'Iron Man 3' To Be Directed By Shane Black?

'Lethal Weapon' scribe is reportedly 'in contention' to helm the movie.

Six years after making his directorial debut with the noirish dark comedy "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," Shane Black might be reteaming with Robert Downey Jr. for the actor's third Marvel superhero adventure.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Black is "in contention" to direct "Iron Man 3." What's more, he'd likely get a crack at penning a draft of the script too. Black is far from a lock to take over franchise directing duties from Jon Favreau though, and other filmmakers are being eyed as well.

MTV News' requests for comment to Disney and Black's rep were not returned as of press time.

While the possibility of Black taking on one of Marvel's most valuable franchises is surprising — he has only one directing credit on his résumé — it makes a certain amount of sense. Black and Downey were said to strike up a close creative relationship during "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," and following Favreau's departure from the franchise, Marvel execs could well be looking for a sense of creative continuity on "Iron Man 3."

Black is primarily known for his talents as a screenwriter. He penned the script for "Lethal Weapon" while just out of UCLA, and went on to write "The Last Boy Scout" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight," among other scripts. He's recently been tapped to write "Death Note," an adaptation of a manga series, and a film based on the Doc Savage pulp novels.

Downey will next appear as Tony Stark and Iron Man in the Joss Whedon-directed "The Avengers," which hits theaters on May 4, 2012. Disney has set a May 3, 2013, release date for "Iron Man 3."

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