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Marvel-ous

News on Iron Man and others...

Marvel Studios has been busy – the company has locked down a director for Iron Man and attached various helmers and scribes to other developing projects.

First up is the exciting word that Elf and Zathura helmer Jon Favreau has been recruited to develop and direct Iron Man. Yes, after years of languishing in development hell, being touted as a vehicle for Tom Cruise, it looks like it might finally be on the way to the screen.

Arthur Marcum and Josh Holloway (the writers behind John Singleton’s upcoming Convoy remake) are penning the script, which will chronicle the adventures of Tony Stark, a troubled billionaire who develops an armoured suit giving him the power of flight and repulsor rays.

And unlike Zathura – Favreau plans to use more CGI to bring Stark to life. “I've always been very reticent to use CGI to the extent that it has been used by other filmmakers," Favreau told The Hollywood Reporter "I think that now, through motion-capture and the integration of miniatures with CGI, like in King Kong, I'm starting to be a lot more convinced by what the technology can do. But the idea of using CGI and relying solely on that to tell your story, those days are past. I think that integrating practical filmmaking and augmenting it with CGI is the key to making it an emotionally involved story."

Favreau hopes to step behind the camera next year.

Then there’s Ant Man, which is being handled by Shaun Of The Dead’s Edgar Wright, who’s currently busy shooting Hot Fuzz. In between trying to wrangle Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in front of the camera, he’s scribbling the script for the story of Dr Hank Pym, a scientist who discovers a size-altering formula. His co-writer on the film is Adam and Joe’s Joe Cornish.

Further back the development path is Captain America, which is being written by Road To Perdition scribe David Self. The Cap was created during World War II as a Nazi-bashing hero. After his popularity dwindled in the ‘50s, he was brought back to work with The Avengers. And being frozen in time, he’ll work as a fish out of water, according to Self. "He's a Norman Rockwell character who is faced with today's America and is forced to look at his own past, things in the '40s that weren't necessarily what they were cracked up to be, and also how today's country may be different than it looks," is how Self describes him to The Hollywood Reporter.

Also at the early script stage is Nick Fury, the agent of S.H.I.E.L.D (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-Enforcement Division, trivia fans!) has a writer. Andrew Marlow, who penned Air Force One and Hollow Man, is hard at work. Let’s hope it’s better than either of those!

Mark Protosevich, whose credits include the upcoming Poseidon and the as-yet unmade I Am Legend script, will tackle the tale of Thor, the Norse thunder god turned super hero. "In the comics, the stories that appealed to me most were the features called Tales Of Asgard,” says Protosevich. "They were very much based on the traditional Norse myths and how the relationship between being like Thor and Loki and Thor and Odin, and how these beings manifested themselves. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say the movie will take place in the world of myth and legend but will not betray some of the thematic elements of the comics that made them so appealing, like the idea of a god growing to truly understand man."

While all of those films are covered by Marvel’s recent distribution deal with Paramount, there is one Universal entry: a sequel to The Hulk. X-Men: The Last Stand writer Zak Penn is busy cranking it out for Universal.