Iron Man Feige talks Iron Man!

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Nov 17, 2005
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Marvel shows its faith in 'Iron Man'

Submitted by SHNS on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 12:40.
If you watched Super Bowl XLII Feb. 3 -- and according to the Nielsen ratings, 97.5 million of you did -- then you probably saw the ad for the "Iron Man" movie.
I don't often write about trailers, but this was a pretty big deal. When you consider that the average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl spot is $2.7 million, that one little trailer shows that somebody has a lot of faith in this Marvel Comics character. And that somebody is Marvel Comics.
"Iron Man" is being produced by Marvel Studios, a first for the publisher's Hollywood wing (Paramount is handling the distribution). Previous Marvel movies were always made by somebody else -- Sony Pictures produced the Spider-Man movies, for example, and Twentieth Century Fox was responsible for the X-Men trilogy. But "Iron Man" is Marvel's baby all the way.
"It's nice now to have the final say over our projects and to have complete control," Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President and "Iron Man" executive producer, told "Starlog" magazine. "If 'Iron Man' is something that people don't like or respond to, we only have ourselves to blame."
Which means, for one thing, that you can expect "Iron Man" to cleave pretty closely to its comic-book roots. ("We've done our homework on this film," director Jon Favreau told "Starlog.")
As we can intuit from this trailer (and the first one, both available at the Armored Avenger's 1963 battlefield origin will make it to the screen more or less intact (substituting the Middle East for Vietnam). So will Iron Man's alter ego, billionaire industrialist, genius inventor and hard-partying playboy Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr.
And how was this trailer? Actually, the first one fired me up a bit more, but that's probably due to the relief factor. I feared any Iron Man movie would be cheesy -- the armor alone brings up the possibility -- but that first trailer set me at ease. As to the second one, Time's James Poniewozik gave it an "A" rating (, and, according to PR Newswire, it was rated the top Super Bowl ad in entertainment value in a Northwestern University online survey (
So comics fans should look forward to the May 2 "Iron Man" debut. And that's not all they have to anticipate this year:
-- "Turok: Son of Stone" went straight to DVD Feb. 5, to mostly good reviews. This animated film is based more on the 1960s-'70s Gold Key version of the character, rather than the one featured in recent videogames (based on 1980s-'90s Valiant/Acclaim comics). Either way, though, it's Native Americans vs. dinosaurs, which is what we're here for.
-- "Justice League: The New Frontier" will be released on DVD Feb. 26, and is based on Darwyn Cooke's award-winning miniseries of the same name. Set in the '50s, this animated feature stars Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and Martian Manhunter, and suggests a possible origin (although not the "official" one) for DC's premier super-team.
-- "Spectacular Spider-Man" is a new animated series on Kids' WB, debuting March 28. According to, producer Greg Weisman described the look of the series as "very iconic but very, very fresh." That is to say, with a lot of anime influence.
-- If you didn't like the 2003 "Hulk" movie, you weren't alone. That's why they're more or less starting the franchise over with "Incredible Hulk," starring Edward Norton, on June 13.
-- "Wanted," starring Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie, is only loosely based on Mark Millar's 2004 miniseries for Top Cow, describing a world in which (vaguely familiar) super villain archetypes have wiped out all the superheroes and quietly control everything from behind the scenes. The movie won't have the superhero/villain connection, but it promises to be just as dark. "Wanted" arrives June 27.
-- If you liked "Hellboy," then prepare for more of the same in "Hellboy II" on July 11.
-- Despite Heath "Joker" Ledger's tragic death, "The Dark Knight," the sequel to "Batman Begins," will still premiere July 18.
-- Ray Stevenson (Titus Pullo on HBO's "Rome") replaces Thomas Jane (2004's "Punisher") as Frank Castle in "Punisher: War Zone" Sept. 12 -- and he certainly looks the part! Jigsaw, a regular villain in various Marvel comics, is the bad guy.
And there's still more! But let's not be greedy. Isn't a year with Iron Man, Hulk and Batman on the big screen enough?

(Contact Andrew Smith of the Memphis Commercial Appeal at capncomics(at) or visit

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