The trailer features Tony Stark, who appears to be suffering from post “Avengers” stress disorder, with Robert Downey Jr.’s comic book character saying “Nothing’s been the same since New York,” the scene of the final battle in “The Avengers.” While the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist is worried about the past, a new threat comes to find him in the present.
“When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible,” reads the “Iron Man 3” plot summary on YouTube. “This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him.”
For the first time, doubt will be instilled into the arrogant mind of Stark, making the seemingly invincible hero question whether he is what makes Iron Man, or if it’s the suit.
The summer blockbuster, set for release on May 3, 2013, boasts a cast including Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen, James Badge Dale as Eric Savin, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan and Stephanie Szostak in an unspecified role, according to IMDB. The most notable new actor to join the cast is Ben Kingsley (“Hugo,” “Shutter Island”), who will portray Iron Man’s main adversary in the 2013 film, the Mandarin.
Kingsley’s villain fits the current social climate, as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The villain claims, “some people call me a terrorist; I consider myself a teacher.”
While the characteristics of the Mandarin aren’t made clear by the first trailer, posted to YouTube over six months before the 2013 film’s release date, viewers do get an abundance of details. The most interesting of which are Stark’s Cliffside home is destroyed and what appears to be a Captain America inspired, patriotic Iron Man suit.
Chris Evans isn’t set to reprise his role as Captain American until “Winter Soldier” in April 2014, so this doesn’t look like the work of Stark’s fair-weather ally. Entertainment Weekly suggests that the suit could be the work of S.H.E.I.L.D., the government agency behind the Avengers Initiative and a perennial agitator of Stark’s, or something from one of the nightmares Stark mentions having in the trailer.
The Los Angeles Times writes that the Mandarin was an exiled orphan who discovers a crashed spaceship in the comic books. After learning alien science from his time on the ship and keeping 10 rings used to power the vessel, he uses his unique knowledge and power to meet his diabolical needs.
The Times referred to Kingsley’s “Iron Man 3” character as “One of Iron Man’s most formidable foes.” The Mandarin made his comic book debut in Stan Lee and Don Heck’s 1964 comic “Tales of Suspense” No. 50.