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
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  1. That sucks.

    I don’t watch IRON MAN to see Pepper Potts.

    • But Pepper is a big part of Tony.

      I can seriously see her walking away from Tony because his need to be in or around the suits is putting their relationship as well as her life in danger so rather than have to live on Earth without her in his life, Tony flies out into space now that he knows there’s definitely something out there.

      Sort of like when you fall in love with someone, they walk away for whatever reason to try and protect you from heartbreak but you’re still left broken hearted anyway and try to avoid or get away from everything that could remind you of that person.

      If that’s the case then I don’t know about any of you but I can certainly relate to that.

    • I think in the movie, there will be super humans and she will be one of them. If you see the trailer, a human in no suit flips ironman. Also, you see Pepper in a fighting scene with an explosion.

      My take is that she is abducted and transformed into a super human and tony kills her.

  2. My prediction: Pepper Pots will die in this movie. Paltrow has already indicated that she does not want to do these films anymore and her death would be both a very powerful moment for the franchise and would be a good segway into a darker, more disturbed Tony Stark- alcohol problems and dismissal from the Avengers

    • I agree and it needs to be a real death, no offense to coulsan but his death was cheapened by an unfunny joke. I think this movie will really shake things up for the franchise

      • To what “unfunny joke” are you referring?

        • … “Oh, so that’s what that does”

      • thank you finally someone is making sense lets hope tony n pepper stay loyal to each other

  3. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I do think Pepper dies in this movie, and I think that prompts Tony to take off into space to get away and to investigate something he picked up, a signal maybe, which in turn causes him to find the Gaurdians. He may even fake his own death, to not appear to be missing. He disappears for a few movies and than shows back up in Avengers 2, arriving with the Gaurdians to re-join the Avengers.
    Just some thoughts.

  4. I thought for a while that they’d kill off Pepper too, but now I think Happy Hogan is the one who dies (just from the trailer and from comments about Favreau’s performance in this film). I can’t see them killing off both characters in one movie…. I know they said this film will have a darker tone, but damn that would just be bleak

    • The movie is dark in it’s tone rather than being depressing. Killing off Pepper would put a serious downer on the movie. I could see the whole Stark running from his problems and going into space thing working though

  5. just kill her off already, annoying character that did everything she could to take away screen time from the epic mickey rourke in im2. the love/hate relationship between them is boring, predictable and a waste of char dev for the villains and other characters.

    • And here I thought Sam Rockwell stole the scenes he was in with Rourke…

  6. Very anti pepper these comments.

    • Exactly what i was thinking… i would much rather she got her own suit and took off never to be heard from again. no need to kill her.

    • @Cody, apparently the majority are much more into Salt.

      • Haha nice R.I.G. I personally am a big fan of Pepper and do like hearing where this story could go. Having the multiple story layers is very appealing as proper movies should have that regardless if action rooted or not. Also seeing another character’s perspective displayed is a very refreshing idea to hear as well. To have Pepper killed off would actually be upsetting to see as it would be a waste of an established character unless properly done well like Coulson.

        I approve of Feige’s comments about setting Stark up in a situation to be motivated to fight other than for self interested reasons. The first two have already been there where involving Pepper is a very logical path to go. Hearing this has actually made me more interested to see the movie as I agree, the first is the best so far.

        Thanks for the article Andrew. It was a nice read and very informative. I personally don’t follow the comics so had no idea of her possibly getting a suit. I will need to stop reading these comments though as I’m getting too many speculative ideas where if it actually happened, would ruin the experience for me. Either way, nice to see there is some constructive comments though rather than the typical hate spam.

  7. I’d be sad to see Pepper go, only because I’ve grown to appreciate Gwyneth Paltrow’s work over time. If Happy Hogan dies too, it might be a bit too dark a departure from the tone of the first (and best) film.

  8. I still think there is a chance we could see an interesting compromise on the Happy angle…. We could see him turn into the Freak, now that would be interesting, unlikely, but interesting.

  9. I dont think they’re going to kill off pepper only because of the comments “Will we do that down the line with Gwyneth Paltrow? Who knows.” Kind of hinting at the already talked about possibility of replacing Paltrow in the future. But who knows I wouldn’t mind seeing pepper die because it would give the audience that true blow to gut that not every main character is safe, something thats kind of being hinted at for the next avengers movie.

    • Is Pepper a main character though? She never seemed like it to me in these movies. I don’t think many people would really care if she died (though I still doubt it’d happen).

      • She’s a main character.

        • So what has she actually done then to be a main character because I really can’t think of much.

          That’s like saying Happy Hogan and Dum Dum Duggan are main characters too in the movies they appeared in.

          I’d say Pepper is a secondary character that’s only featured when needed to appear in Stark Industries scenes and has nothing to do with the actual plot of the movie other than some brief exposition.

          • As we’ve seen in IM1, IM2 and Avengers, the relationship between Potts & Stark has been growing and in IM3 the whole point of Tony’s character development comes to a head in his devotion to Pepper. In IM3 we see that Tony’s whole reason for doing anything has been Pepper.

            If you haven’t been able to see that so far then I sure can’t help you.

            • Agreed. My guess is that’s what they meant when they said “It’s all about Pepper” meaning that all the actions Stark will take will be because/for her. I don’t think they meant she will become the main protagonist, or somehow save the day.

              And I don’t consider her a main character, no more than Coulson or Hill were in The Avengers, and their characters were great nevertheless. “Secondary characters” doesn’t mean less interesting. Stretching this, we could say that the first Spiderman movie was “all about Uncle Ben” because he inspired Peter to do good. And *duh* he died after half an hour of the movie :P Definitely not a main character!

  10. The more I think about this, I’m think Kevin F’s statement that
    “Iron Man 3 is all about Pepper Potts” is said tongue & cheek. She’s integral to be sure, but I still think this movie is about Tony’s journey. She might be the catalyst, but ultimately this movie is about Tony Stark.

  11. Hands up if you actually care about Pepper Potts……Didn’t think so…..

    • That’s what I was saying, they haven’t done anything to make audiences actually give a damn about her.

  12. I think it would be great to kill off Pepper because that character really never did anything for me. In fact, to me it took away from the playboy Tony Stark is. We as fans can’t explore this side of Tony with him being in a long term relationship which is the complete opposite of the definition of playboy. Plus, this would open the door (should Marvel Studios decide to continue their cash cow franchise series) for 3 more Iron Man movies starring RDJ and give us villains such as Madame Mask(whom would be much easier to write into a script with Pepper gone) or Ghost. Possibly call these 3 movies The Invincible Iron Man! Sounds great to me!

    • I agree with you: putting Tony in a stable relationship with any woman is sort of strange for me, because it’s not the way I see Tony Stark at all. I’m not the most familiar with everything Iron Man is, having known him primarily through the Avengers comics, but I never saw him as being the kind of guy who settles down with a woman. I don’t know much about the relationship between Pepper and Happy, but was under the impression that their thing was true and real. So I was surprised at the pairing of Tony and Pepper in Avengers (haven’t even seen IM2, shame on me!).

      Having said that, I wouldn’t want to see Pepper die…

    • I mean Madame Masque. Can’t have her without her father though. This would be a good movie (although a lot harder to do with Pepper alive) because she has always been torn between her lover (Tony) and her father… but please no TDKR treatment. The whole father daughter thing was done horribly in TDKR. I am also officially casting my vote for the villain(s) for AVENGERS 2… Throughout the next few movies, let’s see The Mandarin get some character development (how he obtained his rings, etc.) and come back fully ready to take on the AVENGERS with his new alliance with Fin Fang Foom!!! I mean, didn’t he say there are no such thing as heroes in the new IM3 trailer?!

  13. I actually like Gwenyth Paltrow as Pepper in the Iron Man movies. She added a lil depth to Tony’s background. And the chemistry between Tony & Pepper was evident from the start. If she does die, I hope its epic and most likely would be the driving force for Iron Man to depart earth and head to space on a spiritual and literal journey, leading to him finding the Gurdians of the Galaxy.

  14. I want more pepper to be in tony’s life, & i hope happy doesnt die :(

    • you and me both i just hope tony stays loyal to Pepper through n through

  15. I love the Pepper/Tony relationship. There’s a lot of onscreen chemistry between RDJ and Gwyneth IMO. However, I think I remember reading somewhere that Gywneth Paltrow was supposed to have a small role in Avengers 2. I could be wrong, but if I’m not that could mean that Happy will die in this movie and Petter just leaves Tony, both as girlfriend and employee of Stark Industries. Happy and Pepper are the only two constants in Tony’s life; have been for years. If they both are no longer around, for whatever reason, that would surely be enough to drive Tony to ultimate despair, excessive alcohol consumption and possible dismissal from the Avengers. He could even lose Stark Industries in a hostile takeover (something I think has happened in the comics more than once). This would all be motivations for him leaving the planet in a deep space suit.

    With his intelligence and the knowledge he would have gained from the sensors in his suit during Avengers, there’s nothing to stop him opening up a portal of his own in space to help his exploration of what’s out there.

  16. Pepper potts isn’t even that big of a character in the first two. Why are they all of a sudden shoving her down our throats?

  17. Kill her or don’t I’m pretty indifferent…but please no rescue armor. I’ve always hated that and we already have enough people in suits.

    • I agree with you… No RESCUE armor

  18. I think it sounds awesome. Shaking up the trope of a damsel in distress to make it unclear who exactly is saving who and in what way sounds like an interesting move that could be great fun to watch, and I hope they pull it off well. Actually maintaining character development instead of the mental reboot and semi-rehash that some people complained about in IM2 is something I can get behind, and for my part I really like what they’ve built with those two so far.

  19. These are actually more Avengers things, but I will put them down here: I want to see Goliath (Hank Pym), Wasp, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Ultron, Kang, and Skrulls. Oh yes, and mandarin fighting it out, magic rings and all, with Iron Man! Let’s get on it, folks, with what the fans REALLY want to see! Don’t give me Twinkies, when what I really want is saucy, meaty BBQ ribs!

  20. Tony’s IronMan armor and Pepper’s Rescue armor….. they’d make great Iron Babies together!!

  21. I didnt care for her much before Iron Man, not sure if it’s just me getting old or what – but she’s really sexy these days.

  22. Love Pepper Potts, she’s my favourite character.
    And I can’t belive people saying she’s not a main character?
    Have you seen the same movies as me? Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and The Avengers?

    In the MOVIEVERSE Tony is NOT an alcoholic, he’s no longer a playboy, he’s in a stablish relationship (said by TONY himself in Iron Man 2, please go watch the films) so… I don’t think she’s gonna die… Maybe they broke up at the end… I don’t know.

    But what I know for sure is that I will love that she gets an armour, I will love if she, again saves the day, okay? If it happens.

    In the first film Iron Man Pepper was the one who discovered the proof that Stane was the bad guy. She even fried the Iron Monguer by activating the electric charge of the reactor at the end of the movie so please, don’t say sillyness like she isn’t a main character because you sound ridiculous.

    I have this movies on BLU RAY people, I’ve seen every single one of them more than 20 times.

    I’m sure I’m most of a fan of this franchise than the very half of you.

    Sure, they are not following the comic book canon but is FINE to me, because they are MOVIES and better MY FAVOURITE movies.

    Comic Books are comic books, we read them and enjoy them. And there Tony is an alcoholic, is a playboy, Pepper was married with Happy until he died ans she’s more a friend or her right hand and nothing more. OKAY.

    Both canons are great, are different and I love them both. HELL!

    I enjoy the chemistry RDJ and Paltrow have in the movies, the deep relationship between them has evolved beautifully whithin the 4 films and anchors Tony’s personality and makes him more human.

    As a fan of both movies and comic books canons, I can’t understand all that Pepper Potts hate, frankly.

    Have a nice day! ^^

    • Yeah, this is about right. I mean yes the movies are built upon the comics, but the MCU is very different from Earth-616. Hell, it is more based upon the Ultimates, but even from that they changed a lot.

      Tony’s alcoholism is a big issue in the comics, but he didn’t go down that road that much in the movie-verse. Tony is different and Pepper is different, thus their relationship is different too.

      I enjoy Pepper’s presence. Maybe she will die, maybe she won’t be able to stay with Tony in this life. Who knows? I will definitely enjoy whichever road they will take.

      • Maybe the setting is more based on The Ultimates (Black Nick Fury, Hawkeye and Widow agents of SHIELD, Fury creating The Avengers, …) but the people ressemble more their 616 counteparts, in my opinion. Ultimates was filled with characters that I never cared for, especially in the first volume, so distorded from the 616 universe that I could not relate to them at all, so twisted that I could not find a single one that I could say: “oh wow, this one is great, he/she is my favourite one”. I, for one, would be glad if they stick to the 616 universe as far as characters go.

        As for Stark, playboy or settled down for life with a little house, a wife and 2.3 kids, well… I know the MCU is an adaptation of the comics, but the character is that way. Tony Stark IS a playboy millionnaire, ex-alcoholic, unable to commit. This is who the character is. To have him otherwise in the movies is like, to me, a completely different character. It’s like playing Cap without a heart, or Thor without his superiority complex, or a modest Hawkeye. I’m not being judgmental about his alcoholism. It’s a disease, and he overcame it in the comics. He has to live with the temptation, the fear of relapse all the time. It’s not an insult to the character to say that he’s an alcoholic…

        But hey, Pepper Potts is the subject of this thread, not Tony’s alcoholism of lack of. Sorry, but Pepper IS a secondary character. It doesn’t mean she’s not great (if you like her, that’s fine by me) and it doesn’t mean she should die.

        But it doesn’t mean she should get an armour and start playing superheroes either… if this is to get “more females into The Avengers”, I say thee NAY :P

        • Well, that’s your opinion and I respect it. But I have mine too.

          I know the type of character Stark is. I’ve read all the comics from “Tales Of Suspense” 1963 to Marvel Now 7 :D (And is thanks to the movies that I did it, so hey! I loved the movies and I decided to read the comic books and I loved them) Great for me! :P

          My point is not about if he’s “in character” in MCU or not. He’s a little different character in the MCU. And that’s a fact. Pepper is different too.

          His alcoholism is a flaw not an insult. It’s something that defines his actions in comicverse, nothing more.

          And about all the things about the happy married familiar life of Stark that’s fanfiction. I don’t want that in canon that would be BORING as hell for God’s sake…

          The MCU has a canon itself. And it’s not the same that in the comic books 616 universe. That’s all. You can like both (as I do) or like only comics or like one more or less.

          And yes, I’m a female and I’ve discovered Marvel comic books and now I love them. What’s wrong with that? :D

          And yes “World Most Wanted” by Fracttion/Larroca is one of the best for my taste “Rescue” rules. Again, it’s only my opinion :P

  23. Um. “All about Pepper?” Yeah, right. Don’t blink.

    Nobody is going to come out from seeing this movie thinking the movie was all about Pepper Potts.

    There are always multiple interviews before movies where someone is talking about some character, and giving the impression that there’s some significant portion of the movie that’s going to involve this character’s story. Usually it’s the actor, and they’re just kind of myopically “in the head” of the character they play.

  24. Pepper Potts in armour? Really? What next? “Tony and Pepper buy a rescue dog Tony decides that what this mutt really needs is some kick ass armour so it’s off to the lab with a tin opener and a thousand tins of dog chow.”

    • You act like it’s a new idea or you’ve never heard of it. The Rescue armor is from years ago in the comics.

  25. i think this will be awesome for the fans me being one to see. however the movie could have tony be loyal to peeper till the end that would make a better story than make peeper upset i mean seriously do we want to see her fight a another woman prob yes….. but them break up no….. they are perfect together….. you can see it in their eyes they were made for each other.

  26. I really wish they would get rid of the Pepper Potts as a love interest storyline. They never should have paired Stark and Potts into a relationship to begin with. I like the sexy playboy Tony from the first film with the unrequited attraction between the two characters. They lost the chemistry and the sexual tension, as well my interest in the Potts character, when they hooked them up. And Gwyneth Paltrow sucks in the role. They have a lot of adlib in the dialog of the first film as Jon Favreau was so focused on the action of the movie the script wasn’t even complete when they started shooting and she is simply not comfotable or good at responding when the dialog isn’t written for her. I would like to see Stark come to realize he can’t be with her because his enemies use her against him since he has no secret identity and send them back to the wanting without consummation. Much more energy in the desired and unfulfilled love than the your my reason for living dynamic. TOO PASSEE!

  27. I like the idea of pepper getting her oen suit but i don’t want the relationship between tony and pepper to be ruined or for her to die.