Well, Avi Arad was chatting it up recently with CNN Money and he let us know who he planned for a Hulk 2, but he didn’t let us know all this as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have unleashed a major Marvel Studios update as several people have been brought aboard to bring to life the world of Marvel’s comic book characters.
The biggest announcement of the bunch is that Jon Favreau will be directing the lice-action feature Iron Man for Paramount Pictures.
Back in November 2005 Marvel reacquired the property from New Line Cinema where the film had sat for a long time with Nick Cassavetes set to direct, but it floundered around and Marvel took it back in house. After that Marvel made a nice little distribution deal with Paramount, which looks as if it will prove monumental as all of the movies I am about to mention will be distributed under Paramount’s banner, all except The Incredible Hulk, which will be handled by Universal.
Iron Man, Marvel’s top priority, also has nabbed writing duo Arthur Marcum and Matt Hollaway (Convoy).
Marvel disclosed it is pursuing a second Hulk pic, despite the so-so performance of Ang LeeAng Lee’s 2003 film. Zak Penn, who has collaborated with Marvel on several features, including the upcoming X-Men: The Last Stand, will pen the script for what’s being called Incredible Hulk.
Scribe David Self (Thirteen Days, Road to Perdition) has been tapped to pen the long-awaited feature version of Captain America.
Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) will direct and co-write with Joe Cornish the feature film Ant Man. Always seen as a bit of a ridiculous super-hero — his power is to control ants — duo plan to give the big-screen Ant-Man a comedic twist.
Marvel has tapped scribe Andrew Marlowe (Air Force One, Hollow Man) to pen the script for Nick Fury, based on Marvel’s military super spy.
Fresh off writing Warner Bros. Poseidon, Mark Protosevich will pen Marvel’s Thor.
The budgets for these films are expected to run between $50 million and $165 million, with Iron Man and Incredible Hulk being the furthest along and currently eyeing 2008 release dates with Captain America closest behind with hopes of releasing that pic in 2009.
Okay, so there is that, now, what the hell are all these films about…?
IRON MAN: In the comic, Iron Man’s real identity is that of billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, who develops an armored suit that lets him fly and shoot “repulsor rays.” The comic debuted in the 1960s, and Iron Man’s origin involved Stark being a prisoner of the Viet Cong. The comic evolved into Stark fighting spies, both political and industrial, while also battling alcoholism.
ANT MAN: Ant Man is really Dr. Hank Pym, a biochemist who discovers a rare group of subatomic particles from which he concocts a size-altering formula that he tests on himself.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: Captain America is a character created during World War II as a symbol of American strength and values who fought Nazis. After his popularity waned in the 1950s, he was brought back as a member of the superhero team the Avengers. Part of his origin included being frozen in suspended animation, thus having a “man out of time” foil to it.
NICK FURY: Nick Fury is Marvel’s hero who is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division), a spy agency.
THOR:Thor follows the adventures of the legendary Norse thunder deity.