The Marvel hype machine is up-and-running for Iron Man 3, following the official trailer premiere two months ago. Since then, intriguing promotional images and rumors about which comic superheroes could make their live-action debut in the film have kept the fire burning.

Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige has been doing his part to help, praising Sir Ben Kingsley’s ‘chilling’ performance as The Mandarin and promising that Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) new adventure won’t aim to be the same mix of big thrills and self-aware humor that The Avengers is; rather, it’s going to be (and I quote) “different and fresh” and not too serious, despite what the trailer might have you believe.

One aspect that Feige has emphasized over and over is the IM3 script (co-written by director Shane Black) metaphorically takes Stark ‘back to the cave’ where he was imprisoned in the first film (and forged the prototype for his Iron Man suit). Hence, Tony is forced to rely solely on his own wits to survive – rather than being bailed out by a deus ex machina, like the new element he magically discovered in Iron Man 2 – and part of that means wrestling with his near-death experience in The Avengers (after watching an entire alien fleet obliterated in space).

The new Japanese trailer suggests Stark’s quest begins as follows:

  1. He starts advancing the Iron Man technology even further and fully commits to his relationship with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).
  2. The Mandarin launches an attack on Tony’s seaside mansion, with Pepper being kidnapped (?) and our hero surviving in his ‘Extremis’ prototype armor.
  3. Tony destroys his other IM suits – to prevent them from falling into terrorist hands – and must (literally) rebuild his superhero identity from scratch.

In summation: it sounds as though the Stark Manor set piece (which was unveiled as far back as Comic-Con 2012) is the opening act set piece for Iron Man 3. That’s in keeping with the best Marvel Movie Universe installments to date, where a world-shattering event kicks the plot into motion (see: the opening minutes of Iron Man and Avengers). A bit formulaic, perhaps, but effective nonetheless.

Moreover, this would be the most succinct approach to establishing the basis for Tony’s personal journey and making it transparent that the stakes have been raised. Of course, it’s possible the film will open with Stark’s home being reduced to rubble – before flashing-back to the events that preceded it (a la Iron Man) – or allows the proceedings to unfold in a linear fashion. The former option seems the more poetic route, as it very much mirrors the first film; however, that could also prompt complaints that IM3 isn’t as “different and fresh” as we’ve been told.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section.

Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black, based on a script he co-wrote with Drew Pearce. It stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, William Sadler, James Badge Dale and the voice of Paul Bettany.

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

Source: Walt Disney