Marvel Studios Engages All-Star Roster For New Film Slate
Jon Favreau To Direct Iron Man.
Los Angeles, CA (April 28, 2006) – Aggressively pursuing its strategy to develop and produce a new slate of feature films, Marvel Studios - a subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) - has engaged director/actor/writer Jon Favreau to direct the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Iron Man. Additionally, the studio has tapped several screenwriters to pen scripts based on some of its marquee Super Hero franchises. The projects to which screenwriters are now attached and have officially begun development include Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Ant Man, Captain America, Nick Fury and Thor. The announcement was made today by Avi Arad, Chairman of Marvel Studios.
• Iron Man -- For the legendary Super Hero Iron Man, Jon Favreau will direct the film and develop the script with the writing team of Arthur Marcum and Matt Holloway (Convoy). Favreau’s directing credits include Elf and Zathura: A Space Adventure.
• Incredible Hulk -- Zak Penn, who previously collaborated with Marvel on X2, Fantastic Four, and the upcoming X-Men: The Last Stand, will write a new Incredible Hulk film, inspired by the larger-than-life green giant. Under Marvel’s arrangement with Universal, Marvel will develop and produce the Incredible Hulk as a major theatrical release, with Universal retaining various distribution rights.
• Ant Man -- Writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) will direct, and co-write with writing partner Joe Cornish, the feature film based on cult-favorite Ant Man. Edgar will also co-produce with his Big Talk Productions partner Nira Park.
• Captain America -- David Self has been tapped to write Captain America, inspired by Marvel’s venerable all-American super soldier. Self’s credits include Thirteen Days and Road to Perdition, in addition to numerous rewrites on various studio films. He also worked with Marvel on two other projects: Namor, the Sub-Mariner for Universal, and Deathlok for Paramount.
• Nick Fury – Marvel’s Super Hero with military roots, the iconic super spy Nick Fury,
will be brought to life by action/adventure screenwriter Andrew Marlowe. Marlowe’s
credits include Air Force One, End of Days, and Hollow Man.
• Thor -- The legendary Norse Thunder deity, Thor, will hammer his way to the big screen with the help of screenwriter Mark Protosevich. Protosevich wrote one of this summer’s highly-anticipated films, Poseidon. His credits also include The Cell.
“We are incredibly excited to be able to attract some of Hollywood’s top talent to help Marvel launch the first wave of our independently-produced film slate. These screenwriters and directors are at the top of their game, and each brings a unique passion for the individual characters and projects they will be working on. Our goal is to combine great characters with exciting action, and we’ve assembled a team who will do just that,” said Mr. Arad. “In fact, some of these writers have already helped us create major Hollywood blockbuster franchises like Fantastic Four and X-Men. With our independent slate, we look forward to delivering to movie-goers the same type of high-action, gripping entertainment they have grown accustomed to with the Marvel brand.”
With screenwriters and directors on board, Marvel is commencing discussions with other talent and visual effects houses as it gears up for full-scale production on the new slate, with the first release anticipated in 2008. These projects are expected to be financed with Marvel’s $525 million revolving film financing facility and distributed under Marvel’s overall distribution arrangement with Paramount, except for The Incredible Hulk which will be distributed by Universal.
President/COO Michael Helfant will oversee the company’s growth to accommodate this newly expanded production activity. The projects will be shepherded and produced by Kevin Feige, President of Production, and Ari Arad, Executive Vice President of Production.
Marvel, and all related character names and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Marvel Characters, Inc. and are used with permission. TM & © 2006 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved. www.marvel.com. Super Hero(es) is a co-owned registered trademark.
With a library of over 5,000 proprietary characters, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel’s operations are focused in three areas: entertainment (Marvel Studios) and licensing, comic book publishing and toys (Toy Biz). Marvel facilitates the creation of entertainment projects, including feature films, DVD/home video, video games and television based on its characters and also licenses its characters for use in a wide range of consumer products and services including apparel, collectibles, snack foods and promotions. Marvel’s characters and plot lines are created by its publishing segment that continues to expand its leadership position in the U.S. and worldwide while also serving as an invaluable source of intellectual property.
Except for any historical information that they contain, the statements in this news release regarding Marvel’s plans are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including a decrease in the level of media exposure or popularity of Marvel’s characters, financial difficulties of Marvel’s licensees, changing consumer preferences, movie- and television-production delays and cancellations, toy-production delays or shortfalls, continued concentration of toy retailers, toy inventory risk, the imposition of quotas or tariffs on products manufactured in China and a decrease in cash flow even as Marvel remains indebted to its noteholders. These and other risks and uncertainties are described in Marvel’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Marvel’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Marvel assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
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