Marvel Entertainment, Inc. announced that it has satisfied all funding requirements under the Company's previously announced $525 million non-recourse credit facility and has begun borrowing from the facility to finance its first self-produced and financed feature film, Iron Man. Additionally, Marvel has finalized distribution deals for Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in the international territories for which it controls distribution rights. Paramount Pictures will distribute Iron Man and Universal Pictures will distribute The Incredible Hulk in North America and all other international territories. Iron Man is scheduled to be released May 2, 2008, kicking off the Summer 2008 movie season with The Incredible Hulk scheduled to follow in June of 2008.
Produced by Marvel Studios, Iron Man features a star-studded cast headed by Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Oscar nominee Terrance Howard as Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes, Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia "Pepper" Potts and Oscar nominee Jeff Bridges, who will play a close business associate of Tony Stark. The film 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. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man. The film is being directed by Jon Favreau, and principal photography will begin in Los Angeles on March 12.
On the distribution side, Marvel Studios has secured agreements with top international distributors for Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Sony Pictures has acquired the distribution rights for these films in Japan and Spain, while top independents SND/M6 and Tele Muenchen have signed on for France and Germany, respectively. Paramount Pictures has picked up Australia/New Zealand for these films and the next film distributed by Paramount under its overall film slate agreement with Marvel. As previously announced, Paramount will distribute Iron Man and Universal Studios will distribute The Incredible Hulk in North America and in all other international territories.