Nick Cassavetes to Direct Iron Man

Posted on December 3, 2004

New Line Cinema and Marvel Studios, a division of Marvel Enterprises, have signed Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook, John Q) to direct the big screen adaptation of Iron Man, based on the Marvel Super Hero. The film is scheduled to be a 2006 tentpole release. The project, which is being produced by Marvel Studios' CEO Avi Arad (Spider-Man, X-Men) and Angry Films' Don Murphy, is based on a script by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, and David Hayter. The studios will begin casting immediately.

Arad said, "Being able to work with such an acclaimed writer/director as Nick Cassavetes to bring one of our pre-eminent Super Hero franchises to the big screen is really special. Nick grew up reading Iron Man and personally loves the character. He shares our vision of how to bring Iron Man to life in a way that will appeal to a mass audience as well as the core Super Hero fan base. This deal with Nick marks the perfect way to launch our second big Marvel franchise with New Line, a studio that we have enjoyed a great relationship with in building the Blade character into a Hollywood heavyweight."

Based on the long-running Marvel comic book series, Iron Man tells the story of Tony Stark, the enigmatic heir to the Stark Enterprises fortune. A driven inventor and executive who seems to have it all, Tony is haunted by his dark side. Though he commands his empire by day, by night he secretly becomes Iron Man, the living embodiment of decades of defense spending and innovation. Strapping on billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art armor and weaponry each night to fight crime, terrorism and corporate espionage, Tony begins to crack under the strain of his fractured lifestyle and must ultimately confront the one enemy he can never beat -- himself.

Cassavetes' relationship with New Line has also proved to be a profitable one in recent years. His last directorial effort, The Notebook, was one of this summer's biggest hits at the box office. He also directed the 2002 hit film John Q for the studio and is currently in production on the drama Alpha Dog, which stars Bruce Willis, Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone and Emile Hirsch.

Marvel has an impressive track record when it comes to translating its Super Heroes to the big screen with such blockbusters as Spider- Man, Spider-Man 2, X-Men, X-Men 2, Daredevil, and The Hulk. The company is also currently in production on the adaptation of Fantastic Four, which hits theaters July 1, 2005.

Emmerich is overseeing Iron Man for New Line along with the studio's senior vp production Stokely Chaffin, vp George Waud and creative executive Jeff Katz. Spearheading the production for Marvel Studios are Kevin Feige and Ari Arad.