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Drew Pearce Will Write Script For 'Iron Man 3,' Not Shane Black

by Kevin Jagernauth
April 1, 2011 2:27 AM
12 Comments
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Talk about taking the one element nearly every comic fan otherwise was excited about, and tossing it out the window. When Shane Black was hired on direct "Iron Man 3," fans hoped that Marvel, known for making their presence heavily felt in every step of way, would at least concede to let the practically legendary writer -- “Lethal Weapon” and “The Last Boy Scout” rank in his credits -- shape the script. He's already directed Robert Downey Jr. in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," a comeback vehicle for both of them, so it seemed like an no brainer. And earlier this month, Black told an audience at the Omaha Film Festival that he would be writing the script. Guess no one at Marvel got the memo.

Drew Pearce has now been tasked with the gig, and he's right in the Marvel pocket. He penned the screenplay for the since shelved "Runaways" film that had Peter Sollet set to direct, and he's also known for his work on the U.K. superhero series "No Heroics."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Pearce is already familiar with Marvel and how they operate and even though Black will be "closely working" with the writer, it's still not the same thing and not much of a consolation.

No reason is given as to why Black won't take his hand to the material. We'd wager that he doesn't want to lose focus on the handful of other projects he has in development including “Doc Savage” for Sony and "Death Note" for Warner Bros. Still, it's a bit of bummer and if you're hiring Shane Black for a movie and he's not writing it...what are you hiring him for?

"Iron Man 3" will hit on May 3, 2013. [Deadline]

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12 Comments

  • Sean | April 4, 2011 6:11 AMReply

    @Ellis
    Did you see Iron Man 2? They wedged in so much just to set up The Avengers. Smartly done is lightly laying down the clues to the Avengers (a la ending of Iron Man).
    The sequel seemed more to be a 2 hour build of nothing, only to say that he will be part of the Avengers. And, oh, yeah, we found Thor's hammer.
    I'm sorry but it's bullshit. Look at DC and how they they don't give a rat's ass if you don't know half of the heroes in the JL. Sit down ad watch the movie.

  • Ellis | April 3, 2011 6:17 AMReply

    @Sean

    connecting everything together for the Avengers is hardly bullshit, It's actually quite smart. Just pretend Shane Black came up with it and all will be well:)

  • marcus | April 3, 2011 5:00 AMReply

    @Colloidal Snake I agree that Joss knows Marvel lore and their characters, I was isuggesting that this was the reason he was given power to 'polish' the Captain America script and seemed to have no issues in writing the AVENGERS. Again, he knows the characters and the feel or tone of their world. So, based on that, perhaps Black didn't

    Marvel is Disney now. They are no longer an independent film company trying to climb the latter to the big boys, but owned by the biggest entertainment company in the World. They are now a division with greater resourses. Sure they want to run their own division, but financial issues are not the same as they were when the last two Iron Mans were made. At he very least they are now swimming in the same pool with WB, Columbia, Universal etc. So I doubt this is a financial issue as much as a creative one. Again, maybe they didn't like Black's script, I know people seem to be reacting like Lethal Weapon or Last Boy Scout were masterpieces to the point that Black was sure to create the greatest Iron Man to date, but I don't see it that way. I'm not knocking Black or comparing him to Favreau, maybe his script would have been brilliant or maybe his pitch was horrible (for an iron man film). We don't know. All we know is is still slated to direct, so make of that what you will.

  • Colloidal Snake | April 2, 2011 7:45 AMReply

    Obviously, there's exceptions to be had with my last mention (The Avengers, Justice League) but for the most part if your film is titled after one character - it's logical for the filmgoing public to expect a story with that character and not that character and many of his closest friends, next door neighbors and so forth.

  • Colloidal Snake | April 2, 2011 7:42 AMReply

    @marcus - comparing Black to Whedon isn't accurate. Joss has written titles for Marvel and knows his stuff as far as comics are concerned.

    That's not to discredit Black, should he stay on the film, from working in a clause to have some control in the script or at least have just means to say "this isn't going work" and so on.

    J.J. has it right though, sad to say, that Black will likely end up moving on to something else and we'll wind up with another Ratner-esque fiasco a la X3.

    The main thing about all these superhero films of late seems to be focusing on way too many characters at once. Have one core character and maybe a secondary facing off against one villain. Not 3-4 characters sharing the spotlight going after as many villains to match. It just becomes needless and waters down the reason most of us are wanting to see films like it - how realized the characters are, how deep they are developed.

  • Sean | April 2, 2011 6:07 AMReply

    @marcus
    If you haven't noticed, but Marvel has stepped in, and totally buttfucked any good of Iron Man 2, out. They're whole having to connect everything for Avengers is bullshit.
    Plus when you hire a person known for writing, you don't waste those skills. It's like getting having David Mamet direct a script by Charlie Kaufman, though it might be interesting to see those two in the same room, the overall product would suck. Mamet is more of a writer than anything else.
    So the right thing to do is pay the guy the money to direct AND write and you're bound for something at least better than the sequel and potentially better than the first.

  • J.J. | April 2, 2011 1:55 AMReply

    Black will not make IM3. Lock it in, write it down, whatever. He will not make that movie. A press release will be announced soon giving some b.s. reason about scheduling, creative differences or (like Aronofsky) family reasons. Nowhere will the real reason be mentioned, Marvel is a cheap and meddlesome company. Sucks, Black more than likely would have delivered something pretty cool and original.

  • Mark | April 1, 2011 9:10 AMReply

    @marcus: Black is about 1000 times more talented than Jon Favreau.

  • marcus | April 1, 2011 6:38 AMReply

    Why shouldn't Marvel have a say in how their characters are portayed, who knows more about their characters then them? The want a true reflection on screen. Whedon seemed to have an undisrupted reign co-writing Captain America and writing the Avengers. but then he is a great fan of Marvel characters, he undersands them. Is Black a great fan, or just good buddies with Robert Downey? I have no idea, but I thought it was odd that he was hired in the first place. Nothing against Black, he just hadn't done anything in ohhh, six years. Suddenly he got hired for a huge franchise like Iron Man, seemed weird to me other then his connection to Downey. And Black is sticking around as director, so he obviousy wasn't too insulted by them hiring a new writer. I guess this "practically legend" doesn't have a big enough ego to walk away. Black has some nice credits, but let's not get carried away here, please.

  • Andrew | April 1, 2011 3:18 AMReply

    It could be that Black doesn't have much of a handle on the Iron Man lore. Who's to say that he won't take a pass at the script along the way?

  • Sean | April 1, 2011 3:04 AMReply

    I guess Marvel didn't want to pay Black $10 million for writing the script as well.
    Dumb, missed opportunity is dumb.

  • simon | April 1, 2011 2:54 AMReply

    "Black has some nice credits, but let’s not get carried away here, please."

    I'm not a huge fan of the Lethal Weapon movies but they were largely responsible for the whole buddy action thing. and he was I think still in college when he wrote the first one.

    That's kind of a big credit, and Kiss Kiss is way better than anything that Favreau has ever directed.

    Does anyone think the writer of #2 knew the first thing about the "lore" of Iron Man?

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