Jon Favreau to Direct Iron Man

Aggressively pursuing its strategy to develop and produce a new slate of feature films, Marvel Studios – a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, Inc. – has engaged director/actor/writer Jon Favreau to direct the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Iron Man. Additionally, the studio has tapped several screenwriters to pen scripts based on some of its marquee superhero franchises. The projects to which screenwriters are now attached and have officially begun development include Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Ant Man, Captain America, Nick Fury and Thor. The announcement was made today by Avi Arad, Chairman of Marvel Studios.

For the legendary superhero Iron Man, Jon Favreau will direct the film and develop the script with the writing team of Arthur Marcum and Matt Holloway (Convoy). Favreau’s directing credits include “Elf” and “Zathura: A Space Adventure.”

Zak Penn, who previously collaborated with Marvel on X2, Fantastic Four, and the upcoming X-Men: The Last Stand, will write a new Incredible Hulk film, inspired by the larger-than-life green giant. Under Marvel’s arrangement with Universal, Marvel will develop and produce the Incredible Hulk as a major theatrical release, with Universal retaining various distribution rights.

Writer/director Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”) will direct, and co-write with writing partner Joe Cornish, the feature film based on cult-favorite Ant Man. Edgar will also co-produce with his Big Talk Productions partner Nira Park.

David Self has been tapped to write Captain America, inspired by Marvel’s venerable all-American super soldier. Self’s credits include “Thirteen Days” and Road to Perdition, in addition to numerous rewrites on various studio films. He also worked with Marvel on two other projects: Namor, the Sub-Mariner for Universal, and Deathlok for Paramount.

Marvel’s superhero with military roots, the iconic super spy Nick Fury, will be brought to life by action/adventure screenwriter Andrew Marlowe. Marlowe’s credits include “Air Force One,” “End of Days,” and “Hollow Man.”

The legendary Norse Thunder deity, Thor, will hammer his way to the big screen with the help of screenwriter Mark Protosevich. Protosevich wrote one of this summer’s highly-anticipated films, “Poseidon.” His credits also include “The Cell.”

“We are incredibly excited to be able to attract some of Hollywood’s top talent to help Marvel launch the first wave of our independently-produced film slate. These screenwriters and directors are at the top of their game, and each brings a unique passion for the individual characters and projects they will be working on. Our goal is to combine great characters with exciting action, and we’ve assembled a team who will do just that,” said Mr. Arad. “In fact, some of these writers have already helped us create major Hollywood blockbuster franchises like ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘X-Men.’ With our independent slate, we look forward to delivering to movie-goers the same type of high-action, gripping entertainment they have grown accustomed to with the Marvel brand.”

With screenwriters and directors on board, Marvel is commencing discussions with other talent and visual effects houses as it gears up for full-scale production on the new slate, with the first release anticipated in 2008. These projects are expected to be financed with Marvel’s $525 million revolving film financing facility and distributed under Marvel’s overall distribution arrangement with Paramount, except for Incredible Hulk which will be distributed by Universal.

President/COO Michael Helfant will oversee the company’s growth to accommodate this newly expanded production activity. The projects will be shepherded and produced by Kevin Feige, President of Production, and Ari Arad, Executive Vice President of Production.

Source: Marvel Entertainment, Inc.