This April, everyone’s favourite high tech hero returns to the big screen with a new director, new villains and a darker plot in Iron Man 3! Robert Downey Jr first stepped into the role of Tony Stark in 2008 in the first film of the series. Since then, he’s fought Iron Monger, taken down Whiplash and Justin Hammer, nearly died from the one thing keeping him alive, and saved New York with the help of Captain America, Thor and the Hulk. Now, as we start Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what does Iron Man 3 hold in store for us?
The Shane Black penned script based on the Extremis storyline by Warren Ellis, commonly regarded as one of the best Iron Man storylines of all time, deals with a military nanotechnology serum known as Extremis, which was made to replicate the effects of the Super Soldier serum used to create Captain America. When a large terrorist threat occurred, Tony underwent the treatment, practically making him a cyborg without the suit.
The biggest link between the film and the story is the inclusion of Aldrich Killian and Dr. Maya Hansen, played by Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall, who were the creators of the Extremis virus. It’s also been pointed out that the way in which Tony summons his suit to him in one of the trailers is similar to the way he would in the storyline; link that with the scene from The Avengers, where Tony calls his suit to him using bracelets and you have a precursor for the Extremis summoning technology. There may be more links to the story, but until the film is released, that’s all we have to go by. I think the inspiration from the comic will help the film greatly; Fans have constantly praised Ellis’ six part series, and hopefully the transition to film is satisfying.
One thing to be noted about the film is the much darker tone. Unlike the first 2, all the trailers for the film are dead serious, with no small comedic moments. Could this be a turning point for the series? After all, we see in the trailer that Stark is struggling after the events of The Avengers. He talks of lack of sleep, suffering nightmares, regrets, and saying that he has a lot of apologies to make. Is this the end of the Tony Stark we fell in love with over 3 films? The first 2 were lighter than people think, focusing on a lot of humour, especially the dialogue between Tony and Pepper. But with the trailers including shots of Tony dragging his broken armour through the snow, it seems those days are over.
Now, one thing that got fans excited were pictures of what seemed to be the Iron Patriot armour, famously worn by Norman Osborne. Honestly, when I first saw the pictures, I assumed that Killian was the man in the suit. However, the Superbowl trailer has confirmed that it is merely a redesign of the War Machine armour from Iron Man 2, as we see a shot of Stark’s friend Rhodey (Played by Don Cheadle) inside the suit. Here’s one question that springs to mind: If this character is still War Machine, which it seems like at the moment, why redesign the costume to look oh so similar to a completely different character? Not to mention that character being a villain. I guess we’ll have to wait and see on this one.
So overall, I think Iron Man 3 looks destined to the best of the trilogy; with its comic based plot that is bound to please fans, a darker tone bound to change the mind of those who gave up after Iron Man 2, and an excellent cast with a brand new writer/director, who you can tell from a mile off is going to take the series in a brand new direction, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the most anticipated films of the year, not to mention it being part of Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which will lead straight into The Avengers 2 in 2015. I for one greatly look forward to it, but what do you think?