When Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark returns to the big screen in May with Iron Man 3, he'll be a character transformed by his encounters with Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Marvel's $1.5 billion blockbuster.
"So much of the journey of Iron Man 3 is informed by Tony's experiences in The Avengers," Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige tells MTV. "It's almost like post-traumatic stress: he really has retreated after the events of The Avengers into his workshop, where he's building advanced versions of his suits. He has [designed] a version of the suit that can latch onto him in individual pieces ... any time, anywhere. As he starts to realize, it's basically because he doesn't want to be out of the suit: he's seen a lot of things in Avengers and has encountered a lot of powerful people, much more powerful than he is."
In response to that realization, Tony decides he needs to be in the armor a lot more often, but the timing couldn't be worse as an attack on his home and armors leaves him with far fewer resources. "It brings us back to the Tony we met in the first part of Iron Man where he's removed from that convoy and brought to the cave with nothing but a box of scraps," Feige said. "It's fun for all of us to watch Tony try to figure out how to get out of that scenario. Much of the movie is Tony in the middle of the country without his tools and a fairly broken suit to help him. But that's his superpower: he wasn't born on Asgard, he wasn't hit by gamma rays, and he doesn't have the super soldier serum. His power is his brain. It's fun to put Tony Stark in a corner with nothing and see how he can get out of it."
Directed by Shane Black from a script he co-wrote with Drew Pearce, Iron Man 3 also stars returning cast members Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau, joined by newcomers Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale and Ashley Hamilton. The film opens nationwide May 3.