Marvel Execs Tried to Shut Down Iconic Black Sabbath Song for Iron Man

Some executives at Marvel tried to nix the iconic Black Sabbath song from Iron ManLongtime fans of the studio and the brand will remember the tremendous reception to the Iron Man teaser at Comic-Con in 2007. the room went absolutely bonkers when the music dropped and footage was shown. However, a passage from The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows how Kevin Feige and a team of creatives managed to convince decision-makers to clear the song. For those who don't know, you have to buy the rights to use music in films and TV. That means popular stuff like the Black Sabbath track in question can be very pricey. People at the highest levels didn't see the point of making such a purchase. Jeremy Latcham was a Marvel Studios executive back in the early days. The former SVP of Production and Development tried to reason with the top brass about just paying the royalties because it made sense. It turns out his 11th-hour plea ended up being one of the most pivotal moments in the entire franchise. 

"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," Latchham explained.

Confidently, you could assume that Iron Man's initial push sustained the entire operation for a while. Such a landmark moment is burned into the DNA of the character. In an interview with The LA Times, Jon Favreau explains how an AC/DC concert led to the infamous "Shoot to Thrill" opening in Iron Man 2.

"He's Iron Man, he's Tony Stark, he's going to go a million miles an hour," Favreau said. "So what do you expect this film to be and how can we take it past those expectations? When I was watching AC/DC with my wife and my son and they were playing 'Shoot to Thrill' at the Forum, I thought, 'You know this is how he should show up, right in the middle of this and take the armor off. That's the Tony Stark version of doing things."

"What's fun about them is they were the full-on real deal of heavy metal when I was in high school," observed Favreau. "They were as real deal as it got. They made some people nervous — people questioned whether they were devil worshipers or not. And now these days they put on the same show ... and there's a sense of humor about the whole thing. And my kid loved the whole thing, and to me, there's an almost nostalgic thing about the whole show; there's even a strange gentleness to the music to me now, even though at the time it was as edgy as you get. It's celebrating immaturity and youth, really, at the worst."

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