Jon Favreau was hired to direct the film in April 2006, celebrating getting the job by going on a diet, losing 70 pounds (32 kg). Favreau had wanted to work with Marvel producer Avi Arad on another film after they both worked on Daredevil. The director found the opportunity to create a politically ambitious “ultimate spy movie” in Iron Man, citing inspiration from Tom Clancy, James Bond, and RoboCop, and compared his approach to an independent film—”f Robert Altman had directed Superman”—and Batman Begins.
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Favreau wanted to make Iron Man a story of an adult man literally reinventing himself after discovering the world is far more complex than he originally believed. He changed the Vietnam War origin of the character to Afghanistan, as he did not want to do a period piece. Art Marcum & Matt Holloway were hired to write the script, while Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby wrote another version, with Favreau compiling both teams’ scripts, and John August then “polishing” the combined version. Comic book staff Mark Millar, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Tom Brevoort, Axel Alonso, and Ralph Macchio were also called upon by Favreau to give advice on the script.
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