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Iron Man is next Marvel hero to hit the screen

Iron Man is next Marvel hero to hit the screen. New Line will enlist the superhero pros behind ”Smallville” to write the movie

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Even as Marvel Comics prepares to bring ”Daredevil” to the screen on Friday, it already has its next superhero movie in the pipeline. He’s Iron Man, the alter ego of industrialist Tony Stark, who saves his own life after an accident by building himself a metal life-support suit that comes equipped with extraordinary powers. He’ll fight evil for New Line Cinema, which hopes to bring the movie to the screen by 2005, Variety reports.

Writing the movie will be Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, the superhero pros behind ”Smallville” and next year’s ”Spider-Man” sequel, ”The Amazing Spider-Man.” Gough and Millar also wrote the Jackie Chan-Owen Wilson buddy comedy ”Shanghai Noon” and its current sequel, ”Shanghai Knights.”

”Iron Man” has been a popular comics title for four decades, but it has thus far only been adapted into animated TV series, once in 1966 (with John ”Dean Wormer” Vernon voicing Stark), and once from 1994-96 (with Robert ”Airplane!” Hays as a jokier Iron Man). New Line has owned the film rights since 2000, but the project has only kicked into gear with the current wave of Marvel movies, including last year’s ”Spider-Man” at Sony, ”Daredevil” and May’s ”X-Men” sequel at 20th Century Fox, and June’s ”The Hulk” at Universal.