4. Tarantino time
With the film in development hell, Fox commissioned a rewrite from GoldenEye’s Jeffrey Caine, then zeroed in on a big name to jolt the project back to life.
Yes, Quentin Tarantino nearly ended up writing and directing a version of the story. October 1999 saw a desperate Fox reach out to the Pulp Fiction helmer, but once again, nothing came of it.
Things went very quiet on the Stark Industries front. In December 2000, Fox sold off the rights to New Line Cinema.
New Line hired Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (before they hit it big with the Pirates movies), along with Tim McCanlies (writer of The Iron Giant, which is oddly perfect) to craft a new script.
With hopes of getting the movie going again, New Line approached confirmed Iron Man fan Joss Whedon about directing this fresh take.
But even with a finished script from McCanlies delivered in 2002, nothing came close to a greenlight.
New Line tried once more, with Nick Cassavetes picked as the man for the job, a 2006 release date targeted and the likes of Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and David Hayter all writing drafts of the script, but the movie remained stalled.
With no end in sight, New Line returned the rights to the character to Marvel in 2005. And that’s where it all started to come together…