Variety has confirmed that after more than two years of unsuccessful development at New Line, Marvel has taken back film rights to Iron Man, the comic book about an inventor who dons a high-tech suit and becomes a superhero.
The company may raise additional money to produce Iron Man itself as part of its new internal production slate. In such a case, the film would likely be distributed by Paramount, where Marvel has a distribution deal.
“Right now we’re concentrating on finding the right creative talent,” explained Marvel Studios’ 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.”
Late last year, the studio announced Nick Cassavetes was attached to direct, but it turned out The Notebook helmer never had a deal. Drafts by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (Smallville) and David Hayter (X-Men) didn’t get traction.
Marvel will now start development from scratch, commissioning a new script and possibly attaching a director before deciding whether to finance the film itself or license it again. Cassavetes remains a candidate to direct, Arad said.