Marvel’s The Avengers was a success on nearly every level when it hit theaters last year, and so it sets a high bar for Marvel’s other superhero films going forward. In addition to trying to top the quality of the Joss Whedon-helmed epic, future standalone films now have to face the problem of “Well if he just called in his pal Thor, this whole problem would be solved right away.” The first standalone movie out of the gate post-Avengers is director Shane Black’s sequel Iron Man 3, and Marvel president Kevin Feige has been adamant about IM3 being its own thing in relation to The Avengers.
During a recent interview, star Robert Downey Jr. was asked if we might see any cameos from his Avengers buddies in the upcoming sequel, and he may or may not have provided a bit of a hint. Hit the jump for more.
Speaking with EW, Downey Jr. was asked if we might see any of the Avengers in Iron Man 3:
“The whole Avengers thing [with $1.5 billion in global box office] was such a relief and such a confirmation of [Marvel Studios President] Kevin Feige’s vision for this all along. As Kevin has put it, the next step after that is to bring in someone like Shane Black and – without pretending that the Avengers don’t exist – find a way to go back to a kind of re-investigation of Tony’s world, which he thought would be, one, fun for the audience and, two, would rock in a different way than The Avengers. But we can’t help it — everywhere you look now in every Marvel movie there are opportunities where certain new pals of his could be useful. So they’re in the atmosphere, so to speak, but I wouldn’t expect to see them on the ground in this one.
Though he doesn’t outright confirm anything, I find Downey Jr.’s use of the words “in the atmosphere” and “not on the ground” rather curious. We know that Marvel is moving into a more universal direction with the space-oriented Guardians of the Galaxy and a possible Thanos battle in The Avengers 2, and the next Marvel film after Iron Man 3 is the Asgard-set sequel Thor: The Dark World. Could Downey Jr. be referring to a character/characters that is/are literally in the atmosphere in Iron Man 3 or am I just reading way too much into this?
Your guess is as good as mine, but I’m incredibly interested to see how Marvel handles the film’s post-credits tag. Phase One was all about building to the grouping of the team in The Avengers, so what will Phase Two built towards? Hopefully we’ll find out when Iron Man 3 hits theaters on May 3rd.