How Shane Black Will Salvage the ‘Iron Man’ Franchise

By  · Published on March 7th, 2011

Iron Man 2 wasn’t a mess. It was a Jenga tower that had already been played with for too long. Scenes and motivations didn’t quite fit together, but the real problem was the lack of fun. If you’re going to go all Empire on a sequel and dig your character deeper, it needs to be done with less alienation. If you’re going to keep the tone light, more power to you. Either way, watching that flick felt like carrying an elephant up a steep cliff without rocket boosters.

The failure should be spread out amongst Marvel, Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr (in measures that only they personally know), but all of that is in the past, and we all look forward to a bright future where Tony Stark can come back with the energy of the first movie.

Choosing Shane Black to write and direct was a massively good first move for Marvel, and he’s already saying all the right things.

A scooper over at AICN saw Black speak at a film event (which, if you get a chance, is highly recommended because the guy is experience personified) where the writer/director offered these facts about the direction he wants to take:

  1. Iron Man 3 will be more of a Clancy-style thriller with worldwide intrigue.
  2. It won’t be burdened by any cross-over characters.

Music to mechanical ears.

For some reason, the suit battles of the second just didn’t work at all. Probably because they were the culmination of Tony Stark fighting himself, and the “main villain” building stuff the entire run-time, but that’s just speculation.

Tightening up the story, raising the stakes in a real way, and giving a capable villain that Stark has to face off against early and often is a solid base. Iron Man meets “Rainbow Six” doesn’t sound too bad either.

But zero cross-over characters? It wasn’t the cross-over that killed the sequel; it was the sheer amount of them. It was Thor and The Avengers and Captain America all hopping on Tony Stark’s back for a piggyback ride that made him fall. Cutting that number down to zero isn’t the right answer – especially in the face of how much featuring those roles mirrors the comic book world.

Everything in moderation. Cross-over responsibly. But don’t abstain completely, please.

It all sounds good. Does this mean Val Kilmer will get hired on, too?

What do you think?

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