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According to Deadline, Shane Black has stepped in to fill the Jon Favreau-sized hole in Iron Man 3, with the newly reactivated writer-director reportedly in final negotiations to tackle the franchise. When Favreau left, of course, there were murmurs that this could mean star Robert Downey Jr. might beg off himself out of loyalty, so bringing Black in could be seen as sort of an insurance policy: Black’s sole directing credit to date, 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, was something of a shared comeback, with Downey coming off a fallow early-’00s rehab period, and Black—the incredibly successful screenwriter behind Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout—emerging from a near decade-long, self-imposed hiatus. So it’s probably safe to assume that Downey and Black still have some affection for each other, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel is counting on that.

What’s not clear yet is whether Black will also be handling the screenplay—although he’s certainly plenty busy in the meantime, prepping both Doc Savage and the recently announced manga adaptation Death Note. Should he somehow find the room, Iron Man could obviously benefit from Black's particular way with balancing smart-assed quips with big-assed explosions.


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