Tagged: robert downey jr.

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 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.