Fresh from the New Mexico set of The Avengers, Robert Downey Jr. made a surprise appearance alongside director Jon Favreau at the Hero Complex Film Festival in Hollywood on Sunday. In full Tony Stark beard, hair and swagger, the actor, of course, spoke about the two films that were screening, Iron Man and Iron Man 2, but also the on-the-horizon third film, Iron Man 3, which will be helmed by director Shane Black.

Favreau and Downey talked about how the former Iron Man director will be helping the upcoming Iron Man director as well as some of the greatest difficulties, both serious and not, in creating the May 3, 2013 film. Check out what they had to say, and also read what Downey had to say about the first six weeks of shooting The Avengers, after the jump.

The Iron Man 3 talk got started when a fan asked if Downey could talk about Shane Black, who Downey previously worked with on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I’ll just run the transcript then extrapolate after.

Downey Jr: Here’s the first thing I want to say. The most difficult part of making Iron Man 3 is going to be negotiating Jon Favreau’s acting deal.

Favreau: If The Freak isn’t in it, I’m not doing it. If Happy Hogan doesn’t turn into The Freak, I’m not doing it. Here’s what happens to Happy Hogan, he marries Pepper Potts…

Downey Jr: Wait a minute, you want both?

Favreau: I want a love scene with Pepper Potts with my shirt on and I want to transform into The Freak.

Downey Jr. - The negotiations have begun and so far I’m in agreement on every point. Well Shane, interestingly enough, there was a point when Jon and I were stuck on an idea [with a previous film]. We were just in an exploratory phase. So I said, ‘We should talk to Shane.’ And I was like, ‘Shane, we can’t really pay.’ And he was like, ‘Bring me some salmon and some blueberries.’ And we went to Yoda’s house in Miracle Mile and it wound up coming in handy, particularly for a couple scenes. So what I can say about this kind of circle of life thing is Shane, as he’s getting into the process [to direct Iron Man 3] and getting his sea legs and stuff, he goes, ‘When can we talk to Jon?’ So there’s going to be this kind of conglomerate of efforts.

Favreau: And I love the franchise and I’m a big fan of Shane’s as well so hopefully I can be helpful because I want to see this thing grow and transform. And actually, when it finally landed on Shane, it was like, ‘All right, that’s gonna be something interesting.’ Especially because it’s gonna be so difficult for whoever does that one because although it’s Iron Man 3, the whole Avengers thing…I guess in comics you can say that it’s an individual storyline and you can break it off into a group. But in movies, it’s hard not to take into consideration what just happened. What are you gonna say? ‘They all just lost their cell phones and you can’t get help?’ So it’s going to take a lot of ingenuity to make it make sense to a mainstream film audience as well as a comic book audience.

Downey Jr. But again the toughest man of Iron Man 3 will be Jon Favreau’s day rate. It’s gonna be huge and I’ll see that they pay it.

Witty banter aside, it’s interesting that Black has already asked for Favreau’s help and that Favreau is willing to help, despite his extensive and ongoing research for Magic Kingdom as well as finishing Cowboys & Aliens. Also, while Favreau has previously been quoted talking about the difficulties in making Iron Man 3 in a post-Avengers world (it’ll be the first Marvel movie after The Avengers) he really hammers it home with the cell phone quote. It’s going to be very difficult to come up with a plausible reason for Tony Stark to combat whoever he will without the help of the team. Maybe…a drinking problem? That’s pure speculation of course.

Speaking of problems, Downey talked about a problem he usually has with his films that he doesn’t have after working for a month and a half on The Avengers:

Well, I hate everybody. [Audience laughs] I’m not talking about the cast, I’m not talking about Joss. What I mean is I tend to look at a scene and say ‘This is absolutely impossible, we can’t shoot this, it’s horrible. I can tell you 10 other movies its been in, I refuse.’ I usually start off the morning by refusing to do what I’ve signed on to do. So I brought that attitude, happily. I just thought ‘How are you gonna put all of us clowns together? He’s wearing a suit, he’s all jacked up, he’s so and so and poor Mark Ruffalo, he’s gonna out do us’. And we’re about six weeks in and I have to say Joss Whedon is nailing it. He’s so smart and so good. And it’s gonna be great. I can’t believe I just said it, I never could’ve believed this but it’s gonna be great.

Big surprise. An actor speaking highly of a film while it’s in production. That never happens. Still, Downey’s enthusiasm did seem genuine and candid, even though he’s a great actor.

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