One of the most iconic and character-defining story arcs in Iron Man history is called ‘Demon In A Bottle’. Written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, the nine-issue story that ran in ‘Invincible Iron Man’ in 1979 chronicled Tony Stark’s alcoholism and how it affected every aspect of the hero’s life. Most comic fans figured that this story would make it’s way onto the big screen by now, but alas it has not. On top of that, it definitely won’t be popping up in the upcoming ‘Iron Man 3’.
Recently, director Shane Black and writer Drew Pearce talked to Comic Book Movie about wanting to include bits of the storyline in the film and how they were met with some roadblocks since it wouldn’t exactly have been kid-friendly. Black starts by saying:
“Even if you look at the websites of the mommy bloggers they say, you know, ‘Watch out, moms! Tony drinks in this movie!’ It’s amazing. There’s one or two scenes in this movie where he picks up a drink and it’ll be in those blogs. They’ll say ‘watch out because he drinks’. It’s pretty amazing because it used to be you drank all the time in movies.
I think we were just told by the studio that we should probably paint Tony Stark as being kind of an industrialist and a crazy guy, or even a bad guy at some points, but the ‘Demon in a Bottle’ stuff of him being an alcoholic wouldn’t really fly. I don’t blame that.”
Pearce followed up by saying that Tony was more of a rock star when they first started working on the film, but they also had to choose between Tony vs. the Mandarin and Tony vs. himself:
“In our first draft Tony was a bit more rock’n’roll. It’s also kind of a ‘pick your battles’ thing; alcoholism is a massive problem but it’s also not the best villain for a movie. Otherwise you’ll be giving it the short drift.”
The director finished by saying that he wouldn’t be surprised if the story made it into a film at some point in the future. I’d definitely call that a good assessment. I’m sure that they’ll find some way to make it kid-friendly in that they’ll tell them not to overdo it on the drinking when they’re old enough. My only worry with that is that the movie could get too preachy if that happens.
Do you think that ‘Demon In A Bottle’ should be adapted into a Marvel Studios film? Is it better that we only got a hint of it in ‘Iron Man 2’ instead of a full-fledged feature dedicated to it? Share your opinions in the comments below.
‘Iron Man 3’ starring Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall, and Guy Pearce opens on May 3, 2013.