Robert Downey Jr. Dishes on the Shane Black Approach to 'Iron Man 3'

August 18, 2011
Source: Hero Complex

Iron Man 3 / Shane Black

Since February of this year, we've know that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black would be at the helm of Iron Man 3, and while writer Drew Pearce was hired by Marvel to script the sequel, Black is also heavily involved on the writing side of things as well. Since then, we've heard that the film would be similar to a Tom Clancy-like thriller where Iron Man faces off against villains that are more true to real-life. Now franchise star Robert Downey Jr. has recently opened up to Hero Complex to talk about Black's approach to the film, and how both of them are so completely in tune with each other as collaborators. More below!

From the get-go, it sounds like the effort being put into this sequel should help it overcome the speedbumps that seemed to plague the second, convoluted film. Downey says, "My sense of it is that we need to leave it all on the field — whatever that means in the end. You can pick several different points of departure for that." So with Favreau stepping away from the franchise for Black to sit in the director's chair, Downey is confident it was the best choice saying, "Bringing in Shane Black to write and direct Iron Man 3 to me is basically the only transition from Favreau to a 'next thing' that Favreau and the audience and Marvel and I could ever actually sign off on."

And since we've heard that there were more than a few disagreements during Iron Man 2, it's essentially a miracle that they were all able to agree on anything. But as collaborators, Downey and Black don't seem to have any disagreements (so far) and pretty much just know what each other wants and will ultimately deliver. Downey speaks highly of Black and his work:

"He's more than the sum of his parts and he's also kind of been a sleeper for a long time. We're not talking much about [the script] right now because Shane is off writing and we talked before that and when we are talking again the talking is going to be over pretty quick [because we're on the same page]. It's kind of like we're fighting on the same side and at the same time we're circling each other, so it's all great. It should be great."

It's always good to hear about such great cooperation and intuition with a lead actor and director, especially since the two came together so fantastically in the dark comedic film noir Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The question is whether we can expect some of the style from that film, the only film Black has directed, coming into the Iron Man universe, specially some of the self-referential or "meta" moments within the film. Downey says: "The thing about Shane is that it will be anything but one of those moments, unless we come up with something that is so cheeky and character-driven and perfect that it has to be in the movie."

That's always good to hear. But what may not be so great is if Tony Stark's loyal sidekick Happy Hogan is written into the film, Marvel will certainly have their hands full negotiating to get Jon Favreau to reprise the role in the sequel. I can't wait to see how that deal comes about, but more importantly, I can't wait to see what Shane Black brings to the Iron Man franchise. We'll be watching this closely at it continues to develop at Marvel with The Avengers finishing up shooting soon. Does it sound like they're on the right path?

Find more posts: Development, Hype, Movie News



Looks promising! Iron Man 2 was such a waste of talent, mythos and money.

Gregory Fleming on Aug 19, 2011


IRoN MAN 2 sucked, i agree

Adam L on Aug 19, 2011


Really enjoyed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I have hope, lets hope marvel don't interfere too much with the momentum of the narrative with too many pointless characters and distracting easter eggs.

Anthony Shields on Aug 19, 2011


Couldn't agree more. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was a goddamn perfect film.

Lebowski on Aug 19, 2011


It would be good if in the next Iron Man film they include Bethany Cabe, Force, Rumiko Fujikawa, Guardsman, Maria Hill and Iron Man 2020.I hope to see the following villains in future Iron Man sequels:Arsenal, Beetle (Abner Jenkins), Blizzard (Donnie Gill), Cobalt Man, Controller, Dreadknight, Edwin Cord, Ezekiel Stane, Fin Fang Foom, Firebrand, Firepower, Ghost, Grey Gargoyle, Hypnotia, Justine Hammer, Iron Patriot, Kearson DeWitt, Killer Shrike, Living Laser, Madame Masque, Mandarin, Mauler, Melter, MODOK, Morgan Stark/Gregory Stark, Raiders, Spymaster, Sunset Bain, Sunturion, Temugin, Titanium Man, Unicorn, Ultimo, Wong-Chu.

Rebecca Honey on Aug 19, 2011


I see this post on multiple forums.  It's oddly fascinating.  For instance, how many sequels do you think Iron Man will have?  Around 17?  Do you really think Fin Fang Foom or MODOK will make the transition to the screen very well, while keeping with the somewhat realistic tone the first two movies established?  Is this copy-pasted from Wikipedia or something?  And finally, you'll be happy to know, Maria Hill will be in "The Avengers" and the Mandarin may possibly be the villain in "Iron Man 3."

Raz on Aug 20, 2011


You do realize that even though shane black is going for a more realistic approach, that iron man rossed over into a little 2012 blockbuster movie called "the avengers" this summer right? And that because of this, both the the avengers and iron man franchises are of the same world right?? That being said, In the avengers movie, iron man and the others fought loki, a god from another reality and the alien chitauri race from an alien planet. So even if shane black chooses to deny the more fantastic elements of iron man's world, that doesn't mean those elements cease to exist. Because of this, I disagree with your comment that Fin Fang Foom or MORDOk couldn't make the transition to the silver screen. They easily could, it's just a matter of preference for whatever director who happens to be doing the newest iron man movie really.....

stellar on Dec 5, 2012


I'm just curious (and this goes out to all who want to comment below, including you alex), but what was wrong with Iron Man 2 or what reviews were given about it, that were charged with being negative? I thought the second edition was a great film, though I think villains need to start thinking of their own "costumes" and stop trying to copy the iron man suit. I just wanna know cause I never heard anything bad until now in this review...

JBrotsis on Aug 19, 2011


Action was lame, the last fight scene didnt make sense and over way too quickly, Tony was a drunk asshole the whole time, and i mean these are just off the top of my head but there was a lot more that annoyed me about the 2nd film

Adam L on Aug 19, 2011


I actually enjoyed the 2nd film as well.  I think Rourke and Rockwell carried the film and it was a great precursor for The Avengers to show Stark as a drunken ego maniac.  The last fight scene was short, but there was enough action throughout the film to let that slide.  The scene on the race track was fantastic.

peloquin on Aug 19, 2011


I thought Iron Man 2 was fine. Still don't understand the hate that movie gets. That movie was WAY over analyzed! It was a decent comic movie.

Judasbarronx1 on Aug 19, 2011


Criticisms I've heard (whether I agree or not): -Fury, Natasha and SHIELD were shoe-horned into the plot. -It was just a two-hour commercial for The Avengers.  -The climactic fight with Venko was not dramatic or threatening. -The plot was loose and meandering; the movie was not nearly as tightly constructed as the first. -Too much emphasis on comedy. -The chemistry between Tony and Pepper was absent.  They were more annoying than charming together. -Sam Jackson's acting is jarring and out of tone with the rest of the film. YMMV.

Jeremy on Aug 20, 2011


I loved Iron Man 2 - in some ways more than I loved Iron Man 1. I don't understand the flak it gets. The "Tony was an ass" thing is a weightless argument; he was an ass for a reason! Which anyone paying attention to the film would've understood. Sam Rockwell is hilarious, Rourke is a badass. Sure, it's not perfect and it's messy in certain regards, but it's still a fantastic time and far from a failure. That said, I think Favreau needs a break and I'm definitely looking forward to Black's take on the franchise.

equustel on Aug 19, 2011


Iron Man 2 was forgettable.

ahmad30 on Aug 19, 2011


They should bring back Terrance Howard as Rodney...  I'm not up to speed with Iron Man's enemies but i'm hoping the newest one isnt as easy to kill as Mickey was.... 

Anonymous on Aug 19, 2011


This sounds like it could be on an awesome path BUT the main antagonist has GOT to be The Mandarin! This is what, the THIRD Iron Man movie and his number one adversary has been MIA with all his cronies for two movies straight?! Get it right, Marvel. Currently I'd get more Iron Man from the 90's cartoon. These guys coming in don't know who all the characters are unless you offer them all up so you'd only be shooting yourselves in the foot with a money losing franchise if you didn't give them everything. Don't let this third film be your Joel Schumacher moment.  

MysterWright on Aug 21, 2011

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