Since his 2001 directorial debut Made, actor-turned-director Jon Favreau has churned out enough high-profile films (Elf and Cowboys & Aliens among them) to earn notoriety for his behind-camera work. His biggest success as a filmmaker comes attached to the first two Iron Man films, in which he also played the small role of Harold “Happy” Hogan, bodyguard to hero Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Many were surprised when it was announced that Favreau wouldn’t be taking on Iron Man 3, as director, but apparently, his choice to hand over the project to Shane Black doesn’t deter his being cast once again as Hogan.
After a smaller appearance in Iron Man, Favreau beefed up his own role for the sequel, utilizing his character for a good deal of comic relief. Iron Man 3 writer/director Black is also known for his proclivity for mixing comedy with action and thrill — as such, Happy Hogan might again provide a good deal of laughs for Marvel audiences. Favreau is in the company of returning players Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Don Cheadle. Newcomers to the franchise include Ben Kingsley (as a central villain), Rebecca Hall (as a scientist and old flame of Stark’s), and James Badge Dale (as a robot!).
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