You know how there’s no fool like an old fool? Well, how about a vengeful fool? So fired New Line founder Bob Shaye told his close pals the following story: Years ago, as everyone knows, New Line had Iron Man in development. But then Shaye and Avi Arad, the longtime chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios, got into an argument over whether Iron Man should fly. (This is what grown men debate in the movie biz…) Bob contended that Iron Man would look goofy soaring in an iron suit. But Avi was adamant that the pic had to stay true to the comic book so the character should take to the sky. Eventually the option ran out, and Marvel announced a deal with Merrill Lynch to self-finance future films. Now, most men would have left the argument there. Not Bob. He told his friends that he was so convinced Marvel would run into trouble on its Iron Man movie that he took out a big short on Marvel stock. But, as we all know, the pic not only made gobs of money, but Marvel shares shot skyward to an all-time high. And then the stock was recently listed on the S&P’s midcap index so it went up another 4%. Now, most men would have given up there and then. Not Bob. He told his friends he was still shorting the stock because he believed Marvel would give it back when The Incredible Hulk failed. That didn’t happen either. “Think of the hubris and the arrogance not only to be unable to let it go, but then to bet on Marvel’s failure,” one of his pals said semi-admiringly. “It’s Shakespearean…”
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