It’s felled the likes of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men. It’s a more daunting foe than Lex Luthor, Bane, and Magneto combined. It is, of course, the third installment of a superhero franchise, and now it’s time for comicdom’s snarkiest hero to face the figurative music in IRON MAN 3. With Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, and Gwyneth Paltrow returning to their roles as, respectively, Tony Stark/Iron Man, James Rhodes/War Machine (here redubbed Iron Patriot), and Pepper Potts/Pepper Potts (somebody’s gotta stay in civvies), plus Ben Kingsley donning a bin Laden beard and a Hugo Weaving/Agent Smith drawl as the politically-incorrect terrorist the Mandarin, and with direction by pop-ironist Shane Black, can this third go for the power-assisted crime fighter break film’s most notorious curse? Turns out Cinefanatastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons form a decidedly mixed jury on that front, differing on whether IM3 is one of the best comic book films to come around in a while, is just solid if undistinguished entertainment, or is an affront to all right-thinking fans of Marvel’s steeliest superhero. The conflict will be resolved with a massive, twenty minute fight scene, heavily enhanced with CG. (No it won’t.)
Plus: What’s coming to theaters next week.
Walt Disney Pictures releases the third IRON MAN movie during the lucrative month of May (“summer” blockbusters don’t wait for summer anymore). Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, the man in the iron suit, along iwth Dwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. However, Favreau (who helmed the first two IRON MAN films) is out of the director’s chair, replaced by Shane Black (LETHAL WEAPON), who also had a hand in the script, along with Drew Pearce, based on the Marvel Comics character. This time, the story pits Stark against a new villain, The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley. Also in the cast are Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian and William Sadler as Sal Kennedy. And we’re sure Stan Lee will show up in there somewhere.
U.S. Theatrical Release: May 3, 2013
Comic Book Resources interviewed IRON MAN 3 director Shane Black (KISS KISS BANG BANG) about his collaboration with actor Robert Downey Jr. on the upcoming Marvel movie.
Bringing up his other genre projects (such as DEATH NOTE), Black affirmed that he’s still interested in doing DOC SAVAGE, a film adaptation of the famous pulp magazine hero from the 1930’s and `40’s.
“I do want to do DOC SAVAGE. The script is still evolving and I’m kind of busy, but I want to get it right and I want to do it… if we do DOC SAVAGE, the challenge is make it adult. I think that there are so few practitioners of action movies these days who are doing worthwhile stuff that it behooves me to try to weigh in and try to do the “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”-type stuff, to try to recapture the magic.”
Shane Black does have a track record in action movies, wrting LETHAL WEAPON while still in his 20’s, and later LETHAL WEAPON II, THE LAST BOY SCOUT and others.
Doc Savage was adapted for radio twice in the 30’s and 40’s, though no recordings are known to exist. A number of scripts survive.
In the 1960’s and 70’s paperback reprints of the Doc Savage novels became a huge success, bring the character back from obscurity for a new generation of readers.
This led to an unfortunately campy 1975 Warner Brothers film starring former TV Tarzan Ron Ely, produced by George Pal and directed by Michael Anderson.
In the Street & Smith pulps written by Lester Dent (as Kenneth Robeson). Doctor Clark Savage, Jr. led a group of adventurers, The Amazing Five, experts in various fields of sciences and (mostly) rough and tumble fighters as well.
National Public Radio did an audio drama revival in the 1980’s which was generally well-received.
The Man of Bronze, with his arctic Fortress of Solitude, was one of the inspirations for the Man of Steel, Superman.
According to Ain’t It Cool News reader/contributor “Krullboy”, at the Omaha Film Festival Shane Black confirmed he will be both writing and directing IRON MAN 3.
Reportedly, he said that he will be meeting this week with Robert Downey Jr, to confer on the storyline. He and Downey worked together previously 0n the action-comedy KISS KISS BANG BANG, which Black wrote, based on a novel by Brent Halliday (Bodies Are Where You Find Them).
After the larger-than-life team outing with THE AVENGERS , the next IRON MAN film apparently will focus more on Tony Stark/Iron Man dealing with “real world” villains, without any extra guest heroes. It’s said that Shane Black compared his planned story to a “Tom Clancy thriller”.
No other info supporting this item, but it sounds reasonable and interesting.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Shane Black (LETHAL WEAPON) has met with Marvel Studios executives to discuss the possiblity of directing IRON MAN 3.
They’re assuming that if Black is signed as director, he would also write a draft or new screenplay.
Thus far, Marvel/Disney has kept a tight lid on any possible storylines for the next film, which Jon Favreau decided to leave in favor of another Disney project.
Choosing Shane Black as director might be a good fit, as he and star Robert Downey Jr. have worked together before, on KISS KISS, BANG BANG.
The article stresses that there has been no decision as yet, and that other directors are under consideration.
Black is currently writing a live-action screen adaptation of the DEATH NOTE manga/anime for Warner Prothers, and has been developing a DOC SAVAGE project with Sony/Columbia.
IRON MAN 3 is currently slated to be released May 3rd, 2013.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios is activley developing a BLACK PANTHER movie.
The’ve signed Mark Bailey, thus far a documentary filmmaker to write a script for the character, who first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966. The Black Panther has the unusal background of being the ruler of a ountry; he is King T’Challa of Wakanda, and mythical African nation.
It’s about time the character made it to the screen. The Panther has languished in development hell since the 1990’s with projects at Columbia Pictures and Artisan Entertainment going nowhere. Wesley Snipes (BLADE) was attached to the intended production at both studios.
Interesting for me to note in searching for art that The Black Panther is back to wearing a cape, as he did in his intial appearance. MTV reports from Sundance that IRON MAN 2 star Don Cheadle revealed that Marvel is also developing a WAR MACHINE solo film.
… I think they’ve hired a writer, so we’ll see how it goes. It would be a lot of fun.”
Cheadle is quoted as saying that he does not expect War Machine to appear in THE AVENGERS, noting the at the film is already chock full of Marvel character, and that he felt Rhodey (James Rhodes) was “kind of a lone wolf” in any event.
Don’t see the point of a solo War Machine film myself, as he’s basically just a different guy in Iron Man armor. IRON MAN 3 is supposed to be coming in the relatively near future.
However, if they come up with an interesting plot, WAR MACHINE could be good action film—particularly if he’s not just used as a err… war machine.
Via his Twitter Page, Jon Favreau confrimed the rumors that he will not be directing IRON MAN 3.
“It’s true, I’m directing MAGIC KINGDOM, not IRON MAN 3. I’ve had a great run with Marvel and wish them the best.”
It’s not known exactly why Jon Favreau left the project, though there were some signs that he was less than thrilled with Marvel Studios pland for the film. Earlier this week he was quoted at MTV.com as saying:
“In theory, IRON MAN 3 is going to be a sequel or continuation of THOR, HULL, CAPTAIN AMERICA and AVENGERS. That whole world … I have no idea what it is. I don’t think they do either, from conversations I’ve had with those guys.”
NY Magazine’s Vulture, which broke the story, speculated it could also be about salary. It suggests that Marvel/Disney didn’t want to pay the $12-15 Million director’s fee (plus percentage points) Favreau would likely demand, after providing two big hits for Marvel.
Of course, Hollywood being a business, Jon Favreau’s next project, MAGIC KINGDOM, is a family adventure film for Walt Disney Pictures (who now own Marvel), which apparently will feature the Disney Studio’s characters and theme park.
Maybe Favreau simply wants to do something different, rather than another go-round with comic book superheroes. He’s been there, done that, and probably has the tee-shirt as well.