During an interview at San Diego Comic Con International this year, Robert Downey, Jr. mentioned reaching out to his former Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black, who is working with the actor now on Iron Man 3, for assistance during the filming of Iron Man, saying that he repaid him with food (salmon and fresh blueberries) since Black wasn't officially involved with the movie.
In a video conference call earlier today held as part of the Cinefamily Telethon and transcribed by Comic Book Movie, Downey elaborated on that a bit, explaining exactly what it is that Shane helped out with and saying that one particular scene in Iron Man came straight from Black.
“For instance, in the Iron Man scene where Tony Stark comes back from captivity and calls a press conference, and then asked everybody to sit down, the speech Stark gives all came from Shane Black," Downey said. "So to get him to do Iron Man 3, it has just been this awesome experience and one of my favorite working experiences. Iron Man 3 is going to be a very, very bold genre film, from the storytelling.” On the director's aptitude for the job, Downey later added, “Shane Black really knows the superhero genre, but I think the main thing [that’s great about him] is that he’s always looking at complexities within complexities [and so on]. And he always likes it when a film kinda stops for a reason you can’t understand and then kinda picks up and goes in a direction you’ve never imagined. Usually when you have a straight-forward narrative, if at act 1, 2 or 3, ‘There’s Tony, Tony’s in trouble, where’s Pepper, Tony wins,’” Downey laughed. “By the time we were doing the 2nd one, I was like ‘where’s Pepper.’ Shane is just a genius!”
On the question of Jon Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man films, Downey wasn't' silent either, heaping praise on the Favreau's performance as an actor in the upcoming film which, given his status as a minor supporting character, will likely stoke the fire of rumors his character Happy Hogan will die in the movie.
“Happy has an amazing arc in this movie. In fact, probably the best two bits of acting in the movie, so far from what I can tell...which sucks because I’m in every frame, are Favreau as Happy Hogan," Downey said. "I can’t give away much, but it’s ridiculous. And also Sir Ben Kingsley [as the Mandarin]. Kingsley is amazing. And a lot of that had to do with the way that Shane crafted the role for Sir Ben. I think that people are gonna be not [totally] surprised, but they’re gonna be just reinvested in what a brilliant actor Kinglsey is.”