Marvel movie mania (say it three times fast!) is in full swing (Thor pun!), now that The Avengers is finally here for its theatrical debut. (Scroll down to learn about some early production details for Iron Man 3.)

After the many trailersimagesfeaturettesclips,  interviewsTV spots and early reviews that have revealed (a bit too) much about  Marvel’s superhero team-up blockbuster, we thought it would be a nice change of pace to give fans a look at how this movie was made, rather than samples of what’s in it. The B-roll of behind-the-scenes footage (seen above) helps to do just that.

[UPDATE]: As soon as we posted this, MSN released yet another clip from The Avengers

<a href='^en-gb&src=v5:embed::' target='_new' title='Marvel Avengers Assemble Exclusive Clip - Loki Imprisoned' >Video: Marvel Avengers Assemble Exclusive Clip - Loki Imprisoned</a>

Iron Man 3 Shooting in China

After it was announced that Ben Kingsley was joining Iron Man 3, rumors ran rampant (say that three times fast!) that the veteran actor was going to be playing iconic Iron Man villain The Mandarin. Marvel has been quick to deny this, claiming that Kingsley is not playing the ‘main villain’ of the film, suggesting that either A) The Mandarin could be played by some other actor, B) The Mandarin is not the villain in the film at all, or C) Kingsley is some sort of supporting character or advisor to the main villain, who may or may not be The Mandarin.

No matter how it plays out, one thing is for sure: these Mandarin villain rumors are only going to get more prolific, as Disney/Marvel has put out a press release that they will be partnering with co-producer DMG Entertainment – a Chinese company – with portions of Iron Man 3 set to be shot in China itself.

Given that the nature of the Mandarin’s origin (son of a wealthy Chinese father and English noblewoman mother – a mixed ethnicity that could Kingsley could embody, BTW), it’s so easy to speculate that this China shoot is being used to bring the Mandarin to life onscreen. But then, it could also be that same obvious-looking answer that could cause us all to jump to some specious conclusions.

A more recent version of The Mandarin (Cover of Invincible Iron Man #511)

For instance: Bethlehem Pennsylvania (my wife’s hometown) was used to create a sequence set in Shanghai in Transformers 2 – so if that doesn’t prove to you that geographic locations don’t always get represented accurately onscreen, nothing will. I say that to say: filming Iron Man 3 in China doesn’t automatically mean the story has parts set in China. It’s strong circumstantial evidence, but not a certainty. Given that the majority of filming will be done in North Carolina, is could be argued that a Chinese setting is NOT what IM3 has in mind.

Then again, given the long track record of filmmakers and studios either denying or outright lying about spoilers that have been revealed on the Internet – we could point out a few about Avengers and Dark Knight Rises (click links at your own risk!) that have recently been confirmed – Marvel’s denials about the Mandarin, combined with this partnership with DMG, could be a case of the obvious answer also happening to be the right one.

We’ll know more as Iron Man 3 goes into production for its May 3, 2013 release date.

Sources: Disney/Marvel & MSN