EXCLUSIVE: Drew Pearce has been chosen by Marvel Studios to write Iron Man 3. Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his signature Tony Stark role, and Marvel recently locked Downey’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang helmer Shane Black to direct. Pearce got the job after writing the script for Runaways, a Marvel project based on the cult comic by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan about children of super villains who try to use their evil powers for heroic purposes. Pearce is the British writer who created the irreverent UK TV series No Heroics, about a bar hangout for superheroes, who aren’t allowed to use their superpowers while drinking. That project had Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist director Pete Sollett attached and seemed on a fast track. It is still at Marvel, but the company is concentrating on its other big superhero franchises first.

Pearce is in talks to jump on one of Marvel’s biggest hits, and I’m told the plan is for him to start from scratch and work closely with Black. Iron Man 3 will be released May 3, 2013 through Disney.