Greg Berlanti Pitched An ‘Iron Man’ Movie To Marvel


Greg Berlanti is one of the main masterminds behind the incredibly popular DC TV universe on The CW. Berlanti has worked on Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, but before focusing on TV, Berlanti was interested in movies.

Berlanti pitched a film to Marvel Studios that included Tony Stark/Iron Man.

“I kept telling people in the industry that I loved comic books as a kid when Iron Man hadn’t been made yet. I pitched on that. There was that movie with Nic Cage where he’s a gunrunner. Lord of War. Marvel wanted that feeling. Tony [Stark] was an alcoholic in it by then. My pitch certainly wasn’t as good as the eventual film. So everyone made the right choice. My agents at the time were like, “You like comic books?” And so then I pitched Warner Bros. on Green Lantern.”

It was on Green Lantern that Berlanti worked as one of the screenwriters on the film, Lantern was considered a failed with critics and especially with comic book fans. Berlanti explained that experience was an ordeal but he learned a lot through the process.

“That I would rather make my own mistakes and learn from them than have other people take the material. If you’re not executing it, if you’re not there, not everybody can know what’s in your head. The devil is in the details, whether it’s in a piece of casting or whether it’s an action scene being representative of the character. So when I eventually got back to Warner Bros. after Green Lantern, they said, “Well, you’ve worked on DC material before. Do you want to make a DC show?” I was hesitant.”

He later took those life lessons and applied them to Arrow on The CW. Now the network is home to The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and the newly added Supergirl.

Source: Vulture


Chelsea Lewis

Chelsea Lewis

Chelsea Lewis, TV division, joined Heroic Hollywood in 2016. Prior to joining the team at Heroic, she worked for covering everything from music to...

  • Keiran S-C

    IM1 was outstanding the rest of his movies and the whole mcu however followed suit with Green Lantern and the franchise wound up producing nothing but comedian styled heroes and lame nonthreatening villains often with major plot holes that wernt even addressed :/

    • Carl

      Or in reality went on to create an incredible franchise full of great movies and no stinkers.

      • Keiran S-C

        really their movies are ok at best with the very rare nugget, they have probably the worst modernd day superhero movie age of ultron which replaced green lantern as my bottom of the barrel for superhero movies. their narratives are usualy weakk such as ending an alien invasion with a lucky nuke flying around in space and never telling the audience about a hive mind :S or killing a “speed”ster with bullets???? not to mention villians that you cant take seriously beacuse the heroes comically beat them up after htey just killed hundreds of ppl like its no big deal and the villians downfall is apparently the perfect time to be cracking jokes urghhh it just feel immature like a kids cartoon were the funny heroes play fight with the big faceless bad guy and theirs no real danger.

        even when they have a pretty awesome storyline like black panthas revenge fuled crusade as he is seeking out his fathers killer they decide that goes perfectly with a 20+ minute play fight navigated through by one liners…….. no alot of their heroes all come across as ryan renolds or at the very least knock offs of starks comedian personality. not to mention spiderman being forced into a movie he had no place in and agreeing to fight earths most beloved savior for a couple of grand to pay off his college tuition O_o i mean come on are they even trying to write these characters in or are they looking for any excuse to make some standalone before he needs rebooting again

        Iron man 1 though that was gd

        • Carl

          The Marvel movies mostly range from good to great. Ok at worst. Go check the critic and audience reviews. You may hate them for some strange reason but that doesn’t mean they are bad movies.

          The worst modern superhero movies are BvS, SS and Fant4stic. Green Lantern was better than those.

          • Keiran S-C

            ultron? is easily the worst superhero movie since the old batman and robin films i mean i hate green lantern and i would still watch that film over ultron it was just appualing. the MCu had the first combined universe and attracts alot of kids and families since they have a very immature lighthearted tone to the films of course they are going to attract a big audience and get alot of good reviews they had no compitition and were the first to attempt such a large combined universe.

            BVS is easily better than anyhting out of the MCU it actualy feels like a superhero movie SS wasnt great like a 6/7 beacuse it felt alot more like a marvel movie but the villian was still more threatening than anything out of the mcu and the lead characters were fantastic. havnt seen F4 though.

            no some of the worst modern day superhero films have to be avengers, avengers age of ultron, thor, thor 2, Iron man 3, civil war, GL, DD, xmen apocalpypse,

          • Carl

            Ha ha ha, I can’t take you seriously. BvS is far worse than anything in the MCU. It has weak characters, a bad story, numerous plot holes, awkward dialogue, pacing / editing issues and lackluster action. It’s a 4/10.

            Age of Ultron has a decent story, great characters, amazing action, good dialogue, quality humor and one weird moment with Thor in the cave. It’s just a solid, fun, entertaining movie. Not the best of the MCU but another quality entry.

            SS is a 2/10…

            You have to be troll putting Avengers and Civil War, two of the best received superhero movies, on your worst list. lol lol lol

          • Keiran S-C

            we have the exact opposite opinions xD clearly we wont agree i hate the childish 0 emotion comedy fests marvel putout and you clearly dont like serious story telling with threatening villians and detailed narratives :/ no one in their right mind can say a superhero movie that kiils their speedster with bullets is worth watching or ends and alien invasion in 1 bomb never telling the audience about a hive mind is good story telling its just insulting to anyone whos a comic fan or even played a video game in their life.

            It baffles me how anyone can enjoy the mcu movies they are like kids cartoons and no where near hold up to what the DCEU are putting out. Diehard fans see what they want to though someppl look at ultron and think a childish prankster makes a good villain i look at it and think its pitiful.

          • Carl

            The MCU is not childish and is full of emotion. Hence why the critics like them.

            DCEU has awful villains outside of the one note Zod, weak character development and convoluted plots that are just laughable. Hence why the critics hate them.

          • Keiran S-C

            who cares about critics lol marvel had free reign for years the critics have been brainwashed to only like superhero movies done in a funny way to the point where they give ultron 70 -80% O_o critics is just a name for the more vocal fans.

            The MCU movies are extremely childish! and alot of their characters are under developed especially the villains. I struggle to remember more than a handful of scenes with any emotion other than humor and when i do they are either after or followed by comedy or both.

            ZOD simply cant be beaten ledgers joker comes close but im yet to see a villain performed as well as michael shannons ZOD. LEX Jr was a great character the only thing i disliked from the movie was his tongue tied speech during his ball although the speech itself was genius with WW in the crowd and all the greek god references, he still comes across as a very threatening genius whos been the mastermind behind every stage of the narrative, but he also has this touch of insanity which he struggles to keep in check. By making him the son of LEX it gave them complete control over the character and foreshadow a potential return of his father “if i keep everything the same maybe one day father will return” or something similar is one of his lines, it also gives that LEX a reason for hating superman and the JL since he put his son in arkham.

            Doomsday did his job perfectly he acted as a faceless big bad for the trio to come together over the last thing they needed was another complicated villain like ZOD who you can agree with and feel sympathetic towards when they are trying to show the heroes as these fearless do gooders. It just wouldnt translate as powerfully if theyre destroying the last hopes and dreams of the villain like superman did in MoS(even if it had to be done).
            Their use of the Death of Superman story was beautiful and far better than the comics ever did. Instead of it being another meaningless resurrection story for the sake of it, it now stands for the redemption of batman and the change in societies opinion of super beings.

            when you compare that to ultron who was some one liner sprouting joke of a character who got beaten and ran away at every turn only for it to conclude in a wille e coyote pause as he crams in another one liner before the hulk punches him into the distance like the coyote falling off a cliff….. or loki who did have a decent performance from hiddlestone still had to contend with a comical beat em up by the hulk with one liners crammed in :/ its just not the same as watching superman forced to break his moral limits and kill zod inorder to save innocents or pleading for his mothers life before being killed by batman, giving his life to kill a monster bent on destroying everything after telling his wife she is everything to him, thats emotion what the MCU does is something out of the cartoon superhero shows

          • Carl

            Not reading your rant. I can’t remember any emotion or humor in any DCEU movie because any attempt they made at it fell flat.

            I’m dismissing you because you subscribe to the critics are brainwashed conspiracy theory.

            Also the MCU movies earned the same PG-13 rating as your “mature” DC comic book superhero films. lol

            Good day, sir!

          • Keiran S-C

            haha that says it all, not willing to read my comment because it makes excellent points, most of it wasnt even a rant just showing how well crafted the DCEU is. and PG 13 can be a horror film it is mainly judged on gore and language or sexual content all of which can be expressed without going to the extreme such as batmans killing or clark and lois in the bath, if you really think watching batmans parents gunned down infront of him and superman being killed is just as mature as the mcus play fights and smils all around you musnt have seen any of the DC films

          • Carl

            Yeah The Winter Soldier was play fights… lol, every action scene in that movie puts BvS to shame. There was plenty of intensity and high stakes there. Nothing about the DCEU is well crafted, it’s a hastily put together hoge podge. Starlord’s mother dying of cancer is pretty mature. How about Tony Stark and Yinsen being kidnapped and tortured by terrorists? Zemo using water torture? Hulk breaking every bone in Blonsky’s body. You just aren’t paying attention or are just trying to act like DC is the only one with mature themes.

            P.S. I didn’t read you rant because this is a comment board not your personal blog. Be more short and to the point.

          • Keiran S-C

            Civil war had play fights, winter soldeir was decent it had a great story and a great performance from bucky, it still had falcon acting like a child flying around while 2 anti air crafts are missing him, their first and only target ever…. but they can shoot missiles out the sky no problem. the MCU has a handful of serious moments which are always undermined and sandwiched between comedy scenes and often have cringe worthy comedy packed into them. its like saying DC has no comedy when it has a healthy amount of it which doesnt over power the story and tone the MCU simply doesnt know when to stop or has no concept of whats funny so they pack every scene with it and reduce all their characters into some watered down variation of starks wise cracking personality.

            you didnt read my comment because it explained everything that needed explaining to you, you just want to ignore the facts. no one can say the defeat of loki or ultron were well written or at all serious when compared to the death of superman or superman being pushed past his moral limits and killing zod inorder to save innocents. the MCU has nothing as emotional or mature.

          • I’ve never seen someone be so earnestly wrong about everything they say. With some of the other Marvel haters here, they’re obviously just trying to annoy people who fall outside of their group due to feelings of inadequacy, brain injuries, or whatever.

            But you, dude, seem like a nice enough guy who thinks black is white and up is down. It’s downright bizarre. I mean, you’re never correct about anything. You just experience the world in a much different way from the rest of us. I feel for how that inherently broken perspective skews your enjoyment of movies.

          • Keiran S-C

            ermmm plenty of people enjoy the same films i do and dislike the same without being trolls. alot of fans have the exact same perspective thats why the DCEU has such a passionate fan base who have become very vocal when the MCU critics started relentlessly bashing the DC movies.

            I want to make this clear im not saying i hate all comedy and we should do awat with all of it, im saying i appreciate good comedy and for the majority of superhero movies that shouldnt be their only selling point with deadpool, SS, GOTG being the obvious exceptions. I really enjoyed the chill session in age of ultron it felt like the only natural moment in the whole movie when all of the heroes are mixing in their down time getting to know each other and having a drink with a few jokes and comedy as they each attempt to pick up thors hammer that was great!

            What makes no sense to me is having the heroes joking and competing for the snappiest one liner while innocent civilians are being slaughter all around them or during a death scene they have the last words of the character be another cringy one liner then resume the comical punch em up 60 seconds later it feels incredibly immature.

            I mean honestly loki has just killed hundreds of ppl we even saw him pluck a guys eye out is it really the a good time for comedy when a person responsible for so much death and destruction is being defeated? is it appropriate to have the hulk throw him around like a sack of spuds and sprout a funny one liner…. it isnt. DC have taken ever villain seriously as they should, zods defeat for example was heartbreaking to watch you really felt superman lose a piece of his soul.

          • You should read the section on Tone (THE DANGER OF SINGULAR TONES) from this essay. Among other things, I believe you strongly misunderstand how tone works. The essay is a great read, to boot.


          • Keiran S-C

            errr if its any gd in the first few paragraphs il read it, but tomorrow im not on much longer.
            If your implying the DC movies have a singular tone id disagree but i do feel that way about the MCU.

          • Carl

            The DCEU has a singular tone outside of the tonal shift to SS after BvS was so poorly recieved. They had jokes in SS but they weren’t funny, really poorly written stuff there.

          • Keiran S-C

            it has a dark tone yes but it also has light moments like the ball or clark and lois in the bath, even before doomsdays fight there were a number of jokes as for MoS their were alot of family scenes with his mother showing him going back home and hugging her happy to be back, or slowly forming a relationship with lois their densest need to be blatant cringy humor like marvel does the dark knight triliogy had veryy few jokes if you put all 3 films together youd find less jokes than in BVS alone.
            imo the jokes should be saved for the jokey heroes like iron man, flash, and deadpool and more so SS and GOTG not for the main cast like thor, cap, blackwidow, hawkeye, batman, superman, wonder woman otherwise theirs nothing unque about their personalities what does stark being to the dynamic of the team that the others dont its definitely not humor every one of the heroes joke around and wise crack in every scene just as much as he does
            the films have had a negative critic response thats about it still been more successful than the mcu at this stage not that i put much in store by profits but it did take th mcu 2 more films to cross 2 billion and dc managed it in 3 with the 3rd in its 2nd week so clearly ppl want to see the films that cant be refuted. The comedy in the movies feels a alot more natural and subtle, the MCU stuff feels very forced and like an endless barrage of humor which you never get a break from and its exhausting comedy needs to be timed not relentlessly crammed down the audience throats…..

          • Carl

            Dude, I’m done with talking to you about this. Every MCU movie has serious moments. If you can’t acknowledge that you are not worth talking to.

            P.S. BvS’s idea of a joke was “Is she with you?” and “I’m a friend of your son” those tiny lines were it’s pathetic attempt at a tonal shift then it was right back to dark and gritty.

          • Keiran S-C

            mcu doesnt know how to do serious moment face it even during a death scene they have to cram in a funny one liner then are back to wise cracking and comically punching the villain 60 seconds later if you think that is a tonal shift then your deluded. They defeat mass murderers and alien conquers while smiling and crack jokes its simple minded and immature.

            Those were great jokes much more natural than what the MCU barrages you with for 2 hours and BVS timed them well they waited untill the main story point had been concluded “BVS” when that is dealt with we see a few jokes. These are superheroes! not comedians they dont need to be the funny guys they are busy saving lives and facing off against murderous sociopaths its not a lighthearted situation and the heroes shouldnt try and make it so.

            i always imagine it as a real life situation such as soldiers under fire while civilians and their friends are being shot to death next to them theyre not cracking one liners or a patient is bleeding out in front of a doctor he isnt smiling and making jokes, these are high pressure situations and the heros in the MCU dont act like that if they want to joke and relax in their down time thats great the chill session in AoU is exactly when the comedy should be present not in the middle of life or death situations with civilians casualties all around its moronic

          • He’s just always, always wrong. It’s so weird. See my reply to his final comment on this story.

    • Marquis de Sade

      Ahhh, dceu fangurls…Whatta’ concept that just keeps on amusin’ us to no end.

      • Keiran S-C

        your clearly not a comic fan if you enjoy the avenger films, those “narratives” would piss off and comic fan i mean having the heroes fight for no reason, taking the hulk on an air craft? ending an alien invasion with 1 lucky nuke that has the abblity to fly in outter space and take out an entier army of aliens without telling the audience they have an hive mind????? or killing a speedster with bullets of all god damn things bullets! having spiderman agree to fight earths twice over saviour for what? a couple of grand for his college tuition. they would be mocked if done in a comic and rightfully so.

  • theheartsleeves

    how did he pitch Marvel before Marvel was making films?

    • Vegas82

      They were preparing to start making movies. See the comment about Marvel wanting a “Lord of War” vibe for IM1? Yeah, that means they were fielding pitches from writers…