Paltrow Drawn to Iron Man

It appears that Marvel’s upcoming feature film adaptation of its Iron Man comic-book property has snagged another Oscar-caliber actor. Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow (Proof, Shakespeare in Love) has joined Robert Downey Jr. (A Scanner Darkly, Chaplin) and Terrance Howard (Hustle & Flow, Crash) in the cast of the superhero tentpole.

Iron Man is being directed by Jon Favreau (Elf, Zathura: A Space Adventure), who is an accomplished actor himself. The film is centers on billionaire industrialist and genius inventor Tony Stark (Downey), who creates an armored suit to help him battle villains.

Paltrow will play Stark’s personal assistant Virginia “Pepper” Potts, a woman with an Iron-clad will of her own who has a thing for her employer and occasionally serves as his conscience. Howard will portray Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes, Stark’s best friend and a decorated military pilot whose skill set becomes a valuable asset to Stark as he takes on the role of superhero.

Iron Man is Marvel’s first self-financed and produced feature film. The company is working on casting all other supporting roles and is set to begin filming in Los Angeles this February. The pic is being produced by Avi Arad and Kevin Feige. Exec producers are Michael Helfant, Ari Arad, Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito and Peter Billingsley. The big-budget actioner is scheduled for release by Paramount Pictures on May 2, 2008.