Producer Kevin Feige Talks IRON MAN 3, How It Relates to THE AVENGERS, The Mandarin, Iron Patriot, and More

     November 26, 2012


In addition to recent comments regarding the seriousness of Iron Man 3, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige also had plenty more to say about the film.  Speaking to Empire Magazine about Iron Man 3‘s relationship to The Avengers, Feige says the end of that movie has shaken Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) confidence.  “By the end of Avengers, when a portal is opened up in Manhattan and he’s met Thor and The Hulk and the Chitauri are coming down on him,” says Feige, “he realizes that he doesn’t know everything; we think that has had an effect on his psyche, and then his world is blown out from underneath him.”

Hit the jump for what Feige had to say about any cameos in Iron Man 3, adapting the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), why Rhodey (Don Cheadle) is wearing the Iron Patriot armor, and more.  Iron Man 3 opens in 3D on May 3, 2013.

iron-man-3-posterSpeaking more about The Avengers, Feige tells Empire [via CBM],

Iron Man 3 doesn’t feature any of the other Avengers, or Nick Fury showing up, or any of those world-blending conceits that the Phase One films had. You have to keep in mind that Iron Man 3 had been in the works for almost a year, year and a half before The Avengers was released. We’re sticking to the vision for these films, and showing once again that these characters are just as interesting alone as they are together.”

While I can understand that Feige wants to keep the focus on the main characters, I would be surprised if we didn’t at least see someone like Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) stop by.  And of course, there’s always the post-credits scene to consider.

ben-kingsley-mandarin-iron-man-3Moving on to the supporting characters, Feige talked about the challenges in bringing the Mandarin to the screen:

Early – and very late – drafts of Iron Man 1 featured The Mandarin as a villain. The Mandarin is his most famous foe in the comics mainly because he’s been around the longest. If you look, there’s not necessarily a definitive Mandarin storyline in the comics. So it was really about having an idea. In terms of the Fu Manchu stereotyping that was involved, we never had any interest in that. He’s relentless. Assuming that he’s the one responsible for what happens to Tony’s house, no other villain has been able to strike that fast and that hard at one of our heroes. He’s very much about believing that the world needs to learn, and he wants to bend the world to his vision.

I’m curious to see if they’ll tie in the “Ten Rings” mentions from the past two Iron Man movies, or if they’ll simply let those stand as fun little nods to fans of the comics.

iron-man-3-patriot-armorAs for the Iron Patriot armor we’ve seen, that apparently belongs to Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes.  So why is he wearing it?

The notion in the movie is that a red, white and blue suit is a bold statement, and it’s meant to be. With Rhodey, he’s very much the foil to Tony’s eccentricities, and in this one you get to see this and be reminded of the trust and friendship between them in that great Shane Black buddy-cop fashion.

Until this moment, I forgot how well Shane Black writes buddy comedies.  Somehow, I’m even more excited for Iron Man 3.

Finally, Feige commented on Robert Downey Jr.’s on-set injury:

Robert is very gung-ho about doing his own stunts, but he’s also very safety conscious and aware of his limitations. He wasn’t even attempting to do anything above or beyond what would be considered safe – it was just a wire-assisted leap from one platform to another, and he came down in the wrong position on that ankle. It was a good old fashioned accident. The silver lining was that Shane started to work on the cut and continued to work on the script, and hone and refine the movie itself.


  • ari

    Sure, yeah. You can’t make The Mandarin chinese because you fear to alienate the chinese audience, because the muslims/mongols/whatever ethnicity Ben Kingsley is portraying are soooooo tolerant… Fucking Marvel morons.

    • John

      Marvel is ridiculous. It’s a good thing they’ve found their audience with 10 year olds, because this shit doesn’t fly.

      • mario

        vos sos ridiculo boludooo!!!!! aguante marvel marikon!!!! tremenda peli va ser iron man 3

    • Nate H

      I’m angry too that they changed the Mandarin’s ethnicity without having a real character-driven reason. Ken Watanabe (although Japanese) could’ve done a great job, or Chow Yun Fat for sure (if they want big names). I understand the business reasons, though. Hollywood in general gets 70% of it’s revenue from overseas markets and China is the fastest growing one. Over 66% of money made on film in China is from foriegn movies, so Marvel wants a piece of that. No shame there – it is a business, after all. It just sucks that they had to sacrifice character to get it.


        According to the logic of Marvel, if a character from one ethnic background appears in a movie depicting a negative stereotype the audience automatically identifies all members of that ethnic group as that stereotype. Therefore all adult white males are like Hannibal Lecter or Dexter Morgan, blacks are all gay thugs as Omar Little and Chinese are all megalomaniacal dictators as The Manda … Wait a fucking time!

  • iron fail 3

    Nope, im still not buying it. the ‘buddy’ thing doesnt work, making war machine into ….a fake wanna be iron patriot suit? i dont see why they have done that. All in all it still sounds like the weakest iron man film and im seeing why favareu didnt want to do it.

    • Nerdgasm

      You’re an idiot. Favereu wanted to do it but has been developing other things at Disney. He’s not only playing Happy but the EXECUTIVE producer which yes on many other movies mean nothing more than a big pay check but as Fiege has been to the movies it sounds like John was a HUGE part of the script and the development and was even on set after and in between his part in the movie. I think it’s funny that people make this argument for a reason to make the next project look horrible without ever seeing it first and it kind of is a slap in the face to the artist that decided to leave the project which most likely had nothing to do withthe upcoming project but because he doesnt wanna be pigeonhold to one thing and wants to try out new things. Same reason why Joe Johnston and Kenneth Branaugh left their jobs too but AGAIN both of those guys as John alike were a HUGE part of the next development stage and scripting of the sequels as they are returning as Executive Producers along side Kevin Fiege.

  • Django9000

    It looks like they’ve taken some cues from Stan Lee & Marvel’s own publishing history.

    You can have a big crossover to get people interested in different characters & franchises,etc.

    But ultimately, you have to validate that interest by continuing to prove & develop those characters separately, without the presence of the other ones to validate them.

    It presents an interesting challenge across the board – & Iron Man is sort of their standard bearer of pushing things forward. Let’s hope Thor 2 (director from Game of Thrones!) holds up to the test , as does Cap 2.
    Can’t help feeling after the tone set by Avengers, though, that a nod here or there to what or Nick Fury are up to wouldn’t hurt, at least ~ Mum’s the word, Feige, right? …. Rii-iiight …

  • Django9000

    That was supposed to read: “a nod or two to what BANNER or Nick Fury are up to wouldn’t hurt.”


    Regarding Ben Kingsley vs. Ken Watanabe : My understanding is that this version of Mandarin is exploiting the myths of his ethnicity to make himself appear as more of a threat to the many countries his terrorism operates in. Thus – the Ten Rings will continue to stay relevant, & if you ask me , that is one brilliant way of twisting the characters legacy into something entirely MORE relevant than how he’s been represented in the comics. (and in my eyes, that’s where these movie succeed w/ the fans & non fans alike. When they come up w/ geek-tastic , believably ridiculous improvements on their comic counterparts. I.e. – Cap bouncing Tony’s repulsors off his shield. Joker’s “scars”. Rhas al Gul’s “Watanabe” double. etc.

    And, speaking of Watanabe, with ALL due respect- could any of you understand more than a few sentences the esteemed Mr. Watanabe said in Batman Begins or Inception? I’ve rewatched both several times, & I respect his work but – why couldn’t Chris Nolan get him to speak more clearly, instead of under his breath?

    • Nerdgasm

      This is actually a pretty smart insight honestly people need to grow up and stop acting ENTITLED to things and refuse to see it. that’s fine it’s still gunna make a lot of money and be a good movie regardless of nay sayer presence in the movies.

      I did wanna (Being a nerd) point out that the repulsor to SHIELD move isn’t something that was specially made for the movie. It is a combo that i could be mistaken that was done before in older comics but i know is a staple in the Ultimates comics as well as was a combo move in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 video game when you comboed the pair as team mates.

      but there have been nice improvements like you pointed out Jokers Scars for that story. But even the emotional pull for Bruce Banner is very skewed from the comics that works well for the movies. Iron man announcing that he’s Iron man in the end of the first movie definitely has made for some improvements on the series from his comic book counter part and them even going with the newer Extremis story line of Shrapnel in his chest Vs. Cancer or a disease that his suit helps keep at bay like in the old days. they’ve made changes all through out the movies that have helped build them to better things.

      and like someone else has pointed out slapping Kingsley for not being Chinese is fucking dumb and childish. Christian Bale is not american and played Batman…yet no one has an issue with that AFTER the movie came out. People did have an issue with him and then further more his voice as BATMAN but he is still praised mostly just cause most people on this site would love to suck off Christopher Nolan. but people need to grow up.

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  • Pablo

    A British actor with Hindu and Muslim backgrounds playing a Chinese villain. It makes perfect sense to me.

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  • michael

    you all seem to be upset with the fact that Kingsley isnt chinese. here’s a thought. Andrew Garfield, Henry Cavill and Christian Bale aren’t american. yet they’re playing or have played three of the most iconic american superheroes. its not that big of a deal

    • Ur mom

      I agree. But what they’re really mad at is that Kingsley doesn’t look Chinese. Bale and Garfield may be British, but they’re white and look like any regular American. Unlike them, I really don’t care what race the actor is, I just want him to make the character awesome!!

      • irregularry

        so THAT’s what “regular” Americans look like like… i guess i should feel… special?

      • dad

        yeah me too…i have an absolutely great idea – let’s make Blade white. Yeah let’s do it. NOT!!

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  • irregularry

    so THAT\’s what \"regular\" Americans look like like… i guess i should feel… special?

    • Ur mom

      Aw, u mad? Are you offended? Idiot.

      • irregularry

        the “idiot” is the one who actually believes the definition of REGULAR AMERICAN is fixed… your whitewashed tunnel vision in 2012 saddens me… go back to your cave!

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  • red john

    In the TDKR Bane was played by a brit …… we can let this slide.

  • Action Movie Fanatix

    Kingsley isn’t allowed to play a Chinese man but he is allowed to play an Indian man?

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  • Matvei Potekhin

    I think Mandarin is just fine.
    Let’s not forget that BANE was supposed to be half-English, half-Hispanic. His mom was a native of the island Santa Prisca and his dad was a revolutionary from Britain. Yet they chose a white, English actor to play him while using what they described a “Romani gypsy accent.” Like, what??
    But, it worked out just fine. If Mandarin isn’t Chinese, it shouldn’t matter. It’s all about how they act, not what ethnicity the character is.

  • Matvei Potekhin

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to post that twice.

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