WHO SAID TONY STARK didn’t have a superpower?
As “The Avengers” revs up to its May 4 opening, it can seem like Iron Man is nearly everywhere. But come May of 2013, that sense will surely strike even stronger, as Robert Downey Jr.’s billionaire industralist Tony Stark goes yet more global.
Walt Disney and its Marvel Studios have just announced that “Iron Man 3” (due out May 4 of next year) will be co-produced by China’s DMG Entertainment — just the latest move by Hollywood to make more cinematic and financial in-roads into China.
DMG will co-produce and invest in the Shane Black-directed third film in the billion-dollar-plus Iron Man franchise, as well as distribute the film in China, Disney and DMG announced Monday. Location filming in China is set to begin this summer.
The co-production is "testimony to the importance of this audience to Disney and the local-industry capability to deliver a blockbuster film,” said Stanley Cheung of Disney’s Greater China division, according to Variety.
The Marvel franchise has worked with Chinese industry before: As Post correspondent Keith Richburg wrote in 2010, the second Iron Man movie featured Scarlett Johansson (as Black Widow) “wearing a form-fitting outfit made by Semir, a Chinese brand and an official sponsor of the film” — just one part of “China’s new love affair with Hollywood.”
This, too, is just the latest deal this year between larger Hollywood and business interests in China. Both Disney and DreamWorks Animation recently announced moves to expand their reach in China: The Mouse House said last week it is dealing with the Chinese Ministry of Culture to push animation in that nation, according to Reuters; DreamWorks is working with Chinese firms as it constructs a studio in Shanghai.
Iron Man has a strong track record globally: In 2010, “Iron Man 2” made half its $623-million gross in foreign box office; the 2008 film that launched it all made nearly half its $585-milllion gross abroad.
“The Avengers” may have a Hulk, as the new film’s line goes.
Now, more formidably for overseas box-office muscle, Iron Man has a China.