Marvel Studios announced today that it has signed on Academy AwardÂ® winner Gwyneth Paltrow to join the cast of the highly-anticipated summer 2008 event film Iron Man. Paltrow will take on the role of Virginia "Pepper" Potts, personal secretary and confidant to Tony Stark aka Iron Man. The film is slated to hit theaters May 2, 2008.
Paltrow joins a star-studded cast for Marvel Entertainment's first self-financed and produced feature film, which also includes OscarÂ® nominees Robert Downey Jr. in the title role and Terrence Howard as Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes, Stark's best friend. Jon Favreau is set to direct. This latest move reinforces the continued allure of Marvel's films among Hollywood's most celebrated talent.
Paltrow will portray billionaire industrialist and genius inventor Tony Stark's indispensable personal assistant, Virginia "Pepper" Potts. Pepper is an invaluable resource to Stark Industries, and one of the few people in Tony's life who can go toe-to-toe with him, occasionally acting as his conscience and working to keep his priorities straight as he secretly defends the world as the armored hero known as Iron Man. Below the surface, Tony and Pepper share a deep attraction for one another although neither is willing to admit it.
"Gwyneth is the embodiment of a leading lady. She brings intelligence, poise and an incredible range of talent to this role," said Kevin Feige, President of Production, Marvel Studios. "We could not be more excited about the great chemistry this illustrious cast will bring to 'Iron Man.'"
Paltrow made her film debut in 1991 with "Shout," and delivered a breakout performance as Jane Austen's heroine in "Emma" (1996), which garnered her significant praise and attention as a leading lady. Her role in the critically acclaimed film "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) catapulted her to stardom and earned her a Golden GlobeÂ®, Screen Actors Guild award and OscarÂ® for Best Actress.
More recently, she starred in the film adaptation of the highly praised stage play "Proof" (2005), which reunited her with "Shakespeare in Love" director John Madden and earned her a Golden GlobeÂ® nomination for Best Actress. Other film credits include "Se7en" (1995), "Sliding Doors" (1998), "A Perfect Murder" (1998), "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999), "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001), "Sylvia" (2003) and "Running with Scissors" (2006). She will next be seen in "The Good Night" with PenÃ©lope Cruz, which was directed by her brother Jake Paltrow.
Filming on Iron Man is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles in March 2007. The film will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Iron Man will be produced by Avi Arad and Kevin Feige. Executive Producers are Ari Arad, Peter Billingsley, Louis D'Esposito, Jon Favreau and Michael Helfant. Paltrow is represented by CAA and Brillstein Grey.
Source: Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
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