IRON Man 3 hits UK cinema screens tomorrow (Thursday) as Bellshill writer Drew Pearce makes his Hollywood debut.
The 37-year-old, who now lives in Los Angeles, was picked up by Marvel after the success of his ITV superhero comedy series No Heroics.
Initally Drew was given the job of adapting Brian K Vaughan and Adrian Alphona’s Runaways for the big screen, and despite it currently being shelved, was then given an opportunity to continue Marvel Studios’ biggest franchise.
He said: “When I was offered to write Iron Man 3 it was a big step up for me.
“I’d written Runaways which hopefully will still get made one day, but was kind of lost in the shuffle when Avengers stepped up to the plate.
“However I was still part of the Marvel ‘family’ and it was a huge day when I was asked to work with Shane Black and continue the Iron Man franchise.
“You already have the release dates when you get a job like this so there isn’t really a moment to celebrate because suddenly it’s head down for two years.”
Iron Man 3 is the seventh movie in the ongoing Avengers saga, but Drew says he and Shane were allowed to develop their own ideas.
He said: “People assume we are given quite a strong mandate by Marvel and Kevin Feige, who produced this movie and is the architect of the Marvel cinematic universe.
“He has a very strong guiding hand, but partly because of when we started writing it we pretty much had a clean slate.
“Bear in mind when we started writing that Captain America hadn’t even come out yet and Avengers was a script we read towards the end of writing our first draft.”
Drew admits he knew his toughest critic would be the movie’s star Robert Downey Jr, who plays Tony Stark/Iron Man opposite Sir Ben Kingsley’s The Mandarin.
He said: “The biggest challenge was finding something that felt new, not least for the audience, but also Robert isn’t going to approach a movie and give it his all if he’s not excited to do it.
“So truthfully you’ve got a very hard customer to please right there and that’s a good starting point.
“We come off the back of Avengers Assemble and what became exciting for Shane and I was the question of what happens next.
“Stark is a guy who went into a cave as a spoiled brat five years ago and emerged a superhero called Iron Man, but the question we kept coming back to was ‘where did Tony Stark go?’”
Despite working on a $200 million movie, Drew says it felt like working for a ‘family business’ not a huge corporation.
He said: “While it’s this vast machine and this vast movie the way Kevin and Marvel make movies is actually like a family business.
“There is a core team of five of six of us who drive along the story and then you have this amazing set-up which is arguably the finest studio for action that exists in the world today.
“What’s exciting is they go ‘here are the tools’ and then it’s yours to mess up, which has some intimidation level, but it’s also an amazing opportunity.”
Drew is quickly adapting to life as a writer of blockbusters having polished the new Godzilla and rewritten Guillermo del Toro’s alien invasion flick Pacific Rim.
He is now busy working on Sherlock Holmes 3, which will see him once again see him reunited with Iron Man star Downey Jr.