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IRN MAN; DREW COULDN'T GET SCOTLAND'S OTHER NATIONAL DRINK INTO FILM Scots writer tells of dream job on superhero blockbuster Exclusive.

Byline: Brian McIver

WRITER Drew Pearce could hardly believe his luck when he was asked to help create the new Iron Man movie as his first Hollywood job.

It was a far cry from his last foray into the world of caped crusaders, a cult sitcom on ITV2 about four superhero friends living in modern day Britain.

But it was that show, No Heroics, which caught the eye of Marvel comic bosses, who head-hunted Drew to work on the third instalment of the franchise.

Now the 37-year-old from Bellshill, Lanarkshire, is one of the most in-demand screen writers in the film industry. As well as Iron Man 3, out in cinemas next week, Drew has been hired to write Sherlock Holmes 3 and has worked on upcoming blockbusters such as Godzilla and Pacific Rim.

But he admits the thrill of being asked by bosses at his comic book idols to work on Iron Man still hasn't sunk in.

The comic book movie sees Robert Downey Jr's heroic character Tony Stark suit up as Iron Man to take on Ben Kingsley's scheming terrorist the Mandarin. It is not just an Iron Man sequel but also the follow-up to last year's Avengers Assemble the third most successful film in the history of box office records.

Drew joked: "Yeah, so there was no pressure at all."

He added: "I don't think the enormity of this will all kick in for a couple of weeks after the release, because for the past two years it's been all about getting the head down and working away on it.

"When it happened, we'd just had our first kid and I was living in London with a two-and-a-half-month-old and suddenly being flown to LA in secret for 24 hours to jump through every hoop in the world to get the job.

"If you had asked me five years ago whether I'd be doing something like this I'd have looked at you like you were a maniac.

"But if you had asked me what superhero franchise I'd most love to work on, I'd have said, 'Hands down, Iron Man'."

Having grown up in Bellshill and Hamilton, Drew's parents moved to London when he was due to start primary school.

The comic book fanatic started out as an aspiring musician in a country band.

While trying to pursue musical stardom, Drew took various jobs on the staff of TV shows like The Big Breakfast, as well as trying stand-up.

Then he left behind music and started concentrating on writing.

ITV2 series No Heroics, which was nominated for a British Comedy Award, lasted only one series but the scenario he created - where superheroes meet for drinks in their local to discuss a hard day's hero work - made a lasting impact.

A US pilot was commissioned and even though it wasn't taken to a series, Drew's talents grew in demand. He said: "The long and the short of it is that it all started with No Heroics, which was a cult hit in the UK, and then America. That's how I ended up sitting down with Marvel.

"We started talking about Iron Man 3 and out of the blue I was asked if I'd be interested in working on it with Shane (Lethal Weapon) Black, who was a hero of mine.

"On the first week of writing with Shane I was terrified, until I showed him my first set of pages and he called me up and said, 'Brilliant, love it, keep going'. The weird thing was finding out that we both loved the same things and write fairly similarly."

In 2008, Iron Man was the first movie released by the then newly formed Marvel Studios, as part of a plan to turn their most precious properties into a franchise universe.

That was followed by The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor and culminating in Marvel's Avengers Assemble, which earned more than $1billion and became the third most successful film of all time, behind Avatar and Titanic.

Iron Man 3 is now being seen as the launchpad for Marvel's Phase 2, building up to the second Avengers extravaganza in 2015.

Drew said the thing that most surprised him about his job on the latest production was the freedom they were given.

"(Marvel President) Kevin Feige's attitude was that they didn't know where they were going with Phase 2, so asked us to just make a start on it.

"This movie is set after Avengers and the great thing about it being so huge is that we can make some small assumptions that the audience will have seen it.

"We still have to make it so anyone can come to see this and it will make sense but the movie deals with the aftermath of the Avengers on Tony Stark in many ways."

Drew's work with Iron Man means Marvel heroes are currently dominated by Scots writing talent, as Drew's pal Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) is creative consultant Century Fox's comic films.

the for 20th c book d to t, Drew, who wanted give Iron Man a kilt, said: "I do have an in-joke for fans of Heroics to spot but no Irn Bru I'm afraid.

No d.

y nd nt, "Scotland has always been a pretty good breeding ground for comic book talent, so you could have a superhero movie here. IRON 3 "But Mark Millar brilliant guy and he superhero roost in Scotland, anybody is gonna do that first, it'll be Mark." ere. is a e rules the Scotland so i? Iron Man 3 is in cinemas next Thursday (April 25).


ATTACK J Tony Stark's home targeted

SUITS YOU J Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3 VILLAIN 3 Ben Kingsley plays the Mandarin

WRITE ON 3 Drew Pearce with Robert Downey Jr
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 20, 2013
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