Fans of the Iron Man franchise are looking forward to seeing what director Shane Black will bring to the third installment. We brought you the news that The Hulk would not appear in Iron Man 3 earlier this week, as well as a bit of what Black and Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige had to say about the story and scope of the threequel.

We also had the opportunity to hear a bit from War Machine himself, Don Cheadle, during the Marvel press line at Comic-Con 2012, about what we can expect to see from his character in Iron Man 3.

When asked if Iron Man 3 will offer a bit more in terms of character development for War Machine, Cheadle intimated that he would, indeed, be playing a far larger role.

“Everything is happening for War Machine. His suit goes through a couple of iterations and developments and gets kind of a makeover.”

As to the suit, it seems that the costume itself is becoming more cumbersome for the actor to bear.

“It’s getting more uncomfortable. I think there is an inverse logic to that but it seems to be happening.”

When I asked him directly if he would indeed be donning the “Patriot Suit” seen in recent set photos, he responded coyly:

“I’m wearing some suits yes. I can’t give it all away but I have to put metal on.”

Hmmmm.

As to the action in the film, Black (the scribe behind the Lethal Weapon franchise), as we know, has written some tremendous and indelible action sequences over the years, and Cheadle indicates that we can, as anticipated, look forward to some elaborate set pieces in Iron Man 3.

“I know when I read the script there were scenes where I said ‘how are they going to do that?’ So it’s exciting to see those things put together.”

His relationship with Iron Man/Tony Stark also seems as if it will be given a bit more attention this go-round.

“He gets to branch out a little bit more in this movie but the main component of this character is his relationship with Tony. That gets a little bit more expansive in this one too. As Shane (Black) is fond of saying we have a private sector Iron Man with Tony and now we have a military Iron Man with War Machine, and I like the suit envy that they have with each other and the professional jealousy that goes back to friendship. We keep exploring that stuff and this movie is also kind of wall-to-wall action, so it definitely rivals the other two.”

As expected, Iron Man 3, by all indications, will have a far more grounded and realistic tone than some of the other films in the Marvel universe.

“I think this film is a little bit grittier. The villains aren’t all wearing costumes. So you’re dealing with human beings and I think that always makes it a little more of a touchstone to reality than when the sky opens up and people come out of it with swords. That’s great too, but this is just a little bit different.”

Finally, Cheadle, as most people do, credits Robert Downey Jr. with the success of the Iron Man franchise.

“I think it’s that man at the center of it, Robert Downey Jr., he’s obviously a really strong actor and when you bring that into a franchise like this I think it gives a level of veracity and a level of groundedness so it doesn’t feel like some flighty ephemeral thing. It’s like ‘oh, that’s a real person inside of there and a person with real issues.’ I think that contrast when you see that guy flying around and blowing things up, it makes it more grounded.”

Look for Iron Man 3 in theaters on May 3, 2013.