Following the earlier chatter about Shane Black possibly writing and directing Iron Man 3, Deadline’s reporting that the deal is all but locked. The lingering question now concerns whether he'll be writing the script, too. Sitting in the “armchair producer’s seat” for a moment, I figure he’ll probably doctor whatever script they end up going with, but leave most of the heavy lifting to somebody else. Considering how he was angling to direct Death Note or Doc Savage as recently as a month ago, I figure everybody involved will probably want to expedite this.
Aside from all the easy jokes about it being pretty clear that Tony Stark’s third solo flick will more-than-likely take place during Christmastime, I’m still greatly intrigued to see how a guy forged in the straight-up action flick days will handle all this high-concept comic stuff. If the team does end up seeing the whole Ten Rings sub-plot through, I strongly suspect Black will opt for a heavily downplayed version of the Mandarin, if he decides to use the villain at all. I just don’t see Favreau’s prospective Palpatine-equivalent enduring with this guy on board.
The list of villains remaining in Iron Man’s rogue’s gallery is pretty wide open. Considering how one of Black's recently talked-about projects was the abandoned coming-out-of-retirement spy story Cold Warrior, it'd be cool if he amped up the whole espionage angle here with heavies like Spymaster or Ghost. Whatever he does, I’m sure we’re store for a much meaner edge to the humor this time ‘round.