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Comic Con: The Iron Man 3 Panel

— by ADAM POYNTER —

Comic Con International is held every year down in San Diego and it is the place to be for everything exclusive to upcoming movie and television projects.

June 14 was one of the largest days in Hall H for hardcore movie lovers and fanatics. Not only was there news and video footage from many upcoming Warner Bros. movies, including “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Man of Steel” and more, but the second half of the day was dedicated to all things Marvel and among the announcements of upcoming sequels, titles and the launch of a new franchise but we were treating to a very special sneak peek at “Iron Man 3,” which is still filming, read on for more details.

Kevin Feige was on hand to introduce and talk about the third film in the “Iron Man” franchise, but as soon as he started to chime in with the details this happened!



Making an entrance like only Robert Downey Jr. could the crowd went as he appeared in the midst of the excited crowd and danced his way down the aisles onto the stage. His appearance wasn’t announced for the panel, but we were sure he was going to show up, but we didn’t expect it that way. Once the excitement died down after we saw a few minute sizzle reel full of juicy footage, Robert Downey Jr. was joined onstage by director Shane Black, Don Cheadle (War Machine) and Jon Favreau (director of “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2”).

In the footage, we got a first look at the new suit of armor for the film, the mach 8, and the new way in which Tony Stark gets it on. Similar to the way seen near the end of the Avengers but with a slight twist, In the opening scene of the footage Tony Stark is in his lab rocking out to some upbeat holiday music and his new armor starts to fly on his body, piece-by-piece. It’s obviously a test because it is moving way to fast and after he is hit in the groin he is knocked over by a piece attaching itself to his back. He ends by calling his faceplate to him like a lost puppy coming to its owner and it attaches itself as he spins upside down.

Next we get flashes of the Iron Patriot armor, newcomers Guy Pierce’s and Ashley Hamilton flash onscreen, then a voice over begins “Some people call me a terrorist, I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: There is no such thing as heroes.” As the voice-over ends we see massive and heavily equipped helicopters targeting and destroying Stark’s seaside house as Tony and Pepper are blown backwards by the explosion. Somehow Tony makes it into his armor as the mansion crumbles and falls the armory is obliterated and every single Iron Man suit appears to have been destroyed. Next we see the new Iron Man armor as it falls into the sea and is covered by the wreckage. Cut to, Ben Kingsley on a metal throne as Mandarin – with a costume and look almost identical to the representations shown in the comics- he has at least four rings on his hand. He looks maniacally at the camera as her cocks a gun and we fade to black.

Some important information we get from the discussion during the panel is: that Ben Kingsley is the Mandarin, Kevin Feige says “Iron Man 3” is a return to a Tony-centric story after his adventure in the “Avengers,” Don Cheadle talked about how his role has been expanded in the third film and how it explores the relationship between Tony and James “Rhodey” Rhodes even further. Other cast members include Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Guy Pierce and James Badge Dale, among others.

When asked about his deal to play in three “Iron Man” films and will he continue to bring this character to the big screen in future installments he answered by saying he hasn’t decided how big of a BRINKS truck he wants to pen a future deal. He goes on to say his future is uncertain at this point but he is happy and this has been an amazing journey so far and he looks forward to what the future holds.

Robert Downey Jr. gives full praise to Kevin Feige and how the journey to the Avengers and beyond wouldn’t have even been possible without the vision from Kevin Feige. He also talks about how Jon Favreau worked on the movie “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and Jon Favreau saw him in it and saw the potential for him to become Tony Stark and now with Jon Favreau working on the film not as the director but as Executive Producer. Jon Favreau’s role as Happy Hogan is going to get a lot more screen time and scenes, mostly because he was too busy to shoot scenes for himself. Favreau says that he gets to have fun with his characters role and he finally gets to play around with Robert Downey Jr. on the set and in his scenes.

As expected the panel was full of humor and camaraderie between the men, jokes about another final scene being shot for the “Avengers,” sale of shawarma have increased by 700 percent since the movie’s release and also jokes about how long it takes Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle to get into the suits of armor and how those times greatly differ, Cheadle jokes about it being due to racism.

Director Shane Black talked of his vision for the film. “Iron Man 3 is the beginning of the next phase, so it will set the tone in a lot of ways,” he said. “Certainly, Tony’s journey could spin forward but it’s as self contained a story since Iron Man 1. There is an idea about being big, but I think it’s about capturing and redoubling the intensity that The Avengers managed to capture — that kind of lightning in a bottle feel of really stuffing so much into a limited space. We’re trying to get as much into this as we can.”

I don’t know about you but I am excited to see how this new director will bring this awesome character to the big-screen once again. I think that the film and its characters have such a strong fan base and that will only be intensified by the introduction of so many new characters, including the addition of Iron Man’s greatest enemy, the Mandarin.

What are your thoughts on the progression of the upcoming third film in the Iron Man series? Is there any way that it could possibly live up to the jaw-dropping spectacle that was “The Avengers”?

“Iron Man 3” — whose cast keeps growing — is set to hit theaters May 3, 2013.

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