Shane Black will direct Iron Man 3

shane-black-writer-directorWe were sad to see Jon Favreau opt out of a third Iron Man movie, but we may already have a suitable replacement. Shane Black, who directed Robert Downey Jr. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, has signed on to helm the third installment of the popular Iron Man series, reports Deadline.

We don’t yet know who will pen the third film, but Black is also an accomplished action writer. He scribed the first two Lethal Weapon movies as well as a number of other high profile films including The Last Action Hero and The Last Boy Scout. Lately, he signed on to write the upcoming Doc Savage movie. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is credited as one of the films that helped relaunch Robert Downey Jr.’s career after his many problems with drugs and alcohol some years back.

Very few franchises make it through their third installments unscathed. Big budget trilogy enders like X3: X-Men United, Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, The Matrix Revolutions, Jurassic Park III, and Terminator 3 (and Salvation) have long been criticized for hurting the legacy of their franchises. Will Iron Man manage to stave off its inevitable decline one more time?