In the third installment of Marvel Studios’ Iron Man franchise, Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) steps in as director, while Jon Favreau, the director of the last two films, shifts over to executive producer. Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany all return to their roles. Jon Favreau will also be returning as Happy Hogan.
Joining them will be Guy Pierce and Rebecca Hall as Aldrich Killian and Maya Hansen, respectively. The film’s villains will include Firepower, played by Ashley Hamilton, as well as a character based on Coldblood (a villain not traditionally associated with Iron Man), played by James Badge Dale. Ben Kingsley will be playing Iron Man’s archenemy, The Mandarin. Chinese actor Wang Xueqi will be playing a character named Chun Lu, who is also known as Radioactive Man. It is unsure whether he will be the super powered villain, or if this is a setup to another movie.
Iron Man 3 will be an adaptation of Warren Ellis’ and Adi Granov’s “Extremis” arc from 2006. It served as an updated origin story for Iron Man, moving away from the Vietnam War and setting it in Afghanistan. 2008’s Iron Man used this origin instead of the original. It also introduces an updated and more powerful armor.
The Iron Patriot armor has been revealed to be present in the film as well. Iron Patriot was the armor used by Norman Osborn to lead the Dark Avengers during the “Dark Reign” storyline when he served as the top cop of the Marvel Universe for a time. A new Iron Patriot will also be appearing in the Secret Avengers and in the Ultimate Universe. It is rumored that Rhodey will, in fact, be the Iron Patriot in the film.
Iron Man 3 will be in theaters on April 26th 2013, in the UK, and May 3rd 2013 in the US.