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Robert Downey Jr. To Play Iron Man

Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr. will take on the title character role for Marvel Studios' IRON MAN. This project, the first feature film to be produced independently by Marvel Ent., will launch into theaters May 2, 2008. The film is being directed by Jon Favreau (ZATHURA, ELF) and will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Based upon Marvel's iconic superhero, IRON MAN tells the story of Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. Upon his return to America, Tony must come to terms with his past. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man.

"Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most talented and acclaimed actors of this generation. His versatility sets him apart and makes him an ideal fit to play such a complex character as Iron Man. We could not think of another actor better suited to bring one of Marvel's crown jewels to the big screen and be the centerpiece of our first independently produced feature," said Kevin Feige, president of production, Marvel Studios.

Filming is slated to begin in Los Angeles in February 2007.

IRON MAN will be produced by Feige and Avi Arad. Exec producers are Michael Helfant, Ari Arad, Favreau, Louis D'Esposito and Peter Billingsley.

With a library of more than 5,000 characters, Marvel Ent. Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel's operations are focused on utilizing its character franchises in licensing, entertainment, publishing and toys. Areas of emphasis include feature films, DVD/home video, consumer products, videogames, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Rooted in the creative success of more than 60 years of comicbook publishing, Marvel's strategy is to leverage its character franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more information, visit www.marvel.com.

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Rick DeMott
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