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Shane Black on deck for Iron Man 3?

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Kiss, kiss, smash, smash!

Shane Black to direct (and maybe write) 'Iron Man 3'?

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Shane Black met with Marvel Studios regarding the possibility of directing the next Iron Man movie. After the stunning success of the first two Iron Man movies, it came as a shock to some when Jon Favreau decided not to return to the franchise for the third movie. Favreau recently finished directing the hotly-anticipated Cowboys & Aliens and stated (well, tweeted, anyway) that he would prefer to concentrate on directing The Magic Kingdom for Disney, rather than Iron Man 3 for Marvel. In December, when it was confirmed that Jon Favreau would not be returning to finish the trilogy, speculation began on who would take his place. One of the front-runners at the time seemed to be Guy Ritchie, who not only has a history as a highly-skilled action director (and writer) in films like Snatch, but who also worked with Robert Downey, Jr. recently in the fantastic re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes that came out in 2009.

While he wasn't on the initial speculative wish lists, Shane Black is the first director reported to have meetings with Marvel for the project. As the writer/director of the acclaimed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang he also has an in with Robert Downey, Jr. who reportedly has director approval for the new film.

Equally as important as his proven credibility as a director, and what appears to be a fantastic working relationship with Robert Downey, Jr., is the fact that Shane Black is an amazing screenwriter. It has been reported that the script for Iron Man 3 is not written yet, and it is widely agreed that the script for Iron Man 2 was not up to Iron Man standard. Black has some of the biggest and best action films of the 80's and 90's under his belt, with a bent toward blending action with comedy. He wrote Lethal Weapon and Lethal Weapon 2, The Last Boy Scout and The Long Kiss Goodnight. Then, he both wrote and directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a quirky, darkly comic detective-action feature. His name wasn't initially mentioned in connection with Iron Man 3, but that may be because he hasn't directed anything since Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in 2005.

With a May 4, 2012 release for Joss Whedon's The Avengers, and May 5, 2013 release for Iron Man 3, two things are certain. One, that we won't have to go long between Tony Stark fixes, and two, that getting a director and writer on board soon is a high priority for Marvel Studios.


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