Shane Black

Now that The Avengers is wrapped and ready to premiere, work is moving full speed ahead on the next installment of the Marvel heroes’ saga, Iron Man 3. Though the first two Iron Man movies were made under the watch of Jon Favreau, this one is being put together by director Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and if there was ever any doubt that he would be able to live up to what Favreau did with the property, the casting he’s been doing is starting to erase it. First off, Black needed a villain, so he went out and got one of the most experienced and acclaimed actors working today, Ben Kingsley, and signed him up. Now he’s in need of someone who looks good in a lab coat, so he’s gone out and gotten one of the most underrated and underutilized actors in Hollywood. According to Variety, Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Memento) will be joining the likes of Kingsley, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Don Cheadle in the Iron Man 3 cast, and he’ll be playing the role of geneticist Aldrich Killian.

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In 2010, Jon Favreau wasn’t out of the Iron Man business yet when he announced that Iron Man 3 had to have The Mandarin. It made sense. After all, it’s the most formidable opponent Tony Stark ever went up against. Plus, there have been small hints and references to the Chinese baddie since the opening of the first film. There hasn’t been an official announcement, but all news has been leading to the obvious: that The Mandarin will be the villain in Shane Black‘s movie. First, it was rumored that Sir Ben Kingsley might be on board to fight Robert Downey Jr.,  according to Variety, The Walt Disney Company China will co-produce alongside Marvel and DMG Entertainment. DMG will oversee the production in China as well as distribution in the country. Is there any doubt at this point that The Mandarin will be the villain? There were some unconfirmed “insider” reports that the production wasn’t looking to The Mandarin, but with China in play, Kingsley as a clear (albeit non-Chinese) choice for a role like this, and the earlier nods within the storyline, either it’s definitely him, or this is a massive head fake from Marvel. Shoe money is on the former.

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Ben Kingsley

Ben Kingsley is in negotiations to play a villain role in Iron Man 3, according to sources familiar with the subject — as passed through the folks at THR. There isn’t much word yet on which villain he may play, but one name being thrown around currently is Iron Man’s number one foe, The Mandarin. It’s a character that was hinted at early on by Iron Man director and Iron Man 3 executive producer Jon Favreau, even going so far as to place the Ten Rings of The Mandarin in the first story. 

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Editor’s note: With our own Junkfood addict Brian Salisbury busy writing through the typhoon that is SXSW, we’ve farmed out his column to similarly-minded Rejects. First up – Adam Charles! Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema. Our jokes are as good as our speling. I’m just kidding…we are good speller. You’ve found yourselves in the annals of a column dedicated to nearly all of the works of Sylvester Stallone except for that one when his Mom will shoot and he’ll warn you about it. We eventually plan on retitling this column Junkfood Cinema: It Is The Laauuwww and today we add one more notch onto the “Stallone takes over Junkfood Cinema” tally, but just before we draw the line to make it complete we’ll offer up a suggestion of something to throw down your kisser in celebration. This week, we give you Tango & Cash.

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Marc Forster‘s Machine Gun Preacher is a humanistic picture. Despite the atrocities conveyed in the film and the fact that the story focuses on an actual anti-hero, the director managed to end on a hopeful note. Some call it dopey, I say humanist. Even with the upbeat nature of the film, there’s a slightly dark moral dichotomy; should a former junkie and criminal, Sam Childers, be the one leading a freedom brigade? Are his methods necessary or justifiable? Sam Childers isn’t the only character with his own moral conundrum, as one is also a part of Lynn Childers, played by Michelle Monaghan. This is the second time I’ve interviewed Monaghan, and like the first time, she reminded me of that popular girl in high school who was cool with everybody. Some actors look like they’re two seconds away from killing themselves during junkets, but Monaghan comes off like she couldn’t be more pleased to be discussing her work — with a guy like me interviewing her, I’m not sure how she does it. Here’s what Michelle Monaghan had to say about the ending of Source Code, the moral dichotomies of Machine Gun Preacher, when journalism and acting collide, passion projects, and the greatness of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

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Talk of a sequel to The Long Kiss Goodnight has been openly floating around since at least 2007, and this Summer, Samuel L. Jackson again confirmed that he was up to the task. Jackson claiming to be in development is something that happens twice a day, but I recently spoke with director Renny Harlin for Reject Radio, and he confirmed that he wasn’t just twiddling his thumbs about it. He’s hired a writer to pen the script. “I just came back from Miami where I directed an episode of Burn Notice. I really like that series so I went to go and direct an episode, and the writer of the episode was Ben Watkins who is one of the producers of the show. I’d read quite a bit of his stuff, and he turned out to be a giant fan of [The Long Kiss Goodnight] so we started talking, and we decided we’re going to do it together,” said Harlin. The director also confirmed that the concept for the film hasn’t changed much. It will still focus on Samantha’s (Geena Davis) daughter Caitlin (played by Yvonne Zima) who teams up with Jackson’s character Mitch to seek revenge on the people who take her mother’s life. Of course, Caitlin would be 21 or so (which puts Zima in the running to reprise the character age wise), but it’s unclear as to whether they’ll seek a bigger name or stick with true continuity. Either way, Shane Black will not be involved considering […]

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The huge box office and critical success of the original Iron Man came as a bit of a surprise to everyone. Iron Man, while having a long publishing history, has never been one of those mainstream, iconic super heroes like a Batman or a Spider-Man. Despite that, director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. absolutely nailed the character so perfectly that everyone fell in love with the film. And now that ol’ shellhead has had a feature film that was such a mainstream success, perhaps the argument could start to be made that he is a character on par with the Batmans and Spider-Mans of the world. So, a lot of people were understandably upset when it was announced that Favreau, a guy who did so much for the character, wouldn’t be returning to the director’s chair of Iron Man 3. The guy they got to replace him, however, has a pretty great pedigree, and it turns out that he’s already helped out on this series before. In a Q&A at the Hero Complex Film Festival, Downey tells a story about how he and Favreau went to the new director, Shane Black, when they had reached a stumbling point on one of the past Iron Man films: “I said, ‘We should talk to Shane.’ And I was like, ‘Shane, we can’t really pay.’ And he was like, ‘Bring me some salmon and some blueberries.’ And we went to Yoda’s house in Miracle Mile and it wound up coming in […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly round-up of entertainment news and tidbits written by a Doctor Who obsessive. But you already knew that. If you didn’t, you’re about to. The sixth season of Doctor Who debuts this weekend on BBC and BBC America (at the same time!!) So of course I’m writing something about it. I just found out that season passes for ‘Part I’ of the Matt Smith-led sixth frame are available on iTunes, for those (like me) who eschew the bonds of cable providers. Also, if you’re looking to throw a Doctor Who premiere party — and invite your favorite film blog publisher — the BBC America page has Doctor Who recipes, including Ginger Companion cookies and Radioactive-Spuds with Cool Avocado Cream. Don’t put these in front of me, because I would easily EXTERMINATE! them. Get it? I’m like the Daleks of food.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as SecretWindowNotSoSecret and iDuddits in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the question of who exactly made the movie gets front and center treatment. Why do we treat directors with authorial authority when it comes to assigning ownership to a film? Why not the writers? Why not the gaffers? Who really is the true author of a movie and has the auteur theory ruined everything?

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Drew Pearce has an uphill battle of sorts, but the climb should be a blast. According to Deadline Sinton, Pearce has just been hired to start from page one for Iron Man 3. He’ll reportedly be working closely with director Shane Black. That’s pretty standard, or at least it should be, but what’s interesting is that Black won’t be writing the script solo. He made his mark in the business treating the world to great writing in the Lethal Weapon franchise, in Monster Squad, and in The Long Kiss Goodnight. He even his directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. So why take the writer/director, and make him direct without writing? It’s a curious move. In a way, it’s similar to what happened on Iron Man; Jon Favreau emerged as a writer and actor and soon directed his own work. However, Favreau had already directed other writers’ scripts twice before with Elf and Zathura before getting the Iron Man gig. Black on the other has never directed another writer’s work (since he’s only directed one movie). Marvel must see something in Pearce (who just finished a script for comic book adaptation Runaways). He’s a newcomer to film, but he’s worked fairly extensively in television.  Hopefully we’ll all get to see what they see soon. Like, you know, in two years when the film comes out.

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Iron Man 2 wasn’t a mess. It was a Jenga tower that had already been played with for too long. Scenes and motivations didn’t quite fit together, but the real problem was the lack of fun. If you’re going to go all Empire on a sequel and dig your character deeper, it needs to be done with less alienation. If you’re going to keep the tone light, more power to you. Either way, watching that flick felt like carrying an elephant up a steep cliff without rocket boosters. The failure should be spread out amongst Marvel, Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr (in measures that only they personally know), but all of that is in the past, and we all look forward to a bright future where Tony Stark can come back with the energy of the first movie. Choosing Shane Black to write and direct was a massively good first move for Marvel, and he’s already saying all the right things.

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It almost seemed a foregone conclusion that Jon Favreau would be the man behind the Iron Man franchise for the foreseeable future. Last December, that future became seeable, Favreau, upset with the way Iron Man 2 was handled, stepped aside, and the rumor mill began churning. Who would step in as his successor to the franchise, to step up to the plate of continuing the flamboyant, dangerous, and ultra-cool lifestyle of one Tony Stark. Now, according to THR, one name has been thrown into contention to do that very thing. Shane Black, the writer behind modern action classics like Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, and writer/director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, has been meeting with Marvel execs. The belief is that he is looking to fill the director’s chair, but if hired, he would probably also serve writing duties, as well.

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Imagine that there’s a book, just a binding and blank pages, that has the power to kill someone if you write their name in it and think of their face. What would you use that power for? That’s the central question of “Death Note,” the manga which will see a big screen adaptation from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director (and writer of many great movies) Shane Black. According to Deadline Hyattsville, Warners Bros will oversee production on Death Note, and Black will get to work shepherding a script from Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry. The manga is an absolute masterpiece of storytelling – focusing on Light, a character who finds the book and chooses to use its powers to rid the world of evil. It’s exciting to see it go into production, not only because of the source material, but to see Black back in action again.

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Jon Favreau announced today that he won’t be returning for Iron Man 3 which seems just as well. Iron Man 2 was a mixed bag, and Favreau already seems to be moving onto the next stage of his career with Cowboys & Aliens. Unfortunately, the man leaves a large director’s chair to be filled – a chair that comes with a lot of expectations and responsibilities alongside what must be a cave-full of fun to be had playing around with Tony Stark. There’s no secret formula for choosing the right director for a project, especially when its the third in a series. We here at FSR wouldn’t recommend Brett Ratner or Joel Schumacher based on past performance in taking over franchises on the third film, but finding names that actually make sense is a little more challenging. We’ve done our best to come up with at least six individuals that would be up to the task in one way or the other (or because we’re infinitely interested in seeing what triumph or train wreck they would come up with). Without further ado, go ahead and read our list of six directors that should take over Iron Man 3 so you can get started on violently explaining why we’re wrong.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; special orders upset us to no end. So you say you like bad movies, eh? Well grab a three-layer bologna and marshmallow sandwich and your coveted copy of Ishtar and welcome to the JFC family! Every week I dissect a particularly terrible film and spread the organs of its failure onto the damp paper towel that is the internet. Whoa, Bio Lab flashback. But once the film is hollowed out and fully exposed, I will then proudly don its carcass as a hat and profess my undying affection for it. As if this frog dissection metaphor wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, I will then pair the movie with a tie-in snack food item in the hopes that by the end you won’t be able to tell if it’s my writing or your atrocious diet that has you marathon vomiting like a supermodel. This week’s dish: Last Action Hero.

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A petty criminal (Robert Downey Jr.) in NYC stumbles into a film audition while on the run from some cops and earns himself a trip out to LA and a chance to star in a Hollywood production. Once there the studio hooks him up with a gay P.I. (Val Kilmer) for detective lessons, and soon this unlikely pair are knee-deep in a twisted tale of murder, mystery, and mistaken identity.

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A spy movie might see the pair reunited after all these years. And this time, Gibson is the one getting too old for this shit.

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In the year of our lord 1993, when this movie was released to the world, I was 10-years old. It was a big year for me. In that summer I not only had my mind blown by Jurassic Park, I also learned a little bit about comedy from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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docsavage-header

Who’s excited to finally see a brand new Doc Savage movie up on the big screen? Anyone? No one? Oh wait, Harry Knowles is!

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Richard Donner addresses the issue of Lethal Weapon 5, saying that its pretty much ‘dead in the water.’ What does that mean for Lethal Weapon fans? Probably nothing…

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