Shane Black & Kevin Feige On IRON MAN 3 New Armors, THE AVENGERS Connection & Mandarin

Discussing every aspect of the Marvel threequel, including Tony Stark's newest armors, Iron Patriot, the Mandarin and its connection to The Avengers, among other things, check out what Iron Man 3's director and producer says!

Along with the new theatrical trailer, an embargo has been lifted for journalists who were lucky to interview Iron Man 3 director Shane Black and producer Kevin Fiege after being shown exclusive footage. Speaking with Collider, the two discussed Tony Stark's plethora of new armors, Iron Patriot, The Mandarin and his Ten Rings, as well as the Marvel threequel's connection to The Avengers, among other things. For excerpts, check it out below or make the jump to Collider for the full post.

Shane Black: I consider the fan base to basically be Marvel’s job. Mine is to be a fan and I am one and I have been from a young age, of Iron Man, so for me, I just please me and I hope that pleases the rest of the fans. It should. For instance, one of the joys for me has always been seeing how you take a villain from the comic book and realize him in a slightly more realistic way for the movie, render him for movies in a way that’s recognizable, but different. And that’s fun. Like the Joker in The Dark Knight is not the Joker from the comic book, but there’s just enough of him that you recognize him and go, “Wow, what a creative way of interpreting the Joker for motion pictures.” So that was our task here too. The fans love this character The Mandarin and we just said, “Well, what we don’t want is this potentially racist, stereotype of a Fu Manchu villain just waving his fist.” But we found a way, I think, to get an iteration of The Mandarin that we like. We got very excited about bout having cracked this story when we found out that we could include The Mandarin and give him a character that would be a perfect match, the ultimate Iron Man villain, but without relying too heavily on what the comic book stereotype was.

On the many suits in Iron Man 3, Kevin Feige says: You know we’ve seen, through Avengers, 7 or 8 suits and we wanted to progress that in this one. It’s part of, again, the effect Avengers had on him is that he’s tinkering even more than he did before and he’s building much more than he ever did before. The Iron Patriot is also kind of a response to Avengers. It’s a government rebrand of War Machine, frankly because the US government felt that they were slightly embarrassed by the events of Avengers. These crazy heroes known as “The Avengers” were the ones that saved the day, saved New York City, saved United States; not the government. The government felt they needed a hero of their own, they have a military officer that has one of these suits, and they paint it red, white, and blue. They pose it next to the president and Tony sort of rolls his eyes, you saw a little bit of that today. They want a hero of their own. And Tony’s like, “What do you mean, I’m a hero?” And they say “Well you’ve been spending a lot of time in your workshop. We want somebody we can rely on.” So that’s sort of how the Iron Patriot came about. And, again, it’s a thing from the comics, we just thought the Iron Patriot suit looked equal parts cool and slightly goofy in the comics. It’s not Norman Osborne or any of that stuff obviously, but it gave us a place to go with Rhodey. We wanted to take Rhodey and his sort of split loyalties between his friend and his duty and keep carrying that storyline through.

Commenting on the Deep Space Suit, Feige says: Well I would say that I’ve owned a number of “Jungle Attack” Batmans in my time and I don’t remember any jungle attack batman sequences, so.

Black on The Mandarin, furthermore: From the very beginning we were all about that, yeah, the idea of just a real world interpretation of this guy who, I hate to break it to you, but he’s not from space in this. The rings are rings. They’re showmanship. They’re accoutrements. They’re paraphernalia of warfare that he sort of drapes himself with. He studies Sun Tzu. He studies insurgency tactics. He surrounds himself with dragons and symbols of warlords and Chinese iconography because he wants to represent this sort of prototypical terrorist who – we use as the example Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now - this guy who may have been an American, may have been a British National, someone who is out there doing field work, supervising atrocities for the intelligence community who went nuts in the field and became this sort of devotee of war tactics, and now has surrounded himself with a group of people over which he presides, and the only thing that unifies them is this hatred of America. So he’s the ultimate terrorist, but he’s also savvy. He’s been in the intelligence world. He knows how to use the media. And taking it to a real world level like that was a lot fun for us.

He has an intelligence background. He probably supervised atrocities in his time. His nationality's not even clear because he's shrouded in secrecy, but at some point this field officer went nuts and became a student of warfare and Ancient Chinese symbology and drew from South American insurgency tactics and has created around himself this little world of warfare - the only unifying principle of which seems to be a hatred of the United States. So he represents every terrorist in a way, but specifically he has crafted himself in the manner of The Mandarin, of a warlord. I think that's great, because you get the comic book, but you don't have to deal with the specifics of Fu Manchu stereotyping. We're not saying he's Chinese. We're saying he draws a cloak around him of Chinese symbols and dragons because it represents his obsession with Sun Tzu and various ancient arts of warfare that he has studied. That's what we like about it.


Feige on the film's connection to Avengers: Yes, and it sort of answers your other question, which is that the only real connective tissue we wanted from Avengers in this movie was Avengers’ effect on Tony’s psyche. This man who comes from this grounded universe – I always say it’s grounded enough although he builds an iron suit and flies around – the notion that Tony Stark, who is the shit and always thought of himself as top dog, now has been to outer space, nearly got killed by freaking aliens, has encountered a god that can smash him across the forest with a hammer, has encountered a guy that his father used to talk about from 1945. It’s no mistake that we meet Tony at the beginning of this movie and he’s just building suits, putting himself in the suit, and he’s much more comfortable when he’s in the suit. And a lot of this movie is about Tony learning to become Tony Stark again outside the armor, & he has a little help in that his house is completely destroyed.


Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. 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. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man? Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968. “Iron Man 3” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures & DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing & Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Stephen Broussard, Victoria Alonso, Alan Fine, Charles Newirth, Stan Lee & Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film hits May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Marvel Studios will also release “Thor: The Dark World ” on November 8, 2013; “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” on April 4, 2014; “Guardians of the Galaxy” on August 1, 2014; the sequel to “Marvel's The Avengers” on May 1, 2015; and “Ant-Man” on November 6, 2015!

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