Marvel-Paramount Expand Deal; Iron Man 3, Thor Movie News

Tony Stark tests the technology for his Iron Man suit.
Credit: Marvel/Paramount

Marvel Studios announced a new expanded partnership with Paramount Pictures Monday, which grants the studio the world-wide distribution rights to Marvel's next five self-produced feature films, including Iron Man 3. Those live-action adaptations of Marvel comic book properties include Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010), Thor (July 16, 2010), The First Avenger: Captain America (May 6, 2011), The  Avengers (July 15, 2011), and Iron Man 3, which has not been given a release date as of yet.

The new deal is an expansion of the original deal between the two parties, and now includes theatrical distribution in foreign territories previously serviced by Marvel through local distribution entities and includes Japan, Germany, France, Spain, and Australia/New Zealand. Iron Man 2 will still be distributed in Germany by Telemunchen, in order to satisfy a previous agreement. 

“Coming off of Iron Man’s incredible success this summer, we could not be more excited  about extending our relationship with Marvel,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures in the announcement. “Marvel’s iconic brand, its popular characters and its proven ability to create compelling and visually spellbinding films complement Paramount’s great history of filmmaking. We look forward to a long and successful run together.”

“Paramount is an excellent partner and an outstanding global distributor,” said David Maisel, Chairman of Marvel Studios. “Through our experience on Iron Man, Paramount has demonstrated a passion and ability to release Marvel properties theatrically, allowing us to focus on making great movies for the largest audience possible.”

Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. and directed by Jon Favreau, was distributed by Paramount year and is the second-highest grossing movie at the North American box office so far this year, taking in over $318 million dollars domestically and over $571 million worldwide. The film will be released Tuesday, September 30th on DVD and Blu-ray.

This deal come on the heels of Monday's report by Variety that actor/director Kenneth Branagh is in talks to direct 2010's Thor.

The former Royal Shakespeare Company member has been more active in front of the camera in recent years, having appeared in such films as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and the upcoming Tom Cruise film Valkyrie; but his directorial credits include the Oscar-nominated Henry V, as well as Dead Again and the critically panned Frankenstein released in 1994. He’s currently starring in Ivanhoe on the London stage.

The current Thor script is by Mark Protosevich, screenwriter for the recent Will Smith hit I Am Legend. Plans for the film have been previously described by Marvel Studios executives as their "Lord of the Rings", but the character Thor is reportedly also due to participate in the 2011 Avengers movie.

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