Rumored ‘Iron Man 3′ Plot Details Hint At ‘Extremis’ Storyline

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 3rd, 2014 at 7:40 am,

iron man 3 Rumored Iron Man 3 Plot Details Hint At Extremis Storyline

[Update: Marvel Studios released official Iron Man 3 plot synopsis.]

Even as the public’s eye remains firmly fixed on The Avengers, Marvel is preparing to begin production on Iron Man 3 this summer. Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) is co-scripting and directing the latter project, which is supposedly being fashioned as a (primarily) standalone feature – more in the vein of a gritty, globe-trotting Tom Clancy thriller than its predecessors.

Latino Review is claiming to have an inside scoop on the storyline for the third Iron Man flick, which the site says could be borrowing elements from Warren Ellis’ famous “Extremis” comic book mini-series. More so, that could also set the stage for the appearance of iconic IM baddie Mandarin in the movie threequel (more on that later).

Ellis’ “Extremis” mini-series is a six-issue Iron Man story arc which is generally considered to be among the best IM stories ever written. It deals with a military nanotechnology serum (the story’s namesake) meant to replicate the effects of the Super Soldier Serum used to produce Captain America. In order to defeat a dangerous terrorist figure known as Mallen, Tony Stark eventually undergoes the Extremis process, essentially making him a cyborg without having to wear his actual Iron Man suit.









According to Latino Review, the plot of Iron Man 3 will indeed involve nanobots that “make villains [and] can also make Tony Stark more than a man in a suit.” The Avengers will reportedly set the stage for such a development, when Captain America supposedly inspires Stark to develop said technology – as foreshadowed in the teaser trailer with Steve Rogers’ line to Tony (“Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away, and what are you?”).

mandarin iron man 3 Rumored Iron Man 3 Plot Details Hint At Extremis Storyline

Will The Mandarin appear in ‘Iron Man 3′?

How would Mandarin fit into the equation? Well, the IM antagonist (in a later comic book story) eventually gets ahold of the Extremis tech and unleashes it on the general population as a “virus,” seeing how only a small percentage of people who possess a rare genetic sequence can survive the Extremis process.

The Mandarin’s eventual appearance in the live-action Iron Man movie franchise has been foreshadowed since the first film, with the inclusion of a terrorist group known as “The Ten Rings.” Prior to his dropping directorial duties on Iron Man 3, series helmer Jon Favreau frequently discussed his interest in featuring Mandarin as the threequel’s central baddie – and indicated that we would indeed be getting a more realistic and grounded (re: non-magical) version of the character, which would comply with Black’s plan for the IM threequel to feature “real world villains.”

Bear in mind, this is primarily speculation right now. That’s not to mention, Black previously downplayed the idea of Mandarin showing up in Iron Man 3 by dismissing the character as a “racist caricature” in most of his comic book incarnations. Of course, Black could be pulling a fast one similar to what Zack Snyder did with the idea of Zod appearing in Man of Steel (ie. dismiss and/or play down the rumors without actually denying the villain as a possibility).

avengers 2313 570x306 Rumored Iron Man 3 Plot Details Hint At Extremis Storyline

That Black and his Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce have utilized elements from the “Extremis” mini-series seems reasonable enough. After all, the first IM flick likewise incorporated that comic’s updated backstory for Tony Stark’s first deadly injury (and subsequent invention of the prototype Iron Man suit). Nanobots would also make a sort of logical sense, in terms of where Stark would think to go next with the IM technology – but, of course, that’s a matter of opinion.

Principal photography on Iron Man 3 gets underway this May, in order to make a May 3rd, 2013 U.S. theatrical release date – so expect to hear more about the project (and whether or not there’s any truth to the aforementioned rumors) over the next couple of months.


Source: Latino Review, MTV

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  1. I am definitely OK with this. Extremis would keep Iron Man interesting, while not being too far “out there”. On one of the other articles it is suggested that Civil War was a story that Marvel would like to see in theaters. I would like this idea if they could get more characters on board (Spidermand, X-Men, etc.). If they did this (or not, I guess), they really should involve the Sentry. The Sentry didn’t play a pivotal role as such in Civil War, but in Siege (right after Civil War) he was the main weapon used by Osborne. I would love to see the Sentry make a film debut. He is obscure and hated, but his story is the most different and best (IMO) that Marvel has ever produced. He is a superhero that doesn’t deserve his powers, and he has to live with the actions and reactions of his very existence. That could make for some very interesting storytelling, imagery, and tone for a superhero movie.

    • Civil war will NEVER happen. they don’t own the movie rights to spider-man, X-men ghost rider or the fantastic four dude. plus theres to many characters and plot development and build up to do that story line. But you are right MARVEL STUDIOS should introduce the sentry they probably retain the rights to be on film. but id rather see captain marvel introduced hes a much better character for films then the sentry. plus he’ll come with all sorts of new colorful characters that marvel would want to get behind. the sentry is probably to complex with his mental illnesses and being his own enemy and what not.

      • I honestly get tired of the movie rights answer. In my mind, if the story was there, and they could get the right cast, why not speculate that Marvel and Fox could colaborate on Civil War? Is that really too much to ask? Both studio’s could benefit massively from this.

        • @ Alpine

          You do have a point. Both Paramount/Fox joined to make James Cameron’s Titanic happen. Friday The 13th remake benefited both New Line/Paramount mostly because New Line wanted to use the title to reboot the franchise. But Marvel Studios getting to use characters owned by Sony,Fox,etc. is another story. But not impossible for the studios to work somthing out to benefit each other.

          • The problem is, will Disney buy off on it?

      • will marvel own the rights to F4 as of june 15? the release date of F4:ROSS was june 15 2007, and according to the articles i’ve read, the studio has to have a film in production within 5 years of the release date of the previous one to retain the film rights.

        • I recall hearing something like this too. Is it known for sure that ownerships reverts to Marvel if Fox fails to meet the deadline? Not sure how it all works, but wouldn’t mind seeing Marvel take a stab at it.

      • Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that Marvel owns the movies rights to those properties, but as @Alpine said why can’t both studios collaborate on such an event? It would be the next natural groundbreaking-type event that would follow such a thing as the Avengers. I like the idea of Captain Marvel-he would bring heros like Ms. Marvel naturally to follow. These characters would be heavy hitters for Civil War.

        The reason why I like the Sentry is because of his mental weakness/illness. His solo flick could be a sort of a discovery of his internal battle and the combination movies could show him struggle throughout. His battle for a moral fortitude and a sense of purpose for his powers would be an EPIC side arc. The fact that he is Marvel’s strongest hero AND villain is something that they could wrap a story around that would break all sorts of barriers for superhero movies

      • Marvel could always do a Civil War storyline. It doesn’t need all of the players they don’t have the rights to, and would probably make it better in a film if it was more streamlined.

        Have some imagination.

          • @joshua in the movie planet hulk when he fought beta ray bill, due to the rights…. in the comics wasn’t it suppose to be the silver suffer?

  2. They need to use the Mandarin… In the first movie they had the terrorist group called “The Ten Rings”. The main terrorist mentioned Gangis Khan (Mandarin says that he is a descendant) and he also has a red ring like the mandarin had (same finger I believe too)

    PLEASE!!! USE MANDARIN (Unless you castrate him like you did whiplash)

    • Hes a terrible villain. the extremeis is the way to go and introduce a new type of villain. one thats not like joss whedon said just iron mans evil twin..

      • Actually, I think if that is what Extremis is about, it is not a good idea at all. Nanotech sounded good, but if it’s just going to turn Tony Stark into Superman, the man of steel, then no, come up with something different. Give Tony a can of Rustoleum, and he’s good to go as is.

    • I agree with BBJ! Mandarin is definitely a “Must Have!!” villain, whom all us true fanboys and probably the fangirls as well have been salivating for. Studios want to make money, right? Well, I’m all for them doing well, but to do well they have to give us something we want to see to make us “pony up the puppy” at the box office, for DVD sales, etc. And-we-want-Mandarin! Can’t be more clear than that. Anything else is just gravy, but Mandarin is the true “meat & potatoes” bad-guy! Probably one of the best things the studios could do to get a big box-office draw! And they do want “the sky’s the limit” profits, right!?

  3. I’m not a fan of the Extremis story.
    I’ve always been a fan of “a man in an iron suit” – and I’ve always felt quite alienated from the idea of “a man being his iron suit”.
    If IM3 were to go this route, I wouldn’t be that happy personally. If they want to keep things fresh, the I think they should delve into Demon in a Bottle instead of Extremis.
    That’s just my opinion though…

    As for the Mandarin, I’d love to see a VERSION of him in the movie – possibly as a criminal overlord and wealthy business man… but IMO, they should leave all the racist characteristics out of it (as well as the magical ten rings).

    • @TheAvenger (when did you start putting a space in there) – I don’t know this particular story-line, so I’m going to assume you are correct since I pretty much agree with everything you say regarding Iron Man’s movies and the upcoming Avengers’ movie.

      • The space has been there for a while… ;)
        Anyway, onto the point:
        I just feel that it hasn’t been IRON MAN ever since he underwent the Extremis procedure… now, he’s this detached-weirdo-cyborg-guy with stuff inside of him that makes his skin turn into his armor (and like I’ve said, I feel extremely alienated from the character now).
        ‘Iron Man’ has always been about MACHINES, TECH and HEAVY METAL (which is something the movies showcase so well), but ever since Extremis, it’s been very much biological instead (and personally, I don’t like it at all).

        I’d still recommend that you read Extremis (or watch the motion comic, OR just read about it on Wikipedia or something)
        It really is one of those story arcs that some people LOVE and others HATE – most people really like it so for all we know, you might enjoy it as well…

        • So he becomes Cyborg from the Justice League? Or Sam Worthington’s character from Terminator Salvation? Honestly, I’ve never read an Iron Man comic (unless it was a cross-over issue). I read X-men, Spiderman, Deadpool, Batman, Flash, Spawn, Superman, Cable, Hulk…but I was never really into Iron Man, Thor, or Captain America…but I loved their movies. I’ve seen the Extremis motion comic on Netflix…perhaps I will watch it.

          • It’s hard to explain exactly WHAT Tony Stark is now…
            Cyborg was probably the wrong word. Um, it’s more of a biological android?
            Still a person… but with weird stuff inside of him that basically makes him a living computer.

            • I agree Extremis is a very different take on Iron Man. I liked the story but always thought it was an unfair departure from the Tony Stark I know. I am with The Avenger. Im not crazy about this being the story for IM3.

    • I don’t see why they can’t keep the rings. We have gods, magic and aliens in The Avengers. Just explain the rings are advanced alien tech (which they are in the comics, anyway) And the Mandarin is as racist a caricature as the director makes him. Get your stuff together, Shane Black!

  4. I am all aboard this if this is the case. This would be an interesting story line to keep this trilogy fresh and moving forward from the Avengers.

  5. I was only thinking the other day that Extremis would be a good story for an Iron Man film, the only problem would be that Starks identity is still secret in the Extremis story and that is a pivotal part of the story.

  6. TO HECK WITH REALISM, I SAY! The Avengers film opens up the Iron Man movie universe to greater fantastical creations, not more realistic and grounded crapola!

    Bring on The Mandarin as he is! Summon Fin Fang Foom!!!

    • I doubt they’ll have Fin Fang Foom (first of all… the name ;)) and second of all, we’re already getting a huge-dragon-creature in The Avengers…
      Having another one in the next IM movie won’t be such a good idea IMO.

      • Fin Fang Foom’s name means ” He whose limbs shatter mountains and whose back scrapes the sun.” -I think that’s actually pretty freaking cool, myself. All the movie would need is one line in the script where someone dramatically says that out loud.

        • It sounds corny dude (no matter what the name means) ;)

      • Yeah, the dragon’s name might as well be Whang Dang Doodle, or “I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down” or something…sounds too comical. But Mandarin, on the other hand, is something we MUST HAVE to keep us interested at the box office!

  7. If I wanted reality I wouldn’t be sitting in a movie theater.

    • @Eddie – so you don’t want to watch a movie about a guy sitting in a movie theater watching a movie? Dagnabbit…I need to start my script all over again.

      • HA! Good one.

      • Mystery Science Theatre 3000!

        • Ha! Someone should reboot that

  8. Fin Fang Foom’s name means ” He whose limbs shatter mountains and whose back scrapes the sun.”

    • Gee, according to my translator’s dictionary I came up with, “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work we go!”

  9. I’m of two minds about it. I’ve never really thought it was as good as everyone thought it was, though it certainly wasn’t bad. Also have to echo the earlier statement of liking Tony in the suit rather than being the suit, though if they went ahead with it I suppose I could accept it as long as they make it work. I just sort of thought that the Extremis suit and its effects on Tony almost made him too powerful with all that he could do.

    Still, it does fit with him in many ways and getting the idea from Steve indirectly from that comment is a nice tie-in with the universe they are creating I think. The fact that its creator in the comics referred to it as a Super Soldier Serum would make it a sort of continuing use of that idea in this Marvel Universe with Captain America and The Incredible Hulk being other examples.

    You also have an arguable source for the Mandarin’s powers if they don’t want to go for the ten rings literally giving him all those abilities, though since we have established aliens I don’t think it would be that far off.

    I do hope we get to see the Mandarin. Black has a point about him being a racist caricature, but it if they were to go with the version present in the “Haunted” storyline that also features Extremis that is referenced here then I feel it could work. The Mandarin there was cunning, intelligent, and a good adversary as he has often been.

    I’m not sure if we could really see the continuation of Demon in a Bottle since by the end of 2 Tony was doing better. Granted, they could have elements from Avengers influence if there are any that work.

  10. Sounds pretty cool. Never read the Extremis story line, but I’m not sure how I’d feel about turning Iron Man into a cyborg. I really hope he faces off with the Mandarin (I’ve said it before, Batman and Joker, Iron Man and Mandarin) ten rings and all.

    • Completely agree with this statement. Why even put Mandarin in it if their gonna f*** it up and make him just a regular criminal overlord guy? I can understand modernizing him, but I thought the point of The Avengers was to make more cosmic and fantastic stories, not more “real world” stuff. They’ve established the existence of GODS, MAGIC AND ALIENS in The Avengers, but with IM3 there still going on about “real world villains.”

    • Well, I could be remembering this wrong, but were the rings even magic? Given their origin, were’t they in a sense similar to what Asgardian weaponry is in the movie universe: science so far ahead that it can pretty much be called magic?

      I agree that the origin overall doesn’t need to be changed much. Just ditch the purple pants for Fin Fan Foom. You can have a flashback showing him finding the rings and everything and show how that was sort of his start to becoming head of the Ten Rings.

      If they had Extremis there, you could even throw in an explanation that the Mandarin perhaps actually feels threatened moreso than before now that Tony has something that advanced.

      Of course, if it’s being fashioned as more standalone than I suppose the Mandarin showing up is unlikely.

        • Yes, you did. My apologies. I just sort of skimmed through the second part of your post and didn’t realize.

          I think they are sticking to where he got them, but I don’t believe they’ve ever definitively stated one way or another, no.

          Now that is actually a nice way to do such a thing since you have the nod to the character without all the extra trouble of dealing with him still being around when the Mandarin gets there. Having it be some sort of ancient find also helps with that whole blurring of mystic and technological with the rings.

  11. I think that one the greater appeals of Iron Man to the fans is that the characters is largely grounded in reality. I mean its a normal man in a technologically advanced suit, not all that far fetched. Taken that aspect away is not something that I think that the studio should mess with. Iron Man is likes Marvel’s version of Batman…closet thing to it imo. I would not get into super serums and cyborg stuff with Iron Man. teh other Avengers characters have that already- Hulk, Cap, Thor- we should just leave Iron Man as our down to earth human character.

    As for the villain, that can be a bit more far fetched here, we’ve already seen him go up against to advanced suits like his, lets change that one up this time around

    • Sorry friend, but The Avengers is about to “MESS WITH THAT” majorly!

      • Thor already did!

        But I see your point, and I also think that’s partially what Black meant by IM3 being a standalone feature.

  12. Andy Lau or Tony Leung (I would prefer Andy)

    And they would have a smash hit in china that would make moolah for years

  13. Now that thry have introduced magic in the MCU, I would much rather see a Magic vs Technology/Science themed story. I want to see Tony outside his comfort zone. Tony’s blatant ignorance of magic and unwillingness to look at as anything other than cheap parlor tricks would be great.

    Since The Avengers leads into IM3 it would be intresting to see Stark develop Post Tramautic Stress due to all the dangers he faced saving the world. The downside of being a super hero. Some outside the box thinking.

    • Which would be a good segues into his drinking problem getting out of control. That was such a major part of his character in the books, they’ve touched upon it in the movies, but they haven’t really made it a focus yet and I think they should.

  14. Hmm

  15. Wasn’t the necessity for Extremis because the IM suit was so bulky and Tony had to stow it wherever he went?

    IM2 kinda did away with that when they put the suit in a briefcase Jetsons-style!

    J/k – I could see it in a movie version. I just thought the briefcase was a little ridiculous in IM2

  16. Bringing up the Cap quote (“without the suit what are you”), that just doesn’t seem like Cap to me when I saw the trailer. There must be more to the setup to that line in the movie. Maybe something like Tony acts he’s not willing to sacrifice for the common good the way Steve Rogers would.

    I mean, the first act of the Cap movie was to show how he appreciated human frailty and the need to protect those who can’t protect themselves. What was Cap before a scientist put the serum in him? Tony could have taken young Steve Rogers without the suit. That line seems off without some lead in.

    • You gotta admit though, his come back was bad a$$

      • agreed – the comeback was pure Stark!

    • Very much agreed! I have not liked that line since the beginning. It seems very immature and out of charaacter for Cap to say, especially considering who he was before he became Cap. ex. “shield and super serum, take that away and what are YOU?”

  17. No matter what storyline they decide to go with, I hope they pay homage to the famous scene in the comic book when Tony wakes up while falling to Earth and has to change into his armor while in free fall. That was one of the more memorable scenes from the late 70′s by Layton, Byrne, and Romita Jr.

  18. Okay, I’ve read a lot of the comments, and I’d like to change my mind ;)
    Magic can work… it’s already been introduced in THOR, and it could be cool to see Iron Man (tech) go up against the Mandarin (magic).
    (Pretty much what Ignur Rant suggested).
    That said, they should still do away with all the racist characteristics. Modernize the character a bit, and don’t include Fin Fang Foom.

    • Boo, I beat him to the punch.

      I’m also not understanding how the Mandarin is nothing more than a, “racist caricature”. Maybe I need to be schooled a bit because I always thought he was based more on Flash Gordon’s Ming the Merciless than some Chinese stereotype.

      So why exactly can’t IMs arch-villain be a megalomaniac from China? I always thought the story was interesting and well thought out and would rather have someone a bit more exotic than another American megalomaniac.

      • I agree Mongoose. The same people that complain about the character will be the same ones that will complain when a white actor plays the part of a chinese character in a movie. Not to mention with the rise of China as a world military power it kinda makes sense that Stark would cross their path.

        • Keep the mandarin Chinese. Get a Chinese actor to portray him, but just do away with the stereotypes… problem solved.
          Modernize the character a bit (like in the newer IM comics).
          And keep Fin Fang Foom out of it.

          • All this dragon hate. What did poor Fin Fang Foom do to you!?

            • Like I said… the NAME, but more importantly, we’re already getting a similar creature in The Avengers — and if it’ll take the entire team of Avengers to defeat that thing, how the hell is IM going to defeat Fin Fang Foom?

              I’m not hating on Fin Fang Foom, but I just think there are a few better options available.

              • Agreed – the name is silly. If Foom is in IM3, my money is that he either won’t be named or he will be introduced with Tony making some smart comment about the name before he appears.

                Just thinking about the name being said aloud makes me cringe a little, although it is fun to say.

                FIN FANG FOOM!
                yeah – satisfying

  19. bring back Justin Hammer, Sam Rockwell is one of my favorite actors (Moon anyone?). I think he was underutilized in IM2 and at the end when he’s being taken away by the police he turns and says to Pepper Potts, “i’ll be back and i’ll make you sorry.” I think having Mandarin be the primary villain with possibly the Crimson Dynamo (HAMMER?) as a secondary villain (Two-Face :TDK style). maybe they could team up for the final battle.

    Manderian/Crimson Dynamo vs IronMan/War Machine

    Obviously both villains would need a background overhaul…but the “Red” Dynamo still works well for China not just the USSR. I live in NC and they start filming in Wilmington, NC soon. Maybe i can be an extra!!! haha

    I’m super toked for the Avengers and can’t wait to see them make-up for some of IronMan 2 flaws (especially not really let Micky Rourke and Sam Rockwell do their thing…)

  20. I’ve never read extremis but judging by what you’re saying it sounds like I wouldn’t like it. I’m starting to get that cramping in my stomach when I worry about a movie. Why can’t they just do like they’re doing in IM Armored Adventures and make the Makulan rings a form of ancient technology. I want the Mandarin and Fin Fang Foom dammit!!!

  21. not having Mandarin in an Iron Man trilogy is like not having a Joker in a Batman trilogy

    • Can’t you just post them here?

    • 1. I dont want to e Pepper in an IronMan armor. I hope they dead their little fling as well. Platonic relationship fits them better.

      2. Dont want to see Ezekiel Stane, another business man upset with Tony’s fly by the seat attitude who wants the IronMan suit.. Hammer and Obidah were enough.

      3. I dont wanna see an army of Iron Men and anotheranti-climatic robot fight.

      4. Extremis is wack IMO I prefer the normal man in a super asvance armored system. Not a superpowered android.

      5. Yes to Mandarin and Fin Fang Foom. Magic vs Tech is where it should go. The more magical the better. Stark should get so desperate that he actualy starts reading magic books by the end or painfully admitting there are something he can’t/doesnt fully understand.

      • I doubt Stark and Pepper will ever “be together”.
        Their relationship is one of the more complex ones I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s a game of cat and mouse – a game I haven’t grown tired of yet.
        So, I have to disagree about them being purely platonic friends, but I also don’t want them to really be a couple and live happily ever after.
        They should keep that awkward vibe between the two characters. It’s entertaining IMO.

        Also, since we’re already getting a dragon-like creature in The Avengers, I don’t think it’s very wise to have another as well – but as for the mandarin and his magical powers… I’ve come around to the idea. I’m all for it now.

        • More complicated in the comics perhaps. Pretty straightforward in the film tho.

          Tony’s an emmotional wreck so he attracted to the most stable person in his life. Pepper doesnt want to look like another floozy but she has grown to like him. The flirting can stay but the relationship inception needs to be dead-ed. Makes Pepper look like a floozy like the IM2 rooftop kiss.

  22. So, who should play Mandarin?

    Donnie Yen!!!!

  23. I for one would love to see them start with the Ultimate version in ironman 3 then go into the Extremis suite and have ultron,mandarin, and a mechanicle Fing Fang Foom.

  24. I personally will love to see Ezekiel Stane avenge his fathers death along with Mandarin on his side. I think the trilogy should end with a good dramatic story just like the DARK KNIGHT RISES is rumored to be… Mandarin its a must !

  25. With all the information that’s been leaked I’ve started to get an idea where this one’s going. Tony’s decision to destroy all tech stolen/copied from the war machine will provoke the government to unleash fire power on the iron man as a response / counter measure. It proves to be more than a challenge and a broken Tony seeks maya hansen at future farm (a branch of stark industries) to seek an upgrade in the form of the extremis enhancile. A terrorist figure ( coldblood) known to have upgraded him self has escaped to china for his own ends enticed by a shadowy underworld figure (mandarin) who has been patiently waiting to stamp his Mark on the western worlds most prominent figure head (stark) he threatens to unleash extremis on the American people and Tony has to fight for his life while cut off from his assets and friends with only the help of an old friend to win the day.

  26. With all the information that’s been leaked I’ve started to get an idea where this one’s going. Tony’s decision to destroy all tech stolen/copied from the war machine will provoke the government to unleash fire power on the iron man as a response / counter measure. It proves to be more than a challenge and a broken Tony seeks maya hansen at future farm (a branch of stark industries) to seek an upgrade in the form of the extremis enhancile. A terrorist figure ( coldblood) known to have upgraded him self has escaped to china for his own ends enticed by a shadowy underworld figure (mandarin) who has been patiently waiting to stamp his Mark on the western worlds most prominent figure head (stark) he threatens to unleash extremis on the American people and Tony has to fight for his life while cut off from his assets and friends with only the help of an old friend to win the day….