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Writer and director Shane Black has an extremely distinctive style that is completely different from all other filmmakers and allows his movies to standout from all the rest.
You ALWAYS know when you are watching a Shane Black movie and there are several common themes that run through most of the screenwriter-turned-director’s work. He often uses first-person narration to tell his stories, there is usually a male bonding element at the heart of the film, he has used kidnapping as a plot device five times, and four of his movies take place during the Christmas holiday.
I grew up on Shane Black movies, and feel as a movie fan, that I have watched Black grow up as a filmmaker too. His first screenplay, Lethal Weapon, basically invented the buddy-cop genre, which dominated the ‘1980s. He would eventually go on to write the story for Lethal Weapon 2, as well as the screenplays for underrated classics like The Monster Squad, and The Last Boy Scout starring Bruce Willis. Black even took a stab at acting in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Predator, playing a member of Arnold’s elite commando crew.
After penning Last Action Hero and The Long Kiss Goodnight, the screenwriter took almost a decade off before reinventing himself as a director in 2005 with the extremely inventive film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which helped begin to resurrect the career of Robert Downey Jr. Now Black returns to the director’s chair by taking over the Iron Man franchise from director Jon Favreau and reteaming with Downey for Iron Man 3, which opens in theaters on May 3rd.
Scheduled to open in theaters on November 8th is the highly anticipated sequel to Thor entitled Thor: The Dark World, which will mark the second film released in Marvel Studios' Phase Two. The new installment was directed by Alan Taylor (Kill The Poor) and based on a screenplay by Captain America: The First Avenger scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and popular Marvel Comics writer Christopher Yost. The sequel features returning cast members Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Stellan Skarsgard (Dr, Erik Selvig), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis), Ray Stevenson (Volstagg), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun), Jaimie Alexander (Sif), Rene Russo (Frigga), and Anthony Hopkins (Odin), as well as new cast members Christopher Eccleston (G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (The Thing), and Zachary Levi (Tangled).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the beautiful Jaimie Alexander while she was promoting her new movie The Last Stand, which opens on January 18th and also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. While we will run our interview with Alexander regarding The Last Stand closer to the films release date, we wanted to let you know now what the actress had to say about her work on Thor: The Dark World. The talented actress discussed the upcoming sequel, when she finished shooting, where we find the characters after the events of The Avengers, the darker tone of the film, more character development for Sif, exploring her possible romantic relationship with Thor, returning to the franchise without Thor director Kenneth Branagh, Marvel Comics scribe Christopher Yost's contributions to the project, and the addition of actor Zachary Levi as Warriors Three member Fandrai.
The Avengers is in the bag, along with more than a billion dollars, and Marvel Studios is going ahead with "Phase Two," which will consist of three big sequels and one new addition to the cinematic Marvel universe. Guardians of the Galaxy will follow Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As such, it's the least developed so far, but it now has a new screenwriter to rewrite the cosmic adventure that will presumably segue into The Avengers 2.