Tagged: iron man 3

Obviously Robert Downey Jr. Will Accept Gobs Of Money To Star In “Avengers” Sequels

For a brief period of time following the arrival of “Iron Man 3,” there was a small but persistent story that kept cropping up on various movie and/or nerd-centric sites, one that focused on how Robert Downey Jr. was no longer under contract with Marvel and so maybe now that he had made $50 million dollars for “The Avengers” it was not a sure thing that he would play Iron Man again. If you heard about this, you probably thought about it for all of three seconds before moving on with your life, which is the proper thing to do if you are a person with zero horses in this race, but it was this tiny lingering thing that was mentioned every so often and even Joss Whedon weighed in on the matter. You might think that after starring in four movies that earned a combined $3.9 billion dollars worldwide — movies he made for a studio that is now part of Disney, a multi-multi-multi-billion-dollar company — that clearly this was just a case of a very wealthy person negotiating to get a huge sum of money from a mammoth corporation, and that even if he was negotiating in this case with a notoriously frugal movie studio, that obviously the parties involved would get it done and so obviously in the end the studio would fork over a stack of gold bullion the size of a small town and this would all be over and done with.

Anyway, I mention all of this to say that today Marvel announced that Downey had signed on to star in the second and third “Avengers” movies, because obviously. (There’s no mention of a fourth “Iron Man” movie, if you are curious.)

Shane Black won’t be writing “Iron Man 3”

When Shane Black was hired to direct “Iron Man 3,” the assumption was that he would also write or contribute to the screenplay. After all, he made his name as a screenwriter, while he has only directed one movie (although it was the very, very good “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”). But, for reasons that are not entirely clear, Black will not be writing the movie’s screenplay. Drew Pearce, who created the UK show “No Heroics” and wrote an adaptation of “Runaways” for Marvel, has landed that gig. This isn’t a big deal, because clearly Black will have input on the screenplay. Similarly, the film might employ some improvisation (albeit less than the franchise’s prior films), allowing Black and Robert Downey Jr. to extemporize while on set. So this isn’t really news of any sort, is it? Still, Shane Black is directing “Iron Man 3,” and it’s nice to remember that.

Shane Black might really direct “Iron Man 3”

Last week, Heat Vision reported that “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” writer/director Shane Black was being considered to take over “Iron Man 3.” Deadline reports today that Black is in final negotiations to take over the film, which would be terrific news. Of course, they do so without remotely crediting Heat Vision for having the news first (just a snide aside that “news leaked out that Marvel was meeting with several directors including Shane [and] fanboys approved”). Regardless, Black makes this movie much, much more interesting.

Shane Black should definitely direct “Iron Man 3”

Remember that time there were “Iron Man” movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow as his plucky love interest? And they would feature a rotating group of Oscar-nominated actors as his sidekicks and villains? Good times. The franchise was the talk of the town in 2008, when the first film was a big hit and very enjoyable, but things took a turn for the worse last year when the second installment was (A) not so good and (B) not so profitable (it cost a lot more than the original but made slightly less domestically).

Anyway, everyone has forgotten about “Iron Man,” because Marvel just used the first film to rev up the “Avengers” engine. But! A third film in the series is still due out in May 2013, so clearly somebody, somewhere at Disney remembered Downey’s contract includes a third solo film. Hang on, I’m forgetting what this post is even about in the first place. Wait, nevermind, back on track: “Iron Man 3” has a release date but no director after Jon Favreau quit/got fired/resigned/retired to move to the country. So who’s going to direct what is, ostensibly, a high-profile and sure-to-be-successful superhero movie kickstarting the summer of 2013?

One contender mentioned by Heat Vision: Shane Black. The Shane Black, who rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s writing “Lethal Weapon” movies, “Last Action Hero” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight” (and “Monster Squad,” can’t forget “Monster Squad”). More importantly (to me, anyway), he has one directorial credit on his resume: 2005’s “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” which he wrote and directed and also happened to star The Robert Downey Jr.

I am wholeheartedly, entirely in favor of this decision. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” may have quietly arrived and departed the scene in 2005, but the movie was terrific, and Black’s self-referential, sarcastic and self-mocking script was a perfect fit for Downey’s screen presence. Remember, at that time Downey was still that guy with all of the drug arrests behind him; this movie helped rehabilitate his image, and was part of the career rejuvenation track he took with “Good Night, and Good Luck” that led him to “Zodiac” and, obviously, the first “Iron Man.”

Even better, Black is actually a writer, which bodes really well for this film. One of the (reported) issues of “Iron Man 2” was that Favreau went forward without a locked screenplay, much as they had done on the first “Iron Man.” While it worked out well the first time around, it didn’t jibe with the quickened production schedule nor other requirements (i.e. “Avengers” setup) foisted upon the sequel. Black could actually work with Downey on a screenplay to turn out a workable story, and hopefully give Downey’s Tony Stark a fitting (solo) swan song.

Jon Favreau won’t direct “Iron Man 3”

UPDATE II: Favreau talks to Geoff Boucher about the decision, framing it as him being excited for “Magic Kingdom,” not in any way a schism between him and the Marvel folks. He does get in a line about how he set up the whole universe for the Marvel films, but is otherwise gracious and says the right things.

UPDATE: Favreau confirms the news via Twitter. He’s out and focusing on “Magic Kingdom.”

Jon Favreau isn’t returning to helm “Iron Man 3,” according to Vulture. The director, who helped turn the 2008 film into a free-wheeling, loose-limbed superhero movie with a sense of fun, is partially responsible for the birth of the Marvel Empire (that has since spawned his own “Iron Man 2” and the upcoming “Thor,” “Captain America” and “The Avengers”). The Vulture story says his price tag has a big part of it; he took home $10 million for “Iron Man 2,” and with “Cowboys and Aliens” on his docket, he looks every bit to be the budding summer blockbuster director.

There’s another piece to this story, though. Favreau reportedly wasn’t happy with Marvel’s efforts to rush “Iron Man 2” into theaters, preferring the three-year gap followed between “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight.” Marvel, wanting to launch its “Avengers” run-up, disagreed. There are also reports that Favs wasn’t too keen on Marvel stuffing his movie full of “Avengers” tie-ins (read: Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow). And Favreau was instrumental in bringing Robert Downey Jr. on-board, turning the guy from a rehabbed addict to basically the hottest movie star in town. Now that Downey is at the top of the heap, he has director approval.

Is this just a negotiating tactic? Probably not. Favreau made waves before the “Iron Man 2” sequel (and he’s only a bigger commodity now, thanks to “Cowboys”), and Marvel’s reported cost-cutting on “The Avengers” (not to mention their new Disney overlords, a budget-conscious bunch) shows these are two sides who clearly don’t want to be together. Favreau’s recent public comments about not knowing what kind of sequel he would even be able to make are telling. He clearly had some idea of a film and future movies when he made the 2008 installment; it’s a shame we won’t get to see his take on the Mandarin, or whatever the hell he was plotting for “Iron Man 3.” (Some years down the line, if the whole “Avengers” thing doesn’t pan out, we will look back and wonder what could have been if Favreau were allowed to run “Iron Man” as an independent franchise, Christopher Nolan-style, not a farm team for “The Avengers” story points.)

So: Who do they get for the 2013 flick? Downey has to approve, and it has to be someone who can handle a big-budget summer flick. Of course, Marvel has picked their directors with interesting aplomb so far: Favreau, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnson and Joss Whedon. This will be the first director chosen under the Disney banner, so you wonder if they’ll pick a safer bet this time around. It’s a shame Darren Aronofsky took that “Wolverine” job without waiting to see what else might come open, eh?

“Iron Man 3” set for 2013, while Disney takes control of Marvel movies in 2012

Since Disney purchased Marvel, one of the lingering uncertainties was what it meant for the next few Marvel movies. When Marvel Studios set out to do “Iron Man” — and started the ball rolling towards “Thor,” “Captain America” and “The Avengers” — they made the movies and needed someone to distribute them, so they signed a deal with Paramount. But since Disney made the purchase, several movies have moved ahead, giving Paramount release rights for five movies in total (counting “Iron Man 2,” which obviously came out last May). So what happens to ’em?

Now we know. Paramount will still be releasing “Thor” and “Captain America” (next summer, in May and July, respectively). But for “The Avengers” (set for May 2012) and “Iron Man 3” (announced for May 2013), Disney will pay Paramount at least $115 million for the right to market and distribute those movies. In essence, Disney bought those movies from Paramount, giving them control over the Marvel cinematic universe (excluding “X-Men,” “Spider-Man” and numerous others, of course) beginning in 2012.

The key here isn’t just the right to profit off the films themselves. It lets Disney utilize “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” across a multitude of properties: “movies, television, consumer products and theme parks,” as the L.A. Times puts it. Since “The Avengers” is going to be a huge launching pad for toys, marketing tie-ins, theme park rides and at least one animated series, Disney had a huge incentive to take over this enterprise before that film was released. (For Paramount’s sake, they still get a guaranteed money against a percentage of the gross, protecting them in case the movies flop. The only one for which that’s a legitimate concern is “Captain America,” which they are still releasing, but that’s besides the point.)

The other big news nugget here is “Iron Man 3” being set for 2013. There’s no mention made whether or not Jon Favreau will return for another go-round, though online chatter a while back suggested that Marvel and Favreau did not have a good working relationship vis-a-vis “Iron Man 2” (and, really, nobody was happy with that movie). But regardless of a director, a script or any other actors, Marvel has Robert Downey Jr. under contract for one more “Iron Man” movie, so Disney has planted their flag on the opening weekend of Summer 2013.

[LATTOH; EW; NYT]