Hayter shows mettle for ‘Iron Man’ gig

New Line puts armored Avenger on 2005 release slate

In a seven-figure deal, “X-Men” scribe David Hayter has been signed to rewrite “Iron Man” for New Line Cinema.

Avi Arad’s Marvel Studios and Don Murphy’s Angry Films produce the project, which New Line hopes to turn into a tentpole for its 2005 slate.

“Iron Man” first appeared as a Marvel comic in 1962. It’s the story of billionaire inventor Tony Stark, whose work in corporate espionage and international terrorism leads to an accident that forces him to go on life support in the form of high-tech body armor.

Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, creators of the WB’s top-rated “Smallville,” wrote the previous draft.

New Line previously worked with Marvel on the adaptation of “Blade.” The third installment, “Blade: Trinity,” will be released Dec. 10.

Hayter also wrote “X2,” “The Scorpion King” and an adaptation of DC Comics’ “The Watchmen” for Universal Pictures.

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