Marvel Execs Didn’t Want Black Sabbath Song To Be Used For Iron Man

Some directors didn’t want to pay for Black Sabbath’s famed song in Iron Man, according to Jeremy Latcham, the former SVP of Production and Development at Marvel Studios.

Following his debut as Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. established himself as the unofficial author of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Downey latterly reprised his character in two Iron Man sequels and a slew of derivatives; including Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and every Avengers picture to date.

The MCU would not live today if he hadn’t said “I am Iron Man” at the end of the first film and again near the end of Avengers: Endgame (2019). A song called “Iron Man” was written and performed by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath and published on their album Paranoid in 1970.

The song has no original relation to Tony Stark/Iron Man; despite its title and distorted lyrics at the opening declaring “I am Iron Man”. The character and the music still; have grown inextricably intertwined since being included in the first Iron Man teaser at Comic-Con in 2007. And it helped establish Tony’s preference for rock-and-roll-accompanied entrances.

The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of Marvel Cinematic Universe; which was just released, reveals that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Jeremy Latcham; his creative team nearly did not have Black Sabbath’s Iron Man cleared. As per Latcham, he had to convert management that the extra money spent on song rights would be worthwhile. Here’s what he had to say:

Tony’s Character Is Associated With Classic Rock

“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.”

Marvel Studios was nearly an independent studio; before the success of Iron Man and Disney’s accession of the company in 2009. With Fox and Sony retaining the rights to well-known Marvel characters since 2008, their debut picture, Iron Man was a sink or swim situation for the company.

To say the least, acquiring the rights to utilise music in films and TV can be expensive, especially when it comes from bands like Black Sabbath. Thankfully, Latchman was capable to convince those who required persuasion; because Iron Man would presumably not have gotten as significant attention if it weren’t for “Iron Man”.

As earlier stated, the character of Tony Stark’s character would enhance associated with a classic rock already; in Iron Man 2 and more recently, Spider-Man: Far From Home; the beginning of the former AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill” plays while Peter Parker (Tom Holland) listens to “Back in Black” in the latter. Tony starts his MCU journey in Iron Man as the classic rock star: hedonistic, reckless and prone to making errors.

He says, “I am Iron Man” for the first time selfishly. He defies preconceptions and saves the universe he helped develop for the final time.


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