IRON MAN 3
In developing the story for Marvel's "Iron Man 3," producer Kevin Feige wanted to make sure that it was
not only a natural overreaching arc for Tony Stark, but also in alignment with previous events in the Marvel
"The exciting thing about 'Iron Man 3,' is that it's not only the culmination of the first two films, but it's also a
follow-up to 'Marvel's The Avengers,'" says Feige. "It's one of the first situations where you have a movie that is
the sequel to two different films and in a way that liberates it to be more unique than anything that has come
before it, which is what we're most excited about."
Feige continues, "Tony Stark is a man who is all about the
journey and character arc. When we first met him in 'Iron
Man,' he was a pompous fellow, building weapons, and
almost immediately he suffers a life-changing accident when
he is blown up by one of his own missiles in Afghanistan.
It galvanizes him into building the Iron Man suit and to get
out of the weapons game. 'Iron Man 2' tests that resolve
as he has some health problems and then in 'Marvel's The
Avengers' he faces a world-changing event that not only
includes seeing the powers of other superheroes, but also
having a portal to another world opened above his head."
For the storyline of Marvel's "Iron Man 3," the filmmakers decided on a "back-to-basics" tone where they could
explore what Tony Stark would do if all of his money and toys were stripped away from him and he was forced
to find a way back to being a superhero.
"Early on in the development, we talked about this notion of taking Tony Stark back to basics because we
2wanted to see him just use his brain," explains executive
producer Louis D'Esposito. "You want to see what he can
do when the odds are against him and it makes you wonder,
'How is he going to get out of this one?'"
Executive producer Stephen Broussard explains the
filmmakers' decision to blend two different storylines
together for the film. "There are two classic stories that
have appeared in the 'Iron Man' comics -- one is older and
the other is more modern," explains Broussard. "The older
is the character called The Mandarin, and he is one of the
most famous villains in the franchise. The character dates back to the 1960s and we wanted Shane [Black] and
Drew [Pearce] to take that idea and make it contemporary for present-day audiences."
Broussard adds, "We also wanted to combine that with another storyline in the comic called Extremis, which
came out not too long before the first 'Iron Man' film in 2008. It deals with the biological enhancement of
humans and Tony must face super-powered humans in that. So we just thought, wouldn't that be interesting
if we tried to combine these two stories into one for 'Iron Man 3'?"
An early believer in the Extremis storyline, Robert Downey Jr. recalls, "I remember when we were getting ready
to shoot 'Iron Man,' I started reading 'Iron Man' comics and there was this one called 'Extremis.' I thought it
was really interesting and cool. Shane [Black] really latched onto the Extremis idea and thought about how
we could bring it into play in 'Iron Man 3.' So, in the story, Extremis is what brings Maya into play and it's what
brings Killian into play."
"The thing about the Extremis storyline that always interested me in the comic books was that you had a sense
that Tony Stark puts on an iron suit and hides inside it in a way," says director Shane Black. "The character
wouldn't call it that, but that's kind of the case. With the Extremis people, you always got a sense that they're
burning up from the inside. So one of them could actually say to Tony, for instance, 'You drive a car, I am the car.'"
There is plenty of angst from "Marvel's The Avengers" to
fuel Tony Stark's arc, too. Before "Marvel's The Avengers,"
Tony Stark thought he was the only superhero in the world,
and in "Iron Man 3" he must deal with the revelation that
he is not the only one out there.
"Tony is a very scientifically minded guy who thought he
was at the cutting-edge of science and suddenly he learns in
those brief moments at the end of 'Marvel's The Avengers'
that there is an infinite amount that he doesn't know," says executive producer Stephen Broussard. "That
makes him feel small in a certain way and I think even encountering those other characters in 'The Avengers'
made him feel like he may not be the most powerful person in the world, which he doesn't like. He may be the
smartest person in the world, but not necessarily the most powerful."
For Robert Downey Jr., the journey of Tony Stark in Marvel's "Iron Man" franchise is one that is very relatable
to audiences. "The great thing about 'Iron Man 3' is that we really are going back to kind of an extension
and continuation of some of the things that made the franchise fly to begin with," says Downey Jr. "With
the execution and incredible success of 'Marvel's The Avengers,' we're afforded the opportunity to not have
to set up another film and can really explore the character of Tony Stark in ways that are very organic and
connectable and play to the strength of the franchise."
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