From Marvel Studios comes “Iron Man 3,” which continues the epic, big-screen adventures of the world’s favorite billionaire-inventor-Super Hero, Tony Stark aka Iron Man.
Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968, “Iron Man 3” returns Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, the iconic Super Hero, along with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan and Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin.
Shane Black directs Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” and the screenplay is by Drew Pearce & Shane Black.
After the “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2” box-office successes, the Iron Man character, once again reprised by Robert Downey Jr., was last seen in Marvel Studios critically acclaimed “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which set the all-time, domestic 3-day weekend box office record at $207.4 million. The film went on to gross over $1.6 billion worldwide, becoming Disney’s highest-grossing global and domestic release of all time and marks the studio’s fifth film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide.
“The exciting thing about ‘Iron Man 3,’ is that it’s not only the culmination of the first two films, but it’s also a follow up to ‘Marvel’s The Avengers,’” says producer Kevin Feige. “It’s one of the first situations where you have a movie that is the sequel to two different films and in a way that liberates it to be more unique than anything that has come before it, which is what we’re most excited about.”
In the Marvel cinematic universe, all events that happen within each film have a direct influence and consequence in future films and franchises. For Tony Stark the events and encounters he faced in “Marvel’s The Avengers” may be behind him, but he is still working hard to balance the demands of his own personal life.
For the storyline of Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” the filmmakers decided on a “back-to-basics” tone where they could explore what Tony Stark would do if all of his money and toys were stripped away from him and he was forced to find a way back to being a Super Hero.
“Early on in the development, we talked about this notion of taking Tony Stark back to basics because we wanted to see him just use his brain,” explains executive producer Louis D’ Esposito. “You want to see what he can do when the odds are against him and it makes you wonder, ‘How is he going to get out of this one?’”
Executive producer Stephen Broussard explains the filmmakers’ decision to blend two different storylines together for the film. “There are two classic stories that have appeared in the ‘Iron Man’ comics—one is older and the other is more modern,” explains Broussard. “The older is the character called The Mandarin, and he is one of the most famous villains in the franchise. The character dates back to the 1960s and we wanted Shane [Black] and Drew [Pearce] to take that idea and contemporize it for present-day audiences.”
Broussard adds, “We also wanted to combine that with another storyline in the comic called Extremis, which came out not too long before the first ‘Iron Man’ film in 2008. It deals with the biological enhancement of humans and Tony must face super-powered humans in that. So we just thought, wouldn’t that be interesting if we tried to combine these two stories into one for ‘Iron Man 3’?”
An early believer in the Extremis story line, Downey Jr. says, “I remember when we were getting ready to shoot ‘Iron Man,’ I started reading ‘Iron Man’ comics and there was this one called ‘Extremis,’ and I thought it was really interesting and cool.”
“The thing about the Extremis storyline that always interested me in the comic books was that you had a sense that Tony Stark puts on an iron suit and hides inside it in a way,” says director Shane Black. “The character wouldn’t call it that, but that’s kind of the case. With the Extremis people, you always got a sense that they’re burning up from the inside. So one of them could actually say to Tony for instance, ‘you drive a car, I am the car.’”
There is plenty of angst from “Marvel’s The Avengers” to fuel Tony Stark’s arc too. Before “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Tony Stark thought he was the only Super Hero in the world, and in “Iron Man 3” he must deal with the revelation that he is not the only one out there. As Kevin Feige explains, “In ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ he faces a world-changing event that not only includes seeing the powers of other Super Heroes, but also having a portal to another world opened above his head.”
For Robert Downey Jr. the journey of Tony Stark in the “Iron Man” franchise is one that is very relatable to audiences. “The great thing about ‘Iron Man 3’ is that we really are going back to kind of an extension and continuation of some of the things that made the franchise fly to begin with,” says Downey. “With the execution and incredible success of ‘Marvel’s The Avengers,’ we’re afforded the opportunity to not have to set up another film and can really explore the character of Tony Stark in ways that are very organic and connectable and play to the strength of the franchise.”
(Opening across the Philippines on April 24 in IMAX 3D, Digital 3D and regular theatres, “Iron Man 3” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D'Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.)