Marvel Execs Didn't Want Black Sabbath Song To Be Used For Iron Man – Screen Rant

According to former SVP of Production and Development at Marvel Studios, executives didn’t want to pay for the Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.”
According to Jeremy Latcham, the former SVP of Production and Development at Marvel Studios, some executives didn’t want to pay for the Black Sabbath’s iconic song in Iron Man. Following Robert Downey Jr.’s debut as Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man, the billionaire, playboy, philanthropist became the unofficial pioneer of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Downey went on to reprise his role in two Iron Man sequels and various spinoffs including Captain America: Civil WarSpider-Man: Homecoming, and every Avengers film thus far. Had he not uttered “I am Iron Man” at the end of that first film, and near the end of Avengers: Endgame (2019), the MCU would not be what it is today.
“Iron Man” is a song written and performed by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, which was released on their 1970 album Paranoid. Despite its title, and distorted vocals at the beginning saying “I am Iron Man,” the song had no original connection to Tony Stark/Iron Man. However, since being used in the first Iron Man teaser at 2007’s Comic-Con, the character and the song have become irrevocably linked. And went a long way in establishing Tony’s penchant for rock and roll accompanied entrances.
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The recently-released The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe reveals that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Jeremy Latcham, and their team of creatives almost didn’t clear Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” According to Latcham, he had to convince executives that spending the extra money for the song rights would pay off. Read what he had to say below:
“I said, ‘Here’s what I know—you guys pay me to tell you what I think is cool. I’m telling you that this piece [of music] is cool. I’m telling you that if you take the ‘Iron Man’ song out of this piece, it is not cool. It’s a binary thing.’ We finally got them to agree to pay Ozzy Osbourne, so now we finally had the Comic-Con piece… a week before Comic-Con.”
While certainly not poor, Marvel Studios was essentially an independent studio before the success of Iron Man and being bought out by Disney in 2009. With the rights to well-known Marvel characters being owned by Fox and Sony back in 2008, their first film, Iron Man, was a sink or swim moment for the studio. Suffice to say, buying the rights to use music in films and television can be pricey, especially if that music belongs to bands like Black Sabbath. Thankfully, Latchman was able to convince those who needed convincing as Iron Man most likely wouldn’t attracted as much attraction without “Iron Man.”
As previously mentioned, the character of Tony Stark would again become associated with classic rock in Iron Man 2 and, more recently, Spider-Man: Far From Home; AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill” plays in the opening of the former while Peter Parker (Tom Holland) listens to “Back in Black” in the latter. In many ways, Tony begins his MCU journey in Iron Man as the stereotypical rock star: he’s hedonistic, impulsive, and makes many, many mistakes. The first time he says “I am Iron Man,” he does so selfishly. The last time, he subverts those stereotypes and saves the universe he helped create.
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Source: The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universee
Josh Plainse is a writer, movie, and television fanatic based out of Wisconsin. Josh works for Screen Rant covering the latest in entertainment while simultaneously pursuing the never-ending dream of becoming an established novelist, screenwriter, and/or decent human being. Josh would accredit characters such as Goku, Han Solo, Simba, and Maximus Decimus Meridius for instilling within him an affinity for storytelling. It is this incessant obsession which has propelled him to seek opportunities that inform, entertain, and inspire others. Beyond that, he enjoys the occasional pint, doing push-ups, and wearing jean jackets. Contact Josh directly: plainse(at)gmail(dot)com.

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