I literally just finished writing a story detailing all the recent villain rumors for Iron Man 3, and another big rumor has dropped. While we are still waiting to see if Ben Kingsley is in fact playing iconic Iron Man villain The Mandarin (and all the debate that has already created), we now get word that Iron Man’s star-spangled counterpart, The Iron Patriot, will also be part of Iron Man 3.

If you hear the name “Iron Patriot” and find yourself scratching your head in confusion, simply scroll down to get details on who the character is.

In my last post I wrote how Iron Man 3 – which sees Tony Stark battling terrorists who unleash a nanotechnology virus known (in the comics) as “Extremis” – could be sowing seeds of the larger Marvel movie universe that mirror Marvel Comics events of the last decade, such as “Secret Invasion.” In the comics, after “Secret Invasion” – in which the shape-shifting Skrull aliens launch a covert invasion of Earth – came “Dark Reign,” a story in which Spider-Man villain Norman Osborn became a national hero after seemingly ending the Skrull invasion, and used his new authority to re-brand super villains as superheroes, while making superheroes into enemies of society.

One of the best elements of  the “Dark Reign” saga was the series Dark Avengers by Ultimate Spider-Man writer Brian Michael Bendis. In the series Norman Osborn took noted Marvel supervillains and had them masquerade as The Avengers – with Osborn himself donning an old Iron Man suit (repainted as an American flag) and going by the moniker of… The Iron Patriot.

Norman Osborn as Iron Patriot, leading his Dark Avengers Team

Now… if you haven’t read our breakdown of which movie studios own which Marvel characters, here’s the short version: Everything related to Spider-Man is owned by Sony, while everything related to Iron Man is owned by Disney/Marvel Studios. This means there will be NO Spider-Man-related elements in any Marvel movies, unless some new deal is worked out between both studios. I say that to say: The Iron Patriot in Iron Man 3 CANNOT (legally) be Norman Osborn, and Spider-Man is NOT being brought into the Avengers movie universe – no matter how hard some fans wish otherwise.

Coming Soon broke this Iron Patriot in Iron Man 3 story, but has no explanation as to how the character fits into the plot, or who will be wearing the armor. Since Iron Patriot debuted in an Avengers comic book, the character can be used in IM3 – but again, the origin and details will have to be drastically changed.

UPDATE: It is reportedly actor James Badge Dale (Rubicon)  – previously thought to be playing obscure cybernetic villain “Coldblood-7″ in the Iron Patriot armor – and here are the set photos to prove it (by way of Superficial):

Now, before we all geekgasm too much: Dale (if that’s indeed him) could indeed be wearing the Iron Patriot armor for PART of the movie, while still becoming the Extremis-infected cyborg villain we’ve heard tell about. Without knowing where the set photos above fit into the film, we could be very well looking at a little Easter egg nod – much in the same vein as Captain America’s classic costume being factored into The First Avenger as a gag. We’ll have to wait and see just how seriously (or not) Iron Patriot is meant to be taken.

Iron Man 3 hits theaters on May 3, 2013.

Source: Coming Soon & Superficial

Header Image by Deviant Art user 666Darks