Image Credit: Evan Agostini/Getty ImagesDo you think Robert Downey Jr. likes this guy enough to work with him on Iron Man 3?

The man absorbing the hug is Shane Black, screenwriter of Lethal Weapon and writer-director of the cult-favorite detective thriller Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which co-starred Downey back at a time when his personal troubles made him a far less bankable star. (This shot is them at the 2005 premiere.)

EW has confirmed Black is one of several directors currently talking to Marvel about the Iron Man threequel, and a source close to the negotiations say his solid friendship with Downey is obviously considered a plus by producers. The identity of the other filmmakers isn’t yet known, though Marvel will likely make a decision soon. Iron Man 3 is already scheduled for a May 3, 2013 debut — which may seem far off, but is just around the corner in terms of blockbuster production timelines.

Jon Favreau directed the previous two Iron Man movies, and said that was enough. His next project is this summer’s western/sci-fi mashup Cowboys & Aliens.

Iron Man
  • Movie
  • 125 minutes