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IRON MAN

That's (Marvel) Entertainment
With a library of over 5,000 characters, Marvel Entertainment, 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. Marvel Entertainment's areas of emphasis include feature films, DVD/home video, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Rooted in the creative success of over sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel has successfully transformed its cornerstone comic book characters into blockbuster film franchises.

Marvel Studios' Hollywood renaissance has been nothing short of spectacular, with record-breaking franchises such as "Spider-Man,” "X-Men” and "The Fantastic Four,” resulting in a string of eight consecutive #1 box office openings. Since 1998, Marvel films have grossed over $4.9 billion worldwide at the box office, firmly establishing itself as one of the top entertainment brands in Hollywood.

David Maisel, Chairman of Marvel Studios, explains why Marvel has been so successful in adapting its comic book characters to the silver screen. "Our films are as much about the man as the superhero. We cast great actors who will appeal to both kids and adults. We set our films up to appeal to everyone.”

"Over the past seven or eight years we have had great luck in combining unique and original talent with our spectacular world-renowned characters,” adds "Iron Man” producer and Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige. "We've been very fortunate that with the Marvel brand, we have been able to attract talented filmmakers as well as the best technicians, visual effect supervisors, cinematographers and visual effects companies in the world, which has resulted, we believe, in the best kind of genre mega-event summer pictures out there.”

In 2007, Maisel spearheaded Marvel's announcement to self-finance a slate of ten films which would begin with the 2008 releases of "Iron Man” and "The Hulk,” as well as the development of such titles as "Captain America,” "Thor” and "Ant Man."

One of the original Marvel Comics, Iron Man has enjoyed a long and prosperous run dating back to the characters' first appearance in the Marvel comic Tales of Suspense in April 1963. Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby, Iron Man's alter ego Tony Stark was inspired partly by the personality of the late American icon Howard Hughes.

"Howard Hughes was one of the most colorful men of our time,” says executive producer Stan Lee. "He was an inventor, an adventurer, a multimillionaire, a ladies' man and, finally, a nutcase."

Lee continues, "What triggered me to create a character like Iron Man was that I wanted to do something different than the usual super hero. In 1963, Iron Man was all the things that young readers in those days didn't really care for: he was an industrialist and created war machines. I thought to myself, I'm going to make these kids like him by making Tony Stark a rich, glamorous, handsome, interesting guy. I also gave him a weak heart so that he would have one thing about him that made him less-than-perfect and would also give the readers something to worry about. The response to the character was amazing and, of all the Marvel characters, Iron Man received more fan mail from female readers than any other property. People of all ages connected to the human side of the character.”

A unique and vastly popular character in the Marvel universe, Iron Man is the only self-made superhero whose superhuman strength and abilities come from the powered suits of armor created from the genius mind of Tony Stark. "In the comic book world, Iron Man stands proudly alongside Spider-Man, The X-Men and The Fantastic Four,” says producer Kevin Feige

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