'Iron Man' beginning to take shape

Like the Iron Man movie, the video game looks to have mettle.

Providing some essential elements: Industrial Light & Magic, the principal visual effects company on the film.

"We are working very closely with the film director (Jon Favreau) and production staff, and they have actually given us the computer-generated model for Iron Man himself created by ILM and we're able to put that into the game," says Mike McHale, senior producer at Sega of America, which is developing the game.

The video game, based on the popular Marvel comic character, is scheduled to be released just before the film arrives in theaters May 2. Versions of the game are being created for all popular video game systems (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS2, PSP, Wii and DS) and Windows PCs.

Sega also expects some of the film's cast to provide voices for in-game characters but, McHale says, "we're not ready to talk about details as of yet."

The cast includes Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Bridges.

Both the film and the game relate Iron Man's origin. Stark is a wealthy weapons inventor who is captured and forced to build a bomb. Instead, he creates a strength-enhancing suit of armor that allows him to escape and eventually is used to develop his super-powered alter ego.

"He goes through some really life-changing moments," McHale says. "He's not your typical superhero. He uses technology to enhance his abilities, rather than having mutant powers."

Levels and missions in the game will go beyond the film, including fighting rogue terrorist organizations and skirmishes with the military.

"The game takes key moments from the film and we've filled it out with a ton of more events," McHale says. "We've gone back to all the classic comic books and pulled out some fun, classic Marvel villains."

To see the movie teaser trailer go to: www.ironmanmovie.com or www.marvel.com.

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