If Shane Black gets the job writing and directing “Iron Man 3,” that sound you’ll hear will be me on the rooftop of my house, screaming praise and thanks to the sky above.
In the scant few hours since Borys Kit ran the story about Marvel talking to Black about the possibility of him coming onboard for the sequel, I’ve seen many fans already naysaying the idea, claiming he doesn’t have the experience to do the job.
Hogwash. Balderdash. A pox on your tongue.
Shane Black has been a key player in many giant action films, and while he may not have directed “Lethal Weapon” or “The Last Boy Scout,” this is a guy who knows his way around a set piece and who has in many ways defined the genre since the mid-’80s, even on films he had nothing to do with. Black’s work on “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is so sure-handed, so confident in terms of tone, that I can’t imagine why anyone would even try to deny the brilliance of hiring him.
It helps that Black was partially responsible for helping re-establish Robert Downey Jr. as a lead at a time when many people wouldn’t take a chance on him. Whoever ends up directing “Iron Man 3” is going to have to be comfortable with the very demanding Downey, and I don’t mean “demanding” in a bad way. I’ve just seen him work several times now, and he is a guy who is constantly pushing, constantly trying ideas, constantly working to make a scene play better.
He can exhaust even the heartiest of filmmakers, and he needs a collaborator who is going to embrace that sense of play. His chemistry with Black on “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is beautiful, and I got the feeling that Downey was the first person who ever truly found every note of music in the dialogue that Black writes.
As far as giant effects scenes go and action and stunts, that’s why God created the second unit, and the folks at Marvel Studios seem more than willing to provide the on-the-job training for that stuff as long as they’ve got a filmmaker involved who can bring their characters to life. That’s exactly what Black could do, and if he ends up in real control of the film, it could be something really great.
The story in the Reporter doesn’t say that Black has the job, or even that he’s in final negotiations. I get the feeling this was an early conversation. But still… this is reason to rejoice. This is a case of a studio thinking somewhat outside the box, and I think they could end up rewarded beyond even their wildest expectations if they roll the dice on this particular possibility.
“Iron Man 3” isn’t set for release until May 3, 2013, and Marvel still has to get “The Avengers” right, but it looks to me like they’re taking a post-“Avengers” world very seriously, indeed, and I will be thrilled to cover every step along the way if Black is the man for the job.
Besides… if he pulls off “Iron Man 3” well, there’s a chance that could get his “Doc Savage” movie rolling, and I need that movie. I need it like oxygen and water. So make this happen, Marvel. As Wesley Snipes would tell you, always bet on Black.