When Shane Black was hired to direct Iron Man 3, I kept bumping into a common assumption that he was that he was going to write it himself because, frankly, “what help does Shane Black need on that front?”
As it happens, Black was paired with Drew Pearce, the British scriptwriter of No Heroics, at that time, making fairly early steps in his Hollywood career.*
Between the two of them, they turned out one of the better received tentpoles in a good little while. We certainly saw a lot of reasons to like it, and so did an awful amount of other folk.
At the same time, Pearce was busy working, often without credit, on touch-ups and redrafts of other big studio films, including Godzilla and Pacific Rim.
And then, more recently, Paramount started making plans to have Jack Reacher‘s Christopher McQuarrie direct a fifth Mission: Impossible film. My own assumption here is that McQuarrie would be writing it himself because, yes, “what help does the writer of The Usual Suspects and Way of the Gun need on that front?”**
And, yes again, as it happens, in a little bit of history repeating, the studio have hired Drew Pearce to come in and draft the film’s screenplay.
When I saw the headline at The Hollywood Reporter, I thought for a moment that McQuarrie may no longer be directing – that’s how much he feels like a writer-director to me.
But no, he’s apparently still negotiating to take up the megaphone on this one.
The plans at the moment are for Tom Cruise to film Guy Ritchie‘s The Man from UNCLE over the summer and for Mission: Impossible 5, which probably won’t have as many numbers or so little punctuation in its final title, to film in the autumn.
We don’t yet have a release date for M:I 5 - hey, I wonder if they’ll do anything with that? – but I’d make a guess at Christmas 2014.
*Black told me all about Marvel’s decision to put them together, in fact, and later this Summer you’ll be able to read more about that, and how the Marvel Studios system actually works on the inside, in Bleeding Cool Magazine’s issue 5. The article is called How To Make Movies The Marvel Way. You can pre-order a copy at your local comic shop. I’m rather proud of that story. There’s a lot of insight packed in, straight from the mouth of Shane Black.
**Or with Nathan Alexander, his long-time collaborator.