Just like he did in his first outing, everybody’s favourite “man in a tin can” will soon be ushering in a new Marvel Age as Iron Man 3 kicks off Marvel’s Phase 2 in May. But things have changed in ol’ Tony Stark’s life. He’s seen the big bad things with their eyes on our green and blue marble in space, and realizes that jsut pew-pew lasers aren’t going to cut it anymore when you’re fighting gods. It’s time for some new ideas.
And as Marvel Studios Executive Kevin Feige explained to MTV, Tony’s certainly got ’em.
“So much of the journey of ‘Iron Man 3’ is informed by Tony’s experiences in ‘The Avengers. It’s almost like post-traumatic stress: he really has retreated after the events of ‘The Avengers’ into his workshop, where he’s building advanced versions of his suits. He has [designed] a version of the suit that can latch onto him in individual pieces … anytime, anywhere. As he starts to realize, it’s basically because he doesn’t want to be out of the suit: he’s seen a lot of things in ‘Avengers’ and has encountered a lot of powerful people, much more powerful than he is.
“It brings us back to the Tony we met in the first part of ‘Iron Man’ where he’s removed from that convoy and brought to the cave with nothing but a box of scraps. It’s fun for all of us to watch Tony try to figure out how to get out of that scenario. Much of the movie is Tony in the middle of the country without his tools and a fairly broken suit to help him. But that’s his superpower: he wasn’t born on Asgard, he wasn’t hit by gamma rays, and he doesn’t have the super soldier serum. His power is his brain. It’s fun to put Tony Stark in a corner with nothing and see how he can get out of it.”
The man that will be doing all the putting in corners will be classic Iron Man arch-villain, The Mandarin, played by acclaimed veteran actor Ben Kingsley. There’s been some ruckus about the casting of an actor of Indian/English descent in a role that has traditionally always been Chinese (hilariously, just about everything about Iron Man is now made in China, except the one thing that was originally made in China). But this version of the Mandarin, is not quite the Mandarin we all know and love to hate.
“We felt there was leeway to explore the Mandarin in a way that hasn’t been explored before. We found we couldn’t point to any sort of definitive Mandarin story in the comics— but if you print this, I’m sure a million fans will point to a specific story — so as we’ve done with many of the films, we did an amalgamation. The Mandarin is relentless: he’s a non-stop threat, and you’ve seen that in the first teaser trailer when Tony Stark’s house tumbles into the sea. He doesn’t mess around, this guy.”
Know who else is apparently not messing around? Shane Black. You may think that it would have been a daunting task for the writer-director (who made his name penning classic action thrillers like Lethal Weapon, The Last Boyscout and The Long Kiss Goodnight) to step into previous franchise runner Jon Favreau’s size 11’s, but apparently he’s been wearing them for a while already, and now he’ll truly be making them his own. And no, I don’t just mean that he’s been stealing Jon Favreau’s shoes.
“No one has been shy — myself, Robert and [original ‘Iron Man’ director Jon] Favreau — about how Shane worked in the shadows of the first ‘Iron Man’ film, helping with certain scenes and helping with tonal things. This film, it’s much less the culmination of the previous ‘Iron Man’ movies in part three: this is ‘Iron Man: A Shane Black Film.’ That, to me, is by far the most unique thing about this movie.”
Iron Man: A Shane Black Film? Damn, you just know somebody’s house on the beach is getting shot up now! Except for blatant property damages though, Iron Man’s future is still pretty uncertain. But in a a good way.
“Characters like James Bond and Batman, whose stories go on and on and on — I think Tony is one of those characters. Where we go directly after ‘Iron Man 3’ … I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m looking to finish ‘Iron Man 3,’ getting into ‘Avengers 2,’ and then seeing where we go from there. But I do think we have more Tony Stark tales to tell, and we’ll take it one movie — or maybe two movies — at a time.”
The original casting of Robert Downey J as Tony Stark was an inspired choice, and the motormouth actor has proven that he can still make this gig work for a very long time, and I for one would be happy to see him do it. Stick around for a very long time, I mean. Not actually see him do it, that would just be gross.
Iron Man 3 opens in 2D/3D on May 2, 2013.