How Avi Arad Got 'Iron Man' Back From New Line

– by L-R

Last night we posted the email that Avi Arad sent BusinessWeek in response to their profile about Kevin Feige which you can read here.

Arad had more to say today and gave Deadline the following update:

We had a list of titles, but the slate didn’t have Iron Man or Hulk, and I had a very tough time getting Iron Man back from New Line, but we got it back. I always loved Iron Man. I left because I wanted to leave. It was nothing other than it was time to go. The company was growing and I didn’t like committees and I was 60 and was doing well as it was. I took a walk and thought, ‘I’m too old for this.’ And I thought if I keep nothing but Spider-Man, I will continue with Marvel, but I can do other things. I wanted to do other things … and I am now. The company is in good hands with Kevin who doing a great job.

So how did Arad get Iron Man back from New Line? Well, according to an executive source close to the negotiations of the New Line Iron Man at the time, he sent us the following:

“The article about the Arad/Feige wars seems interesting, it’s obviously sour grapes from a “producer” who has been marginalized by his former partner Perlmutter.

Arad talks about his “track record.” But what did that entail? All the deals at Fox were done by Bill Mechanic who had the foresight to see that Marvel had more value that previous owner Perelman thought. Iron Man was actually part of the Fox deal and it was simple idiocy by Tom Rothman that allowed New Line to come in and scoop it up. So what track record does he refer to? He deserves no credit for X-Men or Fantastic Four. I am sure he is not clamoring for credit for Daredevil or Elektra. So what track record? Spiderman he claims as his baby, but really that was ALL Sony. They had the rights through some crazyass deals that were done decades ago. He leveraged his way into the deal and pushed for David Fincher to direct the movie, not Sam Raimi. So I guess he had that track record.

But I was moved to write by this sentence of Arad’s - “I knew that we needed it (IRON MAN) so I set out to get it back from Newline and the rest is history.”

Let’s be clear here. Arad was happy to renew Iron Man with New Line for a total of FOUR years. He was happy with a script by Tim McLanies in which Iron Man was dressed by his toaster. He sat in meetings with Bob Shea who insisted that Iron Man not fly and he was okay with that. His vision for Iron Man was to try to pretty much do anything Shea and Emmerich wanted to do. 

So how did he get it back from them when the new opportunity arose? Simple. He lied. He lied to New Line and Emmerich for months telling them that they were in negotiations for an extension, leading them to believe the project was going forward, then on the day the option was up he pulled it.

Arad so baldy and boldy lied to everyone back in those days, it’s astonishing he wants the unearned credit now. Track record? Outside of Marvel that consists of the Bratz movie. Feige was and remains the waterboy, that was clear then and now, but to talk about “forgiving” Kevin is just hilarious.

Facts are facts. Arad is full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Sign me,

One Who Walked The Walk”

The plot certainly thickens. So what do you guys think? Chime in below...

Avi Arad, Kevin Feige, Iron Man, Marvel