'Iron Man' animation planned by DisneyAlso, from The Hollywood Reporter:
Disney Channels Worldwide's president confirms plans for an Iron Man animation.
Iron Man is under consideration for the animated series treatment at Disney.
Disney Channels Worldwide president Gary Marsh dropped a strong hint that an Iron Man cartoon is in the works alongside the previously-announced Hulk animation, during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
He said: "Two months ago, we launched Marvel Universe on Disney XD, which became the exclusive home for new Marvel television content. We've developed Ultimate Spider-Man. Subsequent to the success of the Avengers movie, we've been developing a new Avengers Assemble.
"We're talking about a Hulk series and an Iron Man series, too. They're going to spend $150 million to $200 million to make these [movie] properties and then half of that to market them."
The Hulk series Marsh spoke of is likely to be Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., sparking rumours that Tony Stark is the next in line for a Disney animation.
The news is likely to spell an end to the Iron Man: Armored Adventures show over on Nickelodeon, which was the result of a deal set up before Disney's acquisition of Marvel Comics.
Disney Channel's Gary Marsh on Tabloid Teen Stars, Marvel and the Junk Food Ban (Q&A)You can read The Hollywood Reporter's full interview with Gary Marsh, president of Disney Channels Worldwide, here on the official The Hollywood Reporter website, HollywoodReporter.com.
The 24-year company veteran opens up to THR about toppling Nickelodeon, finding a TV home for "The Avengers" and having so many kids on set: "It's the parents who really have to be parents."
This story appears in the June 29-July 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
As president of Disney Channels Worldwide, Gary Marsh has every reason to gloat. His Disney Channel rounded out 2011 as the No. 1 kids network for the first time, unseating Nickelodeon's remarkable 16-year run. Thus far this year, Disney is outperforming its longtime rival by 23 percent, with such series as Jessie, Austin & Ally and A.N.T. Farm hitting big. Marsh, 57, a married Los Angeles native whose 6-year-old daughter falls squarely in his demographic, has financial and creative oversight of the company's global kids TV business, which includes more than 100 channels in 169 countries. The Disney veteran, who got his start as renowned director John Rich's assistant before moving to Manhattan briefly to work on political campaigns, sat down in early June to discuss the ratings milestone, new Marvel series and potential headaches that often accompany young stardom.
The Hollywood Reporter: How do you get into the kid mind-set?
Gary Marsh: We spend a lot of time talking to, listening to and watching our demo in focus groups. Sometimes it will be eight to 10 kids in a room, and we'll show them an episode and then sit with them for an hour and a half asking what worked and what didn't. There's also a huge quantitative research effort, which is going out online to 300 to 500 kids at a time with a show and then doing a vote of was this funny or not funny or who is their favorite character.
THR: Tell me something surprising you've learned in one of those focus groups.
Marsh: Back when Gerry Laybourne first joined the company in 1996 [as president of Disney-ABC Cable Networks], we went to a focus group in Chicago and talked to a bunch of kids about the difference between Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Gerry said to us, "We're going to ask them to compare both of the networks to a food, and they're going to say Nickelodeon is like pizza and Disney Channel is like broccoli." Sure enough, that's exactly what they said. It was very eye-opening.
THR: What food is Disney Channel today?
Marsh: I think I can safely say pizza. And I'm excited that we've now taken the pizza role. (Laughs.)
THR: To what do you attribute the steep ratings decline at Nickelodeon?
Marsh: Look, people thought Disney Channel was going to fall off the cliff when Hannah Montana went away because it was such a defining show. There was concern in external corridors and even a whisper campaign internally, and we were so aware of that that we made sure we stacked the deck. We built not one or two but four series that we all thought would take over the lifting, and they have. If you know there's a fall coming, prop yourself up, create a cushion.