Director Jon Favreau dropped out of directing Iron Man 3 in December. Marvel Studios took the high road in /iron-man-3-gets-shane-black-to-direct/hiring celebrated writer-director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon; Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) to take over the franchise. It was understood that he would helm the latest Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) adventure, but it was unclear if he would be writing the screenplay as well.

This weekend, Shane Black appeared at the Omaha Film Festival, where he shed some light on his upcoming plans for continuing this popular Marvel comics adaptation. He will, in fact, be writing this third chapter of the ongoing Stark Industries saga. He is scheduled to meet with Robert Downey Jr. later this week to collaborate on the storyline.

Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr. proved to have winning chemistry when they collaborated on the cult mainstay Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang back in 2005, and they hope to rekindle that particular spark of magic.

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This will be a different sequel than Iron Man 2. Reportedly, Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures were unhappy with the direction that particular film took, and this latest installment will not be "two men in iron suits fighting each other." Shane Black hopes to make a Tom Clancy-style thriller with Tony Stark fighting a "real world" villain.

Iron Man 3 will go into production sometime in 2012, after shooting on The Avengers is completed. There will be no other characters from the Marvel comic universe appearing in this next sequel, as Marvel is only doing cross-over promotion leading up to the release of The Avengers next year. The plan is to make a self-contained, single-character based storyline.

B. Alan Orange