Marvel.com released the first official on-set image from Iron Man 3 early this morning. Get ready to geek out, fellow nerds – showcased are Marks I-VII of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suits, the most recent of which was seen in action in this summer’s staggering box-office success, cause of 50% percent increase in sales of Shawarma according to my local Halal food chef, and source of multiple geek-gasms across the world, The Avengers.
Each of the origin movies leading up to The Avengers (Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 1&2) were considered successful, but the 2008 Iron Man, starring Robert Downey, Jr in the title role, along side stars Jeff Bridges and Gweneth Paltrow, was the stand out by far.
While the 2010 follow-up, Iron Man 2 was decidedly less well received, it is clear that Downey’s performance in The Avengers has reignited interest in the franchise (if it ever even really waned – which is unlikely. Fans are ever-hopeful, after all). The internet has been all atwitter (pun intended) with speculation about who would be cast, the plot, etc for months. Early rumors that Ben Kingsly would play Iron Man arch-nemesis, Mandarin have been confirmed by the good ol’ IMDB cast-list. In the comics, Mandarin has all the necessary trauma from childhood combined with intense training and skill with science and desire to avenge his family name to create a truly threatening villain, capable of standing up to the impressive and war-tested Iron Man.
Recently, the revelation that James Badge Dale’s character, named Eric Savin according to IMDB, will likely not be playing the minor villain associated with that alter-ego’s name in the comics, but rather a much more pivotal villain called The Iron Patriot caused some consternation amongst comic book fans, which you can read about in this article from Digital Trends. For my part, I think he looks entirely bad-ass and look forward to seeing him bring his Captain America/Iron Man inspired suit in action.
One more interesting piece of info gleaned from the IMDB page – while Iron Man director Jon Favreau is back in his role as Happy Hogan, he will not be directing Iron Man 3. That task will be fulfilled by Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer/director, Shane Black (also the writer behind much of the Lethal Weapon franchise, including the recently announced Lethal Weapons 5 – yes, you heard that right. Lethal. Weapon. 5. Why? Your guess is as good as mine). Black seems a good fit for a Downey film (remember, Downey starred in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang as well).
For the full Marvel article covering the new image, click here.