What do you do with the Iron Man franchise after The Avengers? If you’re newly hired director Shane Black you pull it away from where it went in Iron Man 2 - ie, more guys in armor pounding on each other - and find a new angle.
According to an Ain’t It Cool scooper who attended a film festival panel where Black spoke, that new angle is the technothriller. Sadly the source only paraphrases, but what they say is:
it will be more like a Tom Clancy-thriller, with Iron Man fighting real world villians.
The source also claims that Black said he’ll be writing the script, and that it will have no Marvel superhero crossovers. Of course the reality of that will be decided in the weeks leading up to the release, which is when Marvel seems to throw in their cameos (Thor and Captain America cameos were just recently shot).
As a nerd I hope that Black’s Iron Man 3 is at least in the same vein as Favreau’s; I would like the Ten Rings business finished up.