Since the outset, Iron Man 3 has been touted and positioned as a return to form for the Tony Stark character. Gone would be the over-reliance on connective threads to the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization and in would be proverbial return to the cave, so to speak, for Iron Man. Iron Man 3 would be a deeper, more personal, even “darker” solo character film.

But it’s not just that as we’ve learned in recent weeks. Iron Man 3 will still be infused with light, comedic Robert Downey Jr. moments, and it’s impossible, even inappropriate to avoid, knowing the character and talent involved, both in front and behind the camera. What may surprise moviegoers however, is just how much action Iron Man 3 has to offer.

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SPOILER WARNING

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A few weeks ago we were invited to watch 20 minutes of footage for the first chapter of Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe, Iron Man 3. Among the clips were an extended look at the scene from the trailers where Tony Stark’s mansion is attacked by news helicopters armed with missiles.

In the event footage, Stark is shown battling back, even taking a helicopter down with a piano. This is but one of many major action sequences, and Kevin Fiege revealed that the final action set piece is the biggest the studio has done yet. After that attack and while thought dead, Stark escapes and and lands in the countryside of North Carolina, where he befriends a boy named Harley. But he eventually goes back to make good use of the suits he’s been building since the Battle of New York after The Avengers.

In a chat with Champagne Living, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige revealed some rather interesting information (and this was before the latest trailer and some of the quote has since been hidden):

“There are a lot of suits in this movie. While it is both a movie in which he spends quite a bit of time outside of the suit, as you see it’s not working and he’s- and he’s with Ty [Simpkins] in Tennessee, by the end of it we reveal that underneath the house, which is now covered with rubble, he’s got dozens and dozens of suits. And once, throughout the course of the movie, and all that rubble gets pulled aside by construction cranes, just when he needs him, he calls them to the rescue and we have what I think is the biggest most action packed finale we’ve had. I showed the film to Joss Whedon, who is our writer-director of Avengers and who is currently working on Avengers 2, and he saw the finale of this and he goes, now what am I supposed to do now? What am I going to do in Avengers 2?'”

That sort of reaction by Joss Whedon should be the box quote for Iron Man 3, but it’s absent from the new IMAX exclusive poster:

[Click to Enlarge]

The Iron Legion, as its officially known as in Marvel Comics, and namedropped in association with the movie from the official in-canon Iron Man 3 prelude comics, was first revealed via a rumor and further confirmed by leaked toy images for the tie-in merchandise. The additional Iron Man suits, equaling a number several times that of all the previous movie armors combined, was officially showcased last week in the new Iron Man 3 posters and latest trailer.

From the armor descriptions there’s going to be a lot of battles and one – as hinted at from the trailer – will involve an army of Iron Man suits, led by Stark himself in another new suit (the Heartbreaker). It’s just one of several though and believe or not, there are still surprises, twists and turns we don’t know yet about Shane Black and Drew Pearce’s take on the character.

Fun Fact: When Feige told RDJ that they were going to go with Ty for the role of Harley, Robert asked if he could be the one to call him. Feige got Ty’s cell phone number from his mom, and Robert called him after school.

Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black based off of his and Drew Pearce’s screenplay, and stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Stephanie Szostak, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, William Sadler, James Badge Dale and the voice of Paul Bettany.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: Champagne Living (hat tip Smitty), IMAX