The first post-Avengers film and the beginning of Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe, Iron Man 3, wrapped principal photography this week and the marketing machine has just begun. Marvel Studios made a big Iron Man-focused splash at Comic-Con and just recently went public by releasing the first official Iron Man 3 trailer.
As the marketing ramps up and more information about the film surfaces via promotional videos and imagery, so to will the tie-in merchandise, a surprisingly reliable source of spoilers and reveals.
Before we get to the toys, some background: Simon Philips, President of Worldwide Consumer Products at Marvel Entertainment, Inc., attended a Disney presentation in Brazil's largest city São Paulo this week where he reportedly shared two bits of spoiler-filled information about Iron Man 3 according to the Omelete.
First, he talked in detail about Tony Stark's Extremis abilities in the film, confirming that the scene from the official Iron Man 3 trailer and Comic-Con footage with Robert Downey Jr. about to undergo a medical procedure is in fact when he injects himself with the Extremis virus.
Extremis blurs the lines between Stark being a man vs. machine - an important theme of the film (see: Iron Man 3 synopsis) - and from the trailer, the results of the procedure are only teased. In Warren Ellis' miniseries for which much of the film is based on, Stark can interface with technology around him, and when it comes to his armor, he can summon pieces of it to him at will, even from a distance. A previous spoilery rumor had Stark using this ability and building a small army of suits that he'd use in Iron Man 3's climactic battle sequence. His Extremis armor is designated Mark 47, the 40 suits in between what he had in The Avengers to what he has in the film, represent the others he controls.
According to Phillips, Stark mixes and matches armor pieces from various different suits to come up with unique armor combinations, and he uses the number 16 in describing how many new designs will make an appearance - which will also include several classic designs from Marvel Comics.
The combining of armors coincides with leaked details regarding the Iron Man 3 toyline coming from Hasbro, which (according to Idle Hands) includes the following:
- Iron Man 3 Iron Assemblers Action Figure Assortment: 14 "Connectable" figures (wave 1, Feb 2013) with multiple interchangable pieces to deliver maximum customization. Wave 2 in March and Wave 3 in April. We are betting these are 3 and 3 quarter inch.
- Iron Assemblers Battle Vehicle: Tony Stark's stylish ride launches your Iron Assembler figure out of the front, mimicking a scene from the movie. Almost all figures are compatible. Feb 2013 A second vehicle is said to join it in March.
The second spoiler harkens back to the Marvel Studios panel presentation as this summer's Comic-Con where a fan asked if we'd ever see Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) sport her own armor suit, like the Rescue armor from the books. Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige responded "We all want to see Pepper Potts 'kick a little ass' in her own suit."
According to Omelete, Philips confirmed that Ms. Potts will in fact, wear her own armor suit in Iron Man 3. Knowing that she may not appear in The Avengers 2 because, according to her in a statement to E! Online, she's "getting old for this s--t," there's speculation that she may not partake in a happy ending, if you know what we mean, and Shane Black's "darker" take on Iron Man may be just that.
With the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) playing a crucial role in the story of Iron Man 3, and perhaps, the entire trilogy to date, there's been a lot of uncertainty on whether or not Marvel Studios would be shooting on location in China. In chatting with THR, Dan Mintz, American producer and CEO of Beijing-based studio, DMG Entertainment, confirmed his company and Marvel are working together on Iron Man 3 and that they will shoot some footage in China.
"OK, first off, Iron Man 3 is absolutely a DMG co-production. Obviously I can’t talk about story, but we’ll be filming in China before the end of the year, and we’ll have an announcement about Chinese cast members sometime very soon. All will be revealed. About the co-production issue, of course, it’s kind of sensitive. What I will say is that I've lived in China for 20 years and we've been working at this a long time -- and there's no single loophole to be exploited, like some have been suggesting. You can’t waltz in thinking you can get around something. It just isn't there. This market doesn't work that way. The big things that happen do so because they’re wanted to happen. It’s like filmmaking itself; it's all in the minutiae. It's about your reputation in the market, based on what you've delivered, and the relationships you have."
How much footage that is, and whether or not it's been shot yet we don't know. But we do know that two months ago Mr. Mintz was caught having a meeting with Chinese actor Xueqi Wang to discuss the Chen Lu character (aka Radioactive Man) who is expected to make some appearance in one form or another in Iron Man 3. That news meshed with previous reports about the Iron Man 3 post-credits scene (there may be a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene like The Avengers) and the character may have a role in future Marvel movies as well.
With reports of last-minute rewrites (debunked by io9 so who knows what to believe) for the film's third act, any of the above spoilers, rumors and speculation may not prove accurate. In other news, the truck image above comes from TCL who Screendaily reports has partnered with Disney/Marvel again (they worked together on The Avengers) to market the film in China.
Last but not least, since we're talking a little bit about the Iron Man 3 toyline, the following three micro mugs were showcased at New York Comic-Con last month and could very well be representing armor designs or other characters we'll see in the film - let us know who you think they are:
[gallery order="DESC" columns="1" exclude="229196,229194"]
Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black based off of his and Drew Pearce's screenplay, and stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, William Sadler, James Badge Dale and the voice of Paul Bettany.
Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.
Check out our full Iron Man 3 image gallery, updated with 35 new hi-res, enhanced images from this trailer!