Robert Downey Jr. Talks ‘Iron Man 3′ Director Shane Black & Jon Favreau’s Acting

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Iron Man 3 Shane Black Favreau Story Details Robert Downey Jr. Talks Iron Man 3 Director Shane Black & Jon Favreaus Acting

The genre of superhero movies is about to get a lot more interesting, with Iron Man 3 leading the charge. After Marvel set a high watermark with this past summer’s The Avengers, the stakes have never been higher. How fitting, then, that the franchise that got the studio’s movie universe started should be trusted to keep the momentum rolling.

It may be an odd time to change directors, but Jon Favreau has made way for writer/director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and the first full Iron Man 3 trailer proved the decision might very well have been a good one. Leading man Robert Downey Jr. recently opened up on just how impressed he already is with Black’s direction, along with the performances being turned in by his fellow cast members.

Speaking during the The Cinefamily telethon (via CBM), Downey Jr. spoke to Black’s screenwriting history as paving the way for buddy cop/action films to be taken seriously, but he’s no stranger to the Iron Man series either. Apparently. it was Black who Favreau and Downey Jr. went to when problems arose on the set of the first film:

“I adore him. I’ve been a fan of Shane Black since I saw ‘Lethal Weapon.’ When we were doing the first Iron Man, Jon Favreau and I used to call up Shane Black. We had two lifeline calls; one was to J.J. Abrams, which was about the third act. And for the other call, we went to Shane’s house.

“For instance, in the ‘Iron Man’ scene where Tony Stark comes back from captivity and calls a press conference, and then asked everybody to sit down, the speech Stark gives all came from Shane Black. So to get him to do ‘Iron Man 3,’ it has just been this awesome experience and one of my favorite working experiences. ‘Iron Man 3′ is going to be a very, very bold genre film, from the storytelling.”

The extended footage in the Japanese version of the IM3 trailer led us to draw a few new conclusions, particularly about Pepper being kidnapped, and the staggering destruction of Stark’s coastal mansion taking place in the first act of the film, not at its climax. Those assumptions are clearly reinforced by Downey Jr.’s description of a shocking plot and missing missus.

Shane Black Robert Downey Jr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Robert Downey Jr. Talks Iron Man 3 Director Shane Black & Jon Favreaus Acting

When people think of Downey Jr. and Black, their past collaboration on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang must be brought up. One of the actor’s most underrated performances and Black’s directorial debut, the unconventional detective story was overflowing with quirk. That same unique approach applied to the superhero formula won’t just offer something new, but for the man sporting the armor, promises big things for Stark’s saga going forward:

“Shane Black really knows the superhero genre, but I think the main thing is that he’s always looking at complexities within complexities [and so on]. And he always likes it when a film kind of stops for a reason you can’t understand, and then picks up and goes in a direction you’ve never imagined. Usually when you have a straight-forward narrative, if at act 1, 2 or 3, ‘There’s Tony, Tony’s in trouble, where’s Pepper, Tony wins.’ By the time we were doing the 2nd one, I was like ‘where’s Pepper.’ Shane is just a genius!”

Aside from the individual plot details and story beats, it seems Black’s previous claims that he wasn’t necessarily trying to outdo the scope of The Avengers, but that Iron Man 3 was all “about trying to get as much into this as we can” were more than just lip service.

iron man 3 trailer220 570x242 Robert Downey Jr. Talks Iron Man 3 Director Shane Black & Jon Favreaus Acting

With a return to Tony Stark’s roots, buddy cop comedy between Tony and Rhodey, and now rumors of an introduction to Wasp, Black’s got his hands full.

As a testament to how much fans will get out of Iron Man 3, Downey didn’t even mention those plot lines in his praise for the cast. Sir Ben Kingsley won’t shock anyone by swinging for the fences, but it’s former-director Jon Favreau’s turn as Happy Hogan that is most impressing the leading man:

“Happy has an amazing arc in this movie. In fact, probably the best two bits of acting in the movie, so far from what I can tell…which sucks because I’m in every frame, are Favreau as Happy Hogan…I can’t give away much, but it’s ridiculous. And also Sir Ben Kingsley. Kingsley is amazing. And a lot of that had to do with the way that Shane crafted the role for Sir Ben. I think that people are going to be not [totally] surprised, but they’re going to be just reinvested in what a brilliant actor Kingsley is.”

There’s been no shortage of praise for Sir Ben Kingsley’s role as the Mandarin, with Marvel head Kevin Feige claiming he received more overwhelming praise from the crew than any other actor in Marvel’s ‘Phase One.’ And if the story driving the film as a whole is as strong as it seems, then Marvel’s first dose of ‘Phase Two’ has the talent and direction needed for a strong start.

Iron Man 3 Ben Kingsley Mandarin Praised Robert Downey Jr. Talks Iron Man 3 Director Shane Black & Jon Favreaus Acting

How do you feel about Shane Black’s apparent changes to the typical superhero formula? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black, based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Drew Pearce. It stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, William Sadler, James Badge Dale, Xueqi Wang and the voice of Paul Bettany.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3rd, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6th, 2015.


Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Cinefamily [via CBM]

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  1. complexities within complexities? wth does that mean? RDJ’s complex explanation just makes it more complex. Nevertheless, in Shane Black I trust. It’s gonna be fun! All though i’m not hyped up as much as I should be. I think that Man of Steel trailer took all my hype energy away.

    • This, lol.

  2. I think The Iron Man 3 story is going to be the best out of the franchise.

    • Agreed! I’m so freaking psyched, and super interested in how they’re going to make me give a s*** about Ant-Man. It’s been slow going, warming up to the idea. Just seemed a crazy character to pick as the next star character. Also, I just really need to see Ms Marvel make an appearance SOMEWHERE. In any movie. Come on, throw a girl a bone! Maybe the Wasp will hold me over.

      • I’m guessing by that reference you made about Marvel & Wasp that you weren’t impressed by the performance of “The Widow” which in my opinion stood out as awesomely as her male counterparts. Even more so than Hawkeye don’t ya think?

        • I am completely underwhelmed by the Black Widow. The writing of the character mixed with Scarlet’s acting just… No. There are a few parts where is was impressed with the role, but otherwise I’m just sad another character I really liked wasn’t in it. So it really is more of a personal thing for me. But I have to admit the Avengers is perfect compared to the shitshow that is the XMen movies.

          • In comparison to the Avengers series you’re right about the X-Men. However, if you base it solely on it’s on merrits I actual think they improved upon the franchise with “First Class”. Big time. Wolverine’s origin wasn’t that bad either if you could look past what they did to Deadpool.

      • Ant-Man has been around for a long time and does deserve some credit(for example henry Pym himself proably wins the reward for the most amount of alteregos, that are then reused. I think all his alter egos have been used by a t least one if not 2 other people, ant-man, and giantman/Goliath especialy) also, though a number of his villians werent super memborable at the time, The Black Knight was, and to a lesser extent egghead, however a couple of his villians later became more memorable, after the first encounter, like the Human Top who later became whirlwind(who a number of you may know from a couple of different appearances). admitedly I am quite excited about Iron Man3 and curious to see what happens, as I still have this theory that happy may turn into the Freak(would be more interesting than mere death), but we will just have to wait and see

    • Didn’t we say that aboutIM2?

  3. Of Jon’s inclusion:

    I KNEW he was going to have a MUCH bigger role in the film because of his statements made at Comic-Con earlier this year.

    I know Jon’s role is widely expanded, and I can see that at the point in the trailer, where he is laying on the ground with the “arc reactor” glowing from his Yellow T-Shirt that he’ll have something to do with saving and/or aiding Tony Stark in some capacity.

    It’s going to be interesting…

    And I’ll say it again,

    As I’ve called it before…

    Happy Hogan may be the one kicking the bucket in this film.

    • I am thinking, that Happy may tun into ‘The Freak’ XD I would not be surprised

      • Highly unlikely… I don’t seem them going anywhere NEAR The Freak… It isn’t plausible IMO.

  4. Roberts assurance that Sir Ben’s Mandarin won’t be anything special to look at, but says his acting is something to be “impressed” with?

    I wish they had at least kept the rings completely “cosmic” with minimal backstory, it would’ve been a lot more interesting.

    Downey denouncing or I should say “playing down” Sir Ben’s role is disconcerning..
    It makes me think of Mickey’s Whiplash…

    This is no bueno…
    But only time will tell……

    • What I got from it was that when RDJ says “people are going to be not [totally] surprised” he meant people won’t be surprised since Kingsley is always good.

      For instance, I’m expecting a great performance from Kingsley because he’s been terrific in almost every other movie I’ve seen him in. Thus, if I watch IM3 and Kingsley turns out to be awesome, I wouldn’t be surprised since that’s the quality work I expected from the actor.

      So what I’m saying is, IMO, RDJ isn’t downplaying Kingsley’s performance, he’s saying “He rocks. He’ll rock in this one too. Everyone knows it.”

      Indeed, only time will tell…

      • Oh now that makes much more sense.

      • It’s just the way saw it. I thought what Jeff brought was very awesome as well.

      • this!

    • “It makes you think of Mickey’s Whiplash”? Really!? I actually thought his villian was a step up from what Jeff Bridges brought to table in the first one. Yes it wasn’t an “Accurate” representation of that character from the comics, but it never meant to be. It was actually a “Hybrid” between ‘Lash & Crimson Dynamo.

    • Yeah, I agree with Avenger. I think he was saying “Kingsley is awesome, but there’s no surprise there, because he’s always awesome.” Nothing to be worried about.

  5. Really hope rhodey has a good story arc in this movie.Hopefully don cheadle will be good in this movie,really missed terence howard in the second one as rhodey’s character in the second one just felt a bit off to me.

    • Not just his character, but also his appearance. Howard had more of a Rhodey facial appearance than Cheadle did. Maybe if he had grown some facial hair that might have made a difference.

      • Cheadle will always be Captain Planet in my eyes. *Puts chin on back of hands and sighs dreamily*

  6. Look forward to may 3

  7. Man of Steel is still my #1 most anticipated movie of 2013 but this is a very close second! I cannot freakin wait for this movie!! I am sure that Kingsley will kill it, and I’m excited for the new direction by Black.

  8. Can’t wait for this movie, still looking forward to this more than Man Of Steel but hey, should be another good year for movies regardless, starting with this one.

  9. Looking forward to this flick. Actually the only Phase 2 film I’m looking forward to.

    Still a disappointed The Mandarin seems to be a copy of Nolan’s Ra’s al Ghul. Would of preferred the traditional cosmic Mandarin. Time will tell.

  10. I wonder if Jennifer Lawrence would make a good Ms Marvel or Janet Dyne? She has a lot of energy!

    • I love Jennifer Lawrence, but no.
      IMO the only actress who should play Ms Marvel is Yvonne Strahovski and Wasp should be played by someone a bit more quirky.

      I really can’t say which actress I’d like for Wasp, but I think Marvel’s already got an actress in mind anyway (and I trust their – and Joss Whedon’s -judgement with that casting)

  11. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my absolute favourite movies. It had such rich characters and a brilliant story, it was super smart and ridiculously funny.
    I have high hopes for IM3. I am still hoping for an announcement of a Iron Man – Hulk movie written by Shane ……….

  12. I’ll be there! AT MIDNIGHT! Awesome! Very excited!

  13. Avengers a high water mark of the series? It was a decent film but it had lots of flaws. Captain America or the original Iron Man are the high water marks surely.

    • Avengers did have flaws I agree, but which movie/films of this particular genre doesn’t have them…0. They all have their mistakes here & there, but at the end of the day most people aren’t going to an Avengers film to look for “Accuracy”. They’re going for the pure hopes of being entertained which all these types of movies should do, & which might I ad Avengers does do leaps & bounds more than any of the other “Solo” films in that franchise.

  14. Booyah.

  15. I just saw it. I’ll try not to say too much since it’s still pretty new. But you are forewarned that I might. Basically, though. I enjoyed the movie, but am nonetheless concerned with the changes made to the characters and the story. It lost too much innocence in my opinion. If I go into too much else I’ll wind up spoiling it for sure, so I’ll duck out now. Just basically caught in a weird place between liking it at it’s surface and hating it at its core.

  16. i want to act in an english movie……….that is my aim ………………….but i am an indian so i had no chance even in acting english movie……………….. show mercy………………………

  17. i had a lover……………if i marry her opposition will be great on two sides.ife……..but i had got money by acting an movie i will definitely marry her and i give a queen life to her…..i am 17 years old……………but wetwo of them, loving sincerely…………………..please its true i am not telling lie……believe me…………………………………..