"Iron Man" Flees New Line and Heads Back Home to MarvelIron Man" languished over at New Line, but the rights to the character have recently reverted back to the Marvel-eers, and uber-producer Avi Arad seems pretty excited about getting the adaptation ramped up at home.
According to Variety, "Marvel has raised $525 million from Merrill Lynch to produce up to 10 films. Because "Iron Man" isn't part of that deal, Marvel would have to get separate funds to produce the pic itself.
Project hit numerous snags at New Line. Late last year, studio announced Nick Cassavetes was attached to direct, but it turned out the "Notebook" helmer never had a deal.
Drafts by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar ("Smallville") and David Hayter ("X-Men") didn't get traction.
Arad expressed frustration in March that the Cassavetes deal fell through, so it wasn't a surprise that he took the project back when New Line's option expired this summer.
Marvel will now start development from scratch, commissioning a new script and possibly attaching a director before deciding whether to finance the pic itself or license it again.
Cassavetes remains a candidate to direct, Arad said.
If Marvel ends up making "Iron Man" itself, it could be one of its highest-profile projects. Most films in its Merrill Lynch-financed slate, like "Ant Man" and "Power Pack," are based on characters little known outside the comicbook world, save for "Captain America.""