Now that Iron Man 2 has opened in North America, having opened in the UK the week prior, it’s already accumulated $327.6 Million at the worldwide box office. Not bad at all for a 10-day haul.

While we already knew we’d be seeing more of Tony Stark and his Iron Man suit in the future with The Avengers and Iron Man 3, it’s time we start discussing what his next adventure may entail by looking at what we know about Iron Man 3 so far.

The Avengers is slated for a May 4, 2012 release and since next year Marvel Studios will be introducing Captain America and Thor to the world, it could be two full years before we see Robert Downey Jr. on screen again as the popular hero.

That is of course, ignoring the possibility of a cameo appearance in either of the two Marvel movies next year. A common theory out there is that at the end of The First Avenger: Captain America we see The Avengers together as they unfreeze Steve Rogers and introduce him to the modern era.

What this all means it that by the time we get Iron Man 3, Tony Stark will be a full-fledged Avenger so the story will have to encompass his bigger obligations and the existence of these other heroes.

What will Iron Man 3 be about and who will his next villain be?

Ever since Jon Favreau brought us the first Iron Man, fans have wondered and speculated on when and how they can introduce the Mandarin, archenemy of Iron Man.

MovieWeb spoke with Iron Man 2 writer Justin Theroux and asked him about the Mandarin being fully introduced in Iron Man 3.

“Yeah, we tip our hat to that but that’s a tough one to get in because it’s such a big storyline… So that, I don’t know, and I don’t dare say it but it might feature in Iron Man 3, I don’t know?”

He doesn’t yet know for sure if he’ll be writing Iron Man 3 and he explains that they’re all focused on The Avengers at the moment before they put the next Iron Man solo movie into pre-production. For fun, who would Theroux play in the Marvel movie universe if he had a chance?

“I don’t know? Hawkeye would be great… No, I don’t know? Yeah that would be fun. We’ll have to see because I’ve never even thought of that? We’ll see?”

Before Justin Theroux hit it as a screenwriter with his script for Tropic Thunder he was an actor with big roles in Miami Vice and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. I actually think he could pull off The Ultimates version of Hawkeye [Update: Jeremy Renner is playing Hawkeye] so I have a feeling he has thought about it.

Continue to Page 2 for what Jon Favreau has to say about Iron Man 3…

mandarin iron man 3 villain What Can We Expect From Iron Man 3?

The Mandarin and his Ten Rings featured in Iron Man 3?

While we don’t yet know if Theroux will be involved in the next Iron Man adventure, but the current plan is for Jon Favreau to again helm the project [Update: Favreau dropped out and Shane Black took over]. So, what he is thinking for Iron Man 3?

” ‘Iron Man 3,’ to pay it off, there’s so much left to understand about what the world is going to be like then… You’ve got ‘Thor,’ ‘Captain America,’ ‘Avengers’ all happening with different directors before ‘Iron Man 3,’ and that’s all going to affect ‘Iron Man 3.’ ”

“And what’s going to have happened by then?… With ‘Thor,’ you’re going to have all this supernatural stuff happening, and magic. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world; if it’s going to match the comic book, it’s going to be incredibly complex for a film. I’m curious to see how they handle all that stuff.”

I touched on this point above but making a solo movie might be a little more complex than it seems. Why would Iron Man be off fighting his own enemy without the help of his superhero friends? What will The Avengers be doing in the meantime?

Favreau continues to seemingly confirm that the Mandarin almost has to be the featured villain of Iron Man 3.

“You’ve got to do the Mandarin… The problem with the Mandarin is that the way it’s depicted in the comic books, you don’t want to see that.

“He has 10 magical rings — that just doesn’t feel right for our [franchise]… So it’s either tech-based, or the rings are not really rings. But maybe with Thor and all those others, you’ll introduce magic to that world and it won’t seem so out of place.”

Thor has always had the question of concern of how it will be accepted. Iron Man is based in our reality but Thor is coming from another realm and is a god. With his introduction, it will open up the possibility for more supernatural/mystical elements for Iron Man to play with but will those themes clash? Will fans openly accept that push into deeper fiction?

Perhaps they’ll make significant changes to the character. We’ve already seen them turn the mystical 10 rings of the Mandarin into an organization rather than a literal set of 10 magic rings that Mandarin wears.

As we find out more, Screen Rant will let you know.

What would you like to see from Iron Man 3?

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Iron Man 3 does not yet have a release date but we can expect to see it either after The Avengers in 2012 or by 2013 at the latest. If you’re interested, join our discussion on when Iron Man 3 is coming.

Sources: MovieWeb, MTV