After Lethal Weapon, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, it had become clear that filmmaker Shane Black enjoyed setting his movies around the festive period.
The expectation was that a "Shane Black movie" would be a "Christmas movie," hence why we all expected Iron Man 3 to take place during Christmas when he was announced as director. Talking to Empire Online, the filmmaker reveals that he didn't initially intend for the threequel to be a holiday-set adventure for the Armoured Avenger.
In fact, he only relented after co-writer Drew Pearce pushed for Iron Man 3 to take place at Christmas!
"I didn’t want Christmas to feel like a gimmick, or something that was predictable, or ostentatious on my part," Black says. "It started out as fun, and as soon as people noticed it, it stopped being fun. But I acquiesced largely because of the Christmas Carol aspect of it. Tony loses his support, loses his base, he’s adrift in Mid-America."
"And he’s not going to be visited by ghosts, but he’s certainly going to be in the middle of a reckoning, or a reconciliation, where he has to take stock, figure out what’s troubling him, and how he’s going to continue. It worked out well for the ending."
"The coda is basically him at Christmas, giving a gift to his fiancee, and giving a gift to a little kid who helped him. And there’s a Christmas miracle when Jon Favreau’s character comes out of a coma," the director continues. "There’s something about it, where you can get dark and dark and dark, as harsh as you want, and then summon up a little Christmas, and it gives you that pleasant out that you’re looking for."
While Iron Man 3 being a Christmas movie didn't really change much (it could have ditched the decorations and still been just as much fun), it's interesting to hear these parallels from Black.
We'd argue that Marvel Studios' first full-blown Christmastime story was last year's Hawkeye on Disney+, though they really embraced the holidays with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special last month. As for Iron Man 3, it remains somewhat divisive, but is widely considered one of the Infinity Saga's best movies by many.
Iron Man 3 is now streaming on Disney+!