Shane Black is returning to the genre he is most familiar with the movie “The Nice Guys.” Black, at one time, was the highest paid screenwriter in the world thanks to his work that started with the “Lethal Weapon” franchise. He took a long hiatus and returned as a director with “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and has been working steadily ever since.
“Nice Guys” is another murder mystery, set in the 70s, with a private detective and a fighter teaming up to solve a murder. Now, word comes that two big name actors are being courted for the roles. According to the rumors, both Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are who Black wants in this next movie. With this new Black movie getting started, here is a look at the writer/director’s career.
Black’s career really took off with a bang in 1987 with “Lethal Weapon.” Black wrote the script shortly after graduating from UCLA and Warner Bros. loved it. Richard Donner directed the movie and they ended up with the perfect lead actors in Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. It was like the stars all aligned, but it wouldn’t have been so without the script by Black, which made him Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriter. This success led to him co-writing “Lethal Weapon 2,” writing “The Last Boy Scout,” “Last Action Hero” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight.” After that, he disappeared from Hollywood for many years.
“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”
In 2005, Black not only returned to Hollywood but made a triumphant return with his first movie as a director. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” was a movie about a criminal (Robert Downey Jr.) on the run from the police who convinces filmmakers that he is there to audition for a movie. He ends up paired with a former private investigator (Val Kilmer) to help him learn the ins and outs of his character for a movie role. It was not only Black’s return to Hollywood, but also the revival of Downey’s career after stints in jail and rehab.
“Iron Man 3”
That friendship paid off eight years later when Downey helped Black get hired by Marvel to direct “Iron Man 3.” Easily, Black’s biggest budget movie, “Iron Man 3” really brought Black into a situation he might not have been ready for. Despite his pedigree and quality output in the past, comic book fans are a picky group and when Black’s movie made changes to the bad guy Mandarin character, fans turned on him. Lucky for Black, he has been around a long time and looks to bounce back in the genre he is more comfortable with.