All the hand-wringing and muttered cursing caused by recent photos leaked from the set of Iron Man 3 may have been premature, if not exactly unwarranted.
Latino Review now reports that despite the familiar red, white and blue armor, that isn't Iron Patriot in those grainy snapshots, but rather a redecorated battlesuit for Don Cheadle's James Rhodes. Whether he will still be War Machine, or redubbed "Iron Patriot" remains to be seen, but the website suggests "the U.S. government has had their hands on this Stark suit for awhile, and apparently they’ve decided to make it more patriotic."
While the battlesuit was first donned in Marvel's Dark Avengers #1 by Norman Osborn, Latino Review had previously contended in the film it would be worn by Eric Savin (played by James Badge Dale) — suggesting he starts out as Iron Patriot before taking a villainous turn as Coldblood. Some website had gone as far as to say it was Dale in the armor, but it turns out it was merely a stuntman standing in for Cheadle.
Directed by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 is thought to be loosely based on the 2005-2006 "Iron Man: Extremis" storyline by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov in which a criminal is injected with a nanotechnological drug created by the U.S. military in an attempt to replicate the Super-Soldier Serum, triggering a mutation that grants him superhuman abilities.
The film features returning franchise stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Cheadle and Jon Favreau, joined by new additions Dale, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall. Iron Man 3 opens May 3, 2013.