by Eddie Wright
In the 80's and early 90's, Shane Black was the master of the buddy action film. The writer pulled in millions for his work on the "Lethal Weapon" movies, "The Last Boy Scout," "Last Action Hero" and others. But following "The Long Kiss Goodnight," Black retreated from the Hollywood grind for a decade, eventually resurfacing with 2005's terrific Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer buddy-noir flick, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang." Now, the auteur is behind the camera of "Iron Man 3." But does any of that signature Black buddiness bleed into Marvel's superhero blockbuster? Absolutely, Black tells The Guardian.
"I think people are gonna notice check-ins with previous genre pictures like 'Lethal Weapon' just in terms of my style..." He adds that he was able to craft Tony Stark and Don Cheadle's James "Rhodey" Rhodes into his own Riggs and Murtaugh-esque regular joe action hero types. He says:
"The great fun was to add the touches that mark it as being about a guy who is as effective and interesting, and in some ways as deadly, outside of a suit of armor as he is within it. Those portions of the movie, when Tony's on his own and Rhodey's walking around in a polo shirt with a gun, were fun for me."
But, according to Marvel movie boss Kevin Feige, one thing that couldn't carry over from Black's previous work was his use of naughty words.
"There was some language in early drafts of the script that would never be allowed to be in the movie itself," Feige says. "We had to say, 'You know you can't say that, right?' And he goes, 'What, oh really?' I don't think he knew the difference between a PG-13 word and an R-rated word! I don't think it ever occurred to him before."
Black says he was well-aware that he couldn't have Tony and Pepper curse the way Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans do in "The Last Boy Scout." He says:
"Look, I consider 'The Empire Strikes Back' to be an edgy film, but nobody says, 'Hey Luke, you c---------, gimme that wrench.' I knew we weren't gonna have that sort of thing in this."
But there was one risque line that Black was able to push though. He explains that Tony gives some brutal insight to a young boy dealing with his father abandoning him. Tony tells the kid, "Dads leave. There's no need to be a p---- about it," which pleased Black greatly.
"Iron Man 3" is out May 3.
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