Shane Black Reveals His Take on Iron Man 3


More “Tom Clancy thriller” than “two men in iron suits fighting each other”?

That’s the word a scooper sent in to AICN about what Shane Black, the new director (and now, also writer) on Marvel’s “Iron Man 3″, said while he attended the Omaha Film Festival over the weekend. (And unlike that Keanu Reeves/”Matrix” story, yes, Black WAS at the Omaha Film Festival this time. As to what he said, and the truthfulness of it? We’ll have to take AICN’s scooper’s word for it.)

After a lot of talking about screenwriting, etc (the reason he was there, apparently), “Iron Man 3″ came up, and here is what Black had to say on various topics:

He is scheduled to meet with Robert Downey Jr. this week when he returns to L.A. Downey will be contributing to the story and Shane will be writing it in addition to directing.

The studio was not happy with the direction Iron Man 2 took. Iron Man 3 will not be another “two men in iron suits fighting each other” film. Instead, it will be more like a Tom Clancy-thriller, with Iron Man fighting real world villains.

Iron Man 3 will be made after The Avengers and will not feature any other heroes from the Marvel Universe. Marvel is only doing crossover characters to lead up to The Avengers, and once that film is released, the plan is to go back to self-contained single-character stories.

I dig the whole “Tom Clancy-thriller” angle, though I don’t see how you can ever really get rid of the whole “two men in iron suits fighting each other” element from the franchise. This is a guy in an iron suit, after all. Hard to make a movie where he just goes around blasting regular-suited baddies with his rockets and lasers and whatnot. Okay, not hard to make a movie like that, but it would be kind of boring, wouldn’t it? There’s a reason why most of Iron Man’s comic book Rogues Gallery ends up in some type of armor themselves. The same reason why Superman’s villains are always majorly super-powered (aside from, you know, the occasional Lex Luthor). You NEED a villain who can match the hero in terms of power (an “opposite”, if you will), otherwise there wouldn’t be much drama. (By the way, this is also one the reasons why Will Smith’s “Hancock” was so lacking; you have this God-like superhero, and the best they could throw at him were some bank robber types?)

I’m not entirely sure what Black means with the last statement. I’m sure “Iron Man 3″ will have its own stand-alone movie, but does he mean there will be no overt ties to the Marvel Universe at all? You could actually have a stand-alone Iron Man movie, but also have Steve Rogers pop up for a drink with Tony Stark, stuff like that to still wink at the audience that Iron Man exists in a universe with Captain America, the Hulk, etc. I don’t necessarily think one precludes the other.

In any case, the bigger news here is that Shane Black will not only direct, but also write the screenplay. I’ve always loved Black as a writer, so I’m very intrigued to see what he comes up with. This will be, bar none, his biggest studio project yet in terms of how much control he has.

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at)
  • ulik

    Depending on how many Iron Man movies they intend to make, makes me wonder what are they getting at here. Are they aiming for “A.I.M”(pun intended) or are they going for a trilogy. If it’s a trilogy then The Mandarin and the “Demon in a Bottle” story arc are a must for the 3rd film.

  • Juggernaut

    I’m psyched! Black is a great writer. As long as he has some of Marvel’s sensibilities at the base it’ll be fine. IM doesn’t have to fight only “guys in metal suit”. He has a lot of espianoge in the comics as well. There are some characters like Ghost and Maddame Masque who could play upon that aspect. Throw in Mandarin as a man behind the scenes type and viola! As far as the allusions to the Marvel movie Universe and easter eggs, they should definately keep including them post Avengers. I mean there will always be another character that can be parlayed into a film and more insider goodies to throw at the fanboys. Why not satiate those?
    There are some thing that must be put into the third movie
    1. Mandarin, the fans ahave been clammoring for this character since rumblings of the first film. They need to deliver Tony’s arch enemy!
    2. “Demon In A Bottle”, while IM2 saw a bit of Tony’s excess it wasn’t nearly enough to make him the complex hero that he trulyy is. After all his flaws, and subsequent fall and rise, are a big part of what makes him such an endearing character.
    3. More War Machine! While he may get a spin-off, Rhodey is always going to be Tony’s best bud and #2. He should definately be in the third installment.
    4. Set up for Armor Wars. It would make for an epic fourth movie. Just imagine the spectacle of it!
    With RDJ in Black’s corner as a consultant I really think that this could be the best one yet.

    • Dedpool

      I agree 100% about this spin working for Iron man, but not now. Let’s get Mandarin in real quick ant then scale back to espionage and such. As a matter of fact, Mandarin could lead into “Demon in a Bottle” and “Armour Wars” like stories. Have Mandarin be another rival as I’ve stated before, but only as a front for his criminal activities. IM3 would have them meet, and have their first confrontation. Stark would just barely win, sending him into a downward spiral. This would all culminate in the theft of his tech and him coming to his senses by the end of IM4 and IM5 would be the armor wars.

      • Juggernaut

        Absolutely! That sounds a lot like what I was thinking. I also liked Ulik’s take on Ghost being a corporate saboteur. Hopefully this franchise puts all of these elements to use and satisfies the fans.

  • SmokinBandit

    IM excited, but c’mon bring in the 10 rings and the Manderin already, it was hinted at in the first movie. Then completely forgotten about in the second, so either bring the 10 rings back into the fold, or go for the demon in a bottle story line….or…get really out there and introduce A.I.M to the equation, and then we can get M.O.D.O.K into the Marvel movie franchise as a big baddie. Maybe not in literal terms as he is in the comics, but osmething similer to him.

    • Juggernaut

      I agree with the inclusion of Mandarin and The Ten Rings needing to be in this. I was really happy in the first film with having The Ten Rings alluded to and just that nod to Mandarin was enough for the time being. I don’t think that having Mandarin and litterally having him wear ten mystical rings like in the comics fit into the Ironman story that they were telling during the first fim. The terrorist angle was much better suited for the first Ironman. However this is the third film. Just like in Batman Begins, having a more unknown villain worked for the first Ironman. Unlike Nolan’s Batman series Favreau decided not to use Ironman’s arch enemy in the second installment. Why? I’m not really sure. Although it would have been cool to have more build up of what the ten rings was and who is behind the terrorist organization. But they didn’t. Don’t get me wrong I liked Ironman 2. It was a cool, fun, action packed summer blockbuster. It just wasn’t of the same quality as The Dark Knight or even the first Ironman for that matter. The next one needs to be BIG! The way to do that is with Mandarin, Demon In A Bottle or Armor Wars. I know that Black said that he was looking to get away from the guys in metal suits aspect for this one but that is what this is! Also, while it would be cool to see A.I.M. in there, Modok would be tricky. Having A.I.M. as a sub division of the long thought dead Hydra from CATFA would fit perfectly. Modok, in my opinion would not work unless they just use the acronym for a piece of tech or a unit of A.I.M. Either way I’m sure Black’s film will be cool. I just hope that he doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel just make it a little smoother.