects they've got brewing.

There's 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. 

Recent 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.

He also said there is no truth that Tom Sizemore is being looked at for the role of the villain of the piece.

While 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," Feige said.

Reported By Comics2Film, 9/19/2001:

Iron Man by Welshcat

Comics2Film 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.

At this 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.

Reported By The Onion A.V. Club, 9/5/2001:

Is Joss 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.

While 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 suit."

Comics2Film has been unable to determine if Whedon has signed on to the film at this point.

Thanks to Gilgamesh for the scoop.

Reported By Comics2Film, 3/28/2001:

Comics2Film spoke with Marvel's Kevin Feige this week in an attempt to get the scoop on a number of rumors that have been circulating.

First up 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. 

"There 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."

We also 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 Jupiter."

Feige 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.

Murphy 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. release.

Reported By CHUD, 12/1/2000:

The guys 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 last month.

According 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. 

McCanlies 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.

Reported By Entertainment Weekly, 10/13/2000:

The 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.

Reported By The Hollywood Reporter, 8/01/2000:

The 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).

Reported By Eon Magazine, 12/17/99:

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.

Reported 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 ago.

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 develop.

Reported By Mania, 9/3/99:

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 boots.

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 collaborative."

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 that one.

Even dormant projects like Hulk are now stirring again.  Michael France is writing and Gale Anne Hurd is still on board as producer.

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. It’s Big in a superhero’s 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:

CNSC 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, 5/6/99:

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 plum project.

Reported By CNSC, 1/24/99:

Last year it was widely reported that superstar Tom Cruise was interested in acquiring the rights to Iron Man for his production company CW ProdsCNSC 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, 7/22/98:

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, 6/2/98:

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.

It's 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, 2/18/98:

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, 12/30/97:

This article states that Jeff Vintar has completed the Iron Man script.

Reported In CBG, #1251 11/7/97:

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 screenplay".

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.

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