Marvel Recruits Iron Man

The Iron Man film rights have returned to Marvel...will Marvel produce the film themselves now?
According to Variety, after more than two years of unsuccessful development at New Line, Marvel has taken back film rights for Iron Man.

Apparently Marvel may raise additional coin to produce "Iron Man" itself as part of its new internal production slate. The film would likely be distributed by Paramount, where Marvel currently holds a distribution deal.

"Right now we're concentrating on finding the right creative talent," explained Marvel Studios toppertopper Avi Arad. "It's not a part of our slate deal, but we can raise the money to do it if we choose to. We would also have no difficulty licensing it to another studio."

Earlier this year, Marvel has raised $525 million from Merrill Lynch to produce up to 10 films. Although because 'Iron Man' isn't part of that deal, Marvel would have to get separate funds to produce the movie itself.

Late last year, studio announced Nick Cassavetes was attached to direct, but it turned out the "Notebook" helmer never had a deal.

Drafts by Alfred GoughAlfred Gough & Miles Millar ("Smallville") and David Hayter ("X-Men") didn't get traction.

Tom Cruise also reportedly flirted with the role last year before signing onto "War of the Worlds."

Arad expressed frustration in March that the Cassavetes deal fell through, so it wasn't a surprise that he took the project back when New Line's option expired this summer.

Marvel will now start development from scratch, commissioning a new script and possibly attaching a director before deciding whether to finance the project itself or license it to a studio again.

Cassavetes remains a candidate to direct, Arad said.

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