As we enter the final stretch of marketing and promotion leading up to “Phase Two” of Marvel’s cinematic universe, we are seeing more and more goodies (spoilers?) start to drop. This week alone has brought concept art from every Phase Two movie – that’s Captain America: The Winter SoldierThor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy and of course, Iron Man 3 – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg; interviews and rumors have also supplied us with tantalizing details on possible villains and casting deals that would prove to be pretty sweet if they work out.

The level of attention that Iron Man 3 is getting is pretty ridiculous; as official masters of the online marketing game, Marvel has slowly rolled out artwork and armor designs featured in the film, as well as some revealing TV spots to help build fan interest. Today, we have yet another Iron Man 3 TV Spot, this time focusing on some of the mysteries surrounding The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and the exact nature of the threat he will unleash against Tony Stark and the world.

Iron Man 3 director Shane Black and screenwriter Drew Pearce have clearly borrowed from several Iron Man comic book story arcs (find out which ones HERE), including the multiple chapters on the Extremis virus – a nano-techonological weapon that basically transforms humans into cyborg-type creatures. We’ve known for some time that IM3 would detail Tony’s use of Extremis and the Mandarin’s plan to create an army of super-tech-soldiers using the virus (aided by Guy Pearce’s scientist character, Aldrich Killain) – but despite seeing an overflow of spoilerific details about the film in recent months (like Tony’s Iron Legion Army) we really haven’t seen much of the Mandarin’s forces… until now.

It’s jut a quick shot in the TV Spot, but that one Extremis Soldier who appears at the 20-second mark (possibly the Eric Savin character played by James Badge Dale?) looks pretty much in line with the original Extremis baddie, Mallen – down to the red eyes and bullet holes in the chest. Check it out:

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Extremis soldier from Iron Man comic books

Now watch the new TV Spot over at EW:

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Further revelations from the trailer come in the form of The Mandarin’s initial address to the world, in which he says, “My fellow Americans, my soldiers will destroy your country.” The wording of that dialogue lends credit to two things:

  1. That this version of the Mandarin could be, as Marvel Movie head Kevin Feige explained, a former master CIA-type guy who went “Col. Kurtz” out in the field and has since turned against the country, icons, and values he once fought for. That backstory would explain his ability to get away with brilliantly twisted terrorist attacks – and why he sports things like a Captain America anarchy tattoo
  2. That Iron Man 3 will indeed end with a finale involving Tony’s Iron Legion against the Mandarin’s Extremist hordes. An ending already being called ‘bigger than the finale of Avengers.’

At this point, we’re good with leaving all other surprises on the table until Iron Man 3 actually hits theaters. But, with a month of promotion still to go, something tells us a few more cats will be let out of the proverbial bag. Best turn away soon, if you want to remain fresh for the actual movie.

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Iron Man 3 will be in theaters on May 3rd; Lucky people in overseas markets can see it in IMAX starting April 25th.

Source: EW