CALIFORNIA (OCN) — Iron Man is an upcoming 2008 superhero film based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Iron Man. The film is directed by Jon Favreau and stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist who is captured by terrorists in Afghanistan.
Ordered to build a missile, Stark uses his resources instead to build a suit of power armor and make his escape. Returning to America, Stark improves his armor and becomes the technologically advanced superhero Iron Man. Gwyneth Paltrow plays his secretary and love interest Virginia Potts, Terrence Howard plays jet pilot James Rhodes, and Jeff Bridges plays the villainous Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger.
The film began development at Universal Studios in 1990. 20th Century Fox earned the rights in 1996, before handing them over to New Line Cinema four years later. Marvel Studios reacquired the rights in 2006, and put it in production as their first self-financed film.
Favreau signed on as director, aiming for a realistic feel, and chose to shoot the film primarily in California, rejecting the East Coast setting of the comics so as to differentiate the film from numerous superhero movies set in New York City-esque environments. Stan Winston Studios built the armor seen in the film, which is modeled after Adi Granov’s comic book art of the character; Granov himself started working on the film after recognizing his work on the director’s MySpace page.
Marvel and Paramount Pictures, the distributor, have planned a $50 million marketing campaign for the film, which is modeled on Paramount’s successful promotion of Transformers (2007); Hasbro and Sega will sell merchandise, and product placement deals were made with Audi and Burger King. Iron Man will be released in most countries on April 30, 2008, and the film’s stars have signed on for a sequel.
Favreau had planned out a trilogy, depicting Stark’s alcoholism, Rhodes becoming War Machine, and the introduction of the Mandarin, whose presence is foreshadowed in this film. Downey is also reprising his role in The Incredible Hulk, as Marvel has plans for a film adaptation of The Avengers.