Bob Layton and David Michelinie’s “Demon in a Bottle” is widely considered to be one of the definitive "Iron Man" stories. Originally published in 1979, it follows Tony Stark's struggle with alcoholism as his company and reputation fall to the machinations of Justin Hammer.
And while fans may have expected the sequel to be influenced by that storyline, "Iron Man 2" screenwriter Justin Theroux has revealed that the filmmakers deliberately stayed away from it.
"['Demon in the Bottle'] works really well in the comics," said Theroux during an interview with UGO. "It's just a great, gritty storyline. It doesn't transfer to film. We didn't want to be the 'Leaving Las Vegas' version of 'Iron Man 2.' Even just a little bit of that can completely dominate the story."
"We have [Tony Stark] drinking in the movie," continued Theroux. "We have him out of control. We have the self-destructive ticking clock... That's how we landed on his illness, that it's the metaphor for a man who's running out of steam and needs his friends to step up. Whereas, if we ran right toward the 'Demon in the Bottle' story, nobody wants to see Tony like that."
"We realized that in a comic book you can have one key-frame where it's a guy, drunk, but in a movie, that's gotta be a big scene and it's gotta be addressed," added Theroux. "A thirteen year old kid does not want to see drunken Tony."
Back in January, Layton told MTV News that "Demon In A Bottle" may be used as a basis for "Iron Man 3." However, Theroux seemed to indicate that nothing is currently set in stone for the third "Iron Man" film.
"'Iron Man 3' is going to be a topic of conversation at some point," related Theroux. "At this moment, we're enjoying 'Iron Man 2.' Kevin [Feige] and those guys are really smart about waiting to see what the fans gravitate towards. We knew they loved Tony being all bing-bang-boom, so we added more Tony speech moments; they loved Tony and Pepper. I think they'll wait for 'Iron Man 2' to come out, see what bits resonate and then capitalize on those."
What are your feelings regarding the "Demon In A Bottle" storyline? Do you agree with Theroux' reasons for not adapting the story to film? Unplug your Jarvis unit and let us know what you're thinking in the comment section or on Twitter!