Kevin Feige Says ‘Iron Man 3′ Is All About Pepper Potts

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 15th, 2013 at 12:19 pm,

Iron Man 3 Pepper Potts Importance Kevin Feige Says Iron Man 3 Is All About Pepper Potts

To say that Iron Man 3 will have plenty of cooks in the kitchen is an understatement. We get a darker, more serious Tony Stark recovering from a near-death experience; a mysterious villain bent on destroying the billionaire hero; and a bigger role for the Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle). Oh, and a few dozen suits of armor.

That many side characters might usually relegate the relatively well-established relationship between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to comedic relief or classic ‘damsel in distress’ plot devices. But according to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, Pepper won’t be getting less screen time at all; in many ways, Pepper Potts is who Iron Man 3 is all about.

A more important role for the scarlet-haired character is nothing new to fans of the comic books, as Pepper eventually received her own RESCUE armor with which to protect the innocent. Even if the movies have largely strayed from the source material in regards to Pepper and, say, Tony’s bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), the die-hard fans know that the potential for more development has always been present.

iron man 3 trailer129 570x242 Kevin Feige Says Iron Man 3 Is All About Pepper Potts

When speaking with, Feige opened up about what Iron Man 3 will bring for Potts and how the oft-used convention of a ‘love triangle,’ despite the added actresses to the cast, will have more to do with Tony’s armor than his heart:

“The love triangle in this movie is really between Tony, Pepper and the suits. Tony, Pepper and his obsession with those suits, and the obsession with technology. And, it’s sort of unique for a big superhero summer blockbuster franchise to have that kind of layers.

“Yes, there’s a bad guy. Yes, the stakes are very, very high–the President of the United States is in danger. Air Force One is attacked. There are big stakes to this movie. But the real stakes are, is Tony going to be able to set aside the obsession to spend all day, every day in that workshop, tinkering with the suits in order to focus on, as he says in the trailer, the one thing that matters most – Pepper. And that actually is what the entire movie’s about.”

Iron Man 3 Pepper Potts Armor Kevin Feige Says Iron Man 3 Is All About Pepper Potts

Feige’s comments mirror those of Paltrow and director Shane Black, who previously explained that Tony’s reliance on his armor would be a major point of contention in his and Pepper’s relationship. It may not be the only one, either. The impact that Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) will have – beyond her knowledge of the Extremis virus – isn’t clear just yet, but Feige has hinted that Tony may feel a kinship with her that he doesn’t with Pepper.

All of that comes in addition to a telling shot from the very first Iron Man 3 footage, showing Stephanie Szostak’s character seeming to force herself onto a surprised Stark. Now that Szostak’s character has apparently been revealed, we only have more questions about what that scene might entail. We knew Tony would be dealing with a much larger number of armors this time around, and it’s seeming more and more like the number of women in his life may increase to match.

New love interests may be coming into Tony’s life, but the past films (and The Avengers) have shown that Pepper isn’t the kind of girl to back down from a fight. That resolve and determination make her a poor fit for a ‘damsel in distress,’ even if the trailers have shown she may undergo one heck of a transformation. Feige explains what a female character that strong brings to the story:

“I will tell you this. In this movie we play with the convention of the damsel in distress. We are bored by the damsel in distress. But, sometimes we need our hero to be desperate enough in fighting for something other than just his own life. So, there is fun to be had with “Is Pepper in danger or is Pepper the savior?” over the course of this movie.

“In terms of where we go with future movies, we’ll see. In the comic books she does get a taste for the suit and becomes her own hero named Rescue, who doesn’t necessarily battle other people, but is on missions to help people and to save people. Will we do that down the line with Gwyneth Paltrow? Who knows. But her being in the suit is something we have been playing with since Iron Man 2, where we did some designs and it didn’t end up fitting in that movie. But [the idea] is something that we’re certainly interested in.”


Iron Man Pepper Potts RESCUE Armor Kevin Feige Says Iron Man 3 Is All About Pepper Potts

(Pepper’s armor, from “Invincible Iron Man” #29)

We don’t yet know how Pepper’s relationship with Tony’s armor will impact the series as a whole, but Marvel and Black have teased that a new story could begin with the third Iron Man movie. Nothing will be set in stone until fans see the movie for themselves, but it’s obvious that plenty more stories could be written about Stark and his surrounding associates – both planetside and in space.

What do you think of the story arc being set up for Pepper Potts? Is this a twist you’ve been waiting to see since the beginning, or would Pepper suiting up feel more like a gimmick than a true evolution? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013.


Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: (via Collider)

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. I like the idea of pepper getting her own
    suit but i do not want the relationship between tony and pepper to be ruined or for her to die.

  2. I like the idea. But like Sade said I don’t want Potts to die or her relationship with Stark to end. Stark and Potts compliment each other so well that it’d be a shame to end their relationship or kill her. I’d rather see her team up with Iron Patriot and Stark to fight the baddies. Maybe have her fight and save people in Avengers 2, when Thanos will be showing up. I’d like to see Potts and Stark eventually marry and fight crime together. Kinda like what happens with the Fantastic Four in the comics. Sue Storm and Reed Richards get married and have a son. But they still fight crime. The same can be done for Potts and Stark. Plus we’d get more comedy moments between Potts and Stark. So why not?

  3. I think suiting up peppr potts is a bad idea.. Let tony be inher be iron n let her be the beauty of the movie

  4. I think that Pepper should definetly have her own suit.

  5. I love Pepper evolving and becoming a stronger character, one that can stand side by side with Tony. I agree also that I definitely don’t want anything to happen with Pepper and Tony’s relationship. I love them together, they match so perfectly.If any one was ever meant for him it would definitely be her.She’s the only person he can’t jerk around. And every hero needs a heart and she is his…it only adds to the story.

  6. in my opinion i dont think pepper needs a suit of armor, i think thy should build on whats already there. in ion man 3 pepper was given the rapid regeneration stuff. this gave her superhuman abilities and the one scene where it showed her using them towards the end i have to admit. was freaking awesome. i think pepper should go on to be a superhero with those abilities. now tony did say he fixed her but he DIDNT say how. so if the producers of iron man wanted to continue with ideas for pepper they could build off of that alone. maybe tony just fixed her enough so it didnt cause life threatening symptoms. with todays advances in technology, that kind fo pepper would blow everyones minds.

    • I agree with Joshua. I also think the makers of the movie left themselves an easy out if they ever wanted to keep Pepper’s extremis powers. First, all Tony said was that he “sorted her out”. And second, if you remember, Tony worked out the solution to the exploding problem on the back of the business card he gave to Maya. We are reminded of this in the final scenes of the movie. I think they were deliberately ambiguous to see if everything works out. I hope it does, because Pepper with extremis powers and one of Iron man’s arms would be awesome.

  7. I love the Ironman series. The casting has especially been the strength, in my opinion. Mickey Rourke, in Ironman 2, set a high-impact tone right from the start, with superior acting. About Pepper Potts, I think it would be great to see her develop in many ways just as she is–without stepping into an armor suit. (Though it works for one movie, as in Ironman 3.) Our current world is full of challenges which she and Tony could address together, just as they are.