28/05/2004. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Iron Fist and Black Widow to make it onto the big screen.
Lions Gate Entertainment, the independent film studio, and Marvel Enterprises, Inc. have announced that Lions Gate has been granted licenses to develop theatrical film releases based upon two Marvel properties - Iron Fist and Black Widow.
The announcement was made by Lions Gate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Avi Arad, Chairman and CEO, Marvel Studios.
The new agreements expand the existing relationship between Marvel and Artisan Entertainment, acquired by Lions Gate in December 2003, which allowed Artisan to produce and distribute feature films based upon The Punisher.
Iron Fist has been a popular player in the Marvel Universe for 30 years combining the action of the usual Marvel super hero with the Bruce Lee-ness of a martial artist.
Raised by monks in the hidden mountain city of K'un L'un, young Danny Rand was taught the ancient technique of the Iron Fist, which grants its users the power to level a building with a single blow and gives them complete control over their mind, body, and spirit. Returning to America as an adult, Iron Fist uses his abilities to help those in need while at the same time, seeking to avenge the murder of his parents.
One of Marvel's more prominent female characters, the Black Widow has been knocking about for 40 years. Trained by the KGB to be the Soviet Union's version of James Bond, Natasha Romanov found herself a woman without a cause or a country to serve when the Berlin Wall came down.
International intrigue and suspense are blended with hi-tech gadgetry as the Black Widow tries to find her place in the new world without borders. AKA she joins S.H.I.E.L.D.
"Working with Lions Gate on The Punisher was a great experience and we feel very comfortable expanding this relationship to include two more exciting franchises," commented Arad. "We are already starting on The Punisher II, which will become the fifth Marvel property to become a sequel."
"We like to create alliances with companies that have powerful brands, and Marvel has one of the most popular, exciting and recognized brands in the world," Lions Gate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer told the 'Nest. "We believe that the nationwide launch of The Punisher and access to two more cutting edge Marvel characters will kick off a long-term relationship between Lions Gate and Marvel that is rich with opportunity across all of our core businesses."
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