Iron Man 3: Robert Downey, Jr. Discusses His Desire to "Radically" Change Tony Stark
07.06.12 by BJSprecher
It's been known for some time that the "Extremis" storyline written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Adi Granov that helped Marvel Comics relaunch its Iron Man comic book series back in 2005 has been a major inspiration for Marvel Studios' Iron Man movies. Elements of the story are woven through both Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and, as details began to emerge about Iron Man 3 — such as the casting of Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, the scientist who releases the Extremis nanotech serum in the comic book series — it has become clear that the storyline would continue to have a major influence on the movie franchise.
Earlier this week, Marvel Studios released the concept art poster for Iron Man 3 that will be given out at next week's San Diego Comic-Con, and many pointed out that the smoking pieces of Iron Man armor are proof positive that Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) will be going Extremis in Iron Man 3. This was confirmed by Downey, Jr. himself, who told EW (transcript via WGTC) that Stark's contact with the Extremis technology will not only alter his armor but his "identity," as well.
[I] radically want to challenge Stark’s identity, rather than just have him battle another bad guy. These things tend to, in Act 3, really become about the same old things. So let’s really flip that. I feel like I don’t know where you go after Iron Man 3. Leave it all on the field, you know?
Will Downey, Jr. continue to play Tony Stark/Iron Man after Iron Man 3 or will he follow the lead of Christian Bale and bow out after his "trilogy" is complete? It's hard to imagine Downey, Jr. would do that, considering the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is built on the back of the Iron Man franchise. Also, it is likely that he has already committed to appear in the sequel to The Avengers, but he has indicated his interest in retiring to spend more time with his family. If he did retire, what would become of the franchise? Would it reboot the way Sony started its Spider-Man franchise over with The Amazing Spider-Man? According to producer Kevin Feige, the series will likely continue on but with a new actor in the role, following the model of the James Bond franchise.
Iron Man 3 is currently in production under the direction of Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), from a script he co-wrote with Drew Pearce (No Heroics TV movie). Joining Downey, Jr. in returning are Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, and Don Cheadle as Lt. James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War Machine. New additions include Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen (unconfirmed), James Badge Dale as Eric Savin (who possibly becomes the cyborg Coldblood) and Ashley Hamilton as Jack Taggert (who possibly becomes the cyborg Firepower). Sir Ben Kingsley has also joined the cast, presumably as the Mandarin, but this has yet to be confirmed.