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Marvel gets its Man back

After more than two years stuck in development hell at New Line, the rights to an Iron Man movie have returned to Marvel. Since the comic-book empire sold the rights to the story about a scientist who creates a suit made of, um, iron to New Line, Marvel have actually linked up with Paramount to set up their own production slate. So might they choose to make the flick themselves?

“Right now we’re concentrating on finding the right creative talent,” said Marvel Studios chief Avi Arad. “It’s not a part of our slate deal, but we can raise the money to do it if we choose to. We would also have no difficulty licensing it to another studio.”

Nick Cassavetes (John Q, The Notebook) had been attached to the project last year, working with initial script drafts from Smallville scribers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar and X-Men scribbler David Hayter. Neither storyline, however, floated New Line’s boat.

Arad confirmed that the production will now start from scratch although Cassavetes, who helmed Justin Timberlake’s film debut Alpha Dog earlier this year, is still in the frame for megaphone duties.