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May 05, 2008

(Another) Iron Man cometh


No such thing as superhero fatigue!

Well isn't that exactly what you'd expect to hear from Marvel executives at the premiere party of "Iron Man" a few days ago? And we did. Paul Gitter, Marvel's president of consumer products, chatted over cocktails about his high hopes for the movie and all the swag spawned by it (toys, lunch boxes, bed sheets and other assorted ephemera, which, as he learned with "The Hulk" circa 2003, can move even if the film disappoints).

And then came the north-of-$100 million "Iron Man" opening weekend.

Now, Marvel gives us a future filled with "Thor," "Captain America," and, of course, "Iron Man 2," with a likely re-team of Jon Favreau and Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr., according to the company's giddy announcement this morning.

That does leave 2009 without a Marvel Studios tentpole, but that's what TV, DVD, comics, the Interwebs and the aforementioned licensed gear is for -- to stoke interest in the franchises even in a non-feature year.

What we've learned so far: there was a lot of pent-up demand for an action-packed event movie, Favreau's casting choices should never be questioned again, and starting in 2010, summer will begin on April 30.


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Iron Man was a practically flawless hero flick; its makers drop some pretty obvious sequel hints too... i'm thinking the next one should be equally great

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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