Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a near flawless modern noir. Shane Black’s script sparkles with wit and one-liners and Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer are perfect as the leads. Therefore, it’s a shame that we will never get a sequel.
The $15 million film grossed just $4 million at the US box office (and an additional $11 million elsewhere), hardly a hit to write home about, although that does have something to do with Warner Bros. releasing it on only 226 screens. At the time of its release Downey Jr was climbing his way back up the career ladder – he still had The Shaggy Dog to come. Then Iron Man hit and he’s now one of the biggest stars on the planet, and currently working with Shane Black on Iron Man 3.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang needs a sequel. Hardboiled dialogue is what Black does best, and I’m sure that he must feel restrained by the family friendly Marvel franchise movie that he’s now calling the shots on. Downey Jr appears to be playing it safe (in a Johnny Depp style way) by keeping his eye on box office returns (he’s been in seven $100 million+ grosser since 2008). Kilmer’s best box office days seem to be behind him, although he seems to be carving out an interesting (non-commercial) career trajectory. Both Kilmer and Downey Jr have stated in the past that they’d love to do a Kiss Kiss sequel. All Downey Jr needs to do is say ‘yes’ and it will get made.
He could even throw-in some of his $50 million Avengers payday to fund it.