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Is Shane Black the right man to helm 'Iron Man 3?'

After Jon Favreau confirmed that he won't be returning to direct "Iron Man 3," it didn't take long to leak out that Marvel has met with (among others) writer-director Shane Black. I hope Black gets the gig. He proved his mettle with 2005's "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" -- which starred Robert Downey Jr., the key to the "Iron Man" franchise. Downey played a New York thief who escapes from a botched robbery attempt into a casting call that lands him a possible role in a City of Angels movie thriller. Few actors have done erupting instinct better than Downey in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" -- it was hilarious to see his id play hopscotch with his superego and usually win.

But "Iron Man" is also an ensemble franchise -- good news for Black, because in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" the director turned Downey and costar Val Kilmer into quite the crack (and crackpot) team. Kilmer played the openly homosexual Hollywood private eye assigned to show Downey how to navigate criminal pile-ups in the fast lane. Kilmer aced his part's calculated outrageousness. Together he and Downey were itchy-funny and potent, like two lone wolves strapped to a dogsled. The movie was a reckless headlong murder mystery, but it was full of crazy character. It would be great fun to have a similar mix in "Iron Man 3."

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Photo of Shane Black (left) and Downey on the set of "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang."

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