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- Iron Man 3 (2013)
Friday, July 12, 2013
Iron Man 3 (stylized onscreen as Iron Man Three) is a 2013 American superhero filmfeaturing the Marvel Comics character Iron Man, produced by Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.1 It is the sequel to 2008's Iron Man and 2010's Iron Man 2, and the seventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being the first major release in the franchise since the crossover filmThe Avengers. Shane Black directed a screenplay he co-wrote with Drew Pearce and which uses concepts from the "Extremis" story arc by Warren Ellis. Robert Downey, Jr.reprises his role as the title character, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle reprising their roles as Pepper Potts and James Rhodes, respectively. Jon Favreau, who directed the first two films, serves as an executive producer and reprises his role as Happy Hogan.Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, and Ben Kingsleyround out the film's principal cast.
After the release of Iron Man 2 in May 2010, Favreau decided not to return as director, and in February 2011 Black was hired to rewrite and direct the film. Throughout April and May 2012, the film's supporting cast was filled out, with Kingsley, Pearce, and Hall brought in to portray key roles. Filming began on May 23, 2012 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The film was shot primarily in North Carolina, with additional shooting in Florida,China and Los Angeles. The film's visual effects were handled by 17 companies, includingScanline VFX, Digital Domain, and Weta Digital.
Iron Man 3 was converted to 3D in post-production. The film premiered at the Grand Rexin Paris on April 14, 2013. It was internationally released on April 25, 2013 in IMAXand was released on May 3, 2013 in the United States. The film was both critically and commercially successful. As of June 2013, it has grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide, becoming the 16th film to gross over $1 billion. It currently ranks as the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time, ranks as sixth-highest-grossing openings for films and the highest-grossing 2013 film.
Tony Stark recalls a New Years Eve party in 1999 with scientist Maya Hansen, inventor ofExtremis—an experimental regenerative treatment intended to allow recovery from crippling injuries. Disabled scientist Aldrich Killian offers them a place in his company,Advanced Idea Mechanics, but Stark rejects the offer, humiliating Killian.
Years later, Stark's experiences during the alien invasion of New York are giving him panic attacks. Restless, he has built several dozenIron Man suits, creating friction with his girlfriend Pepper Potts. A string of bombings by terrorist the Mandarin has left intelligence agencies bewildered by a lack of forensic evidence. When Stark Industries security chief Happy Hogan is badly injured in one such attack, Stark overcomes his stupor and issues a televised threat to the Mandarin, who responds by destroying Stark's home with helicopter gunships. Hansen, who came to warn Stark, survives the attack along with Potts. Stark escapes in an Iron Man suit, which his artificial intelligence JARVIS pilots to rural Tennessee, following a flight plan from Stark's investigation into the Mandarin. Stark's experimental armor lacks sufficient power to return to California, and the world believes him dead.
Teaming with Harley, a precocious 10-year-old boy, Stark investigates the remains of a local explosion bearing the hallmarks of a Mandarin attack. He discovers the "bombings" were triggered by soldiers subjected to Extremis, which at this stage of development can cause certain subjects to explosively reject it. After veterans started exploding, their deaths were used to cover up Extremis' flaws by manufacturing a terrorist plot. Stark witnesses Extremis firsthand when Mandarin agents Ellen Brandt and Eric Savin attack him.
With Harley's help, Stark traces the Mandarin to Miami and infiltrates his headquarters using improvised weapons. Inside he discovers the Mandarin is actually a British actor named Trevor Slattery, who claims he is oblivious to the actions carried out in his name. The Mandarin is actually a creation of Killian, who appropriated Hansen's Extremis research as a cure for his own disability and expanded the program to include injured war veterans. After capturing Stark, Killian reveals he has kidnapped Potts and subjected her to Extremis to gain Stark's aid in fixing Extremis' flaws and thereby saving Potts. Killian kills Hansen when she has a change of heart about the plan.
Killian has also manipulated American intelligence agencies regarding the Mandarin's location, luring James Rhodes—the former War Machine, now re-branded as the Iron Patriot—into a trap to steal the armor. Stark escapes and reunites with Rhodes, discovering that Killian intends to attack President Ellis aboard Air Force One. Remotely controlling his Iron Man armor, Stark saves some surviving passengers and crew but cannot stop Killian from abducting Ellis and destroying Air Force One. They trace Killian to an impounded damaged oil tanker where Killian intends to kill Ellis on live television. The vice president will become a puppet leader, following Killian's orders in exchange for Extremis to cure a little girl's disability.
On the platform, Stark goes to save Potts, and Rhodes saves the president. Stark summons his Iron Man suits, controlled remotely by JARVIS, to provide air support. Rhodes secures the president and takes him to safety, while Stark discovers Potts has survived the Extremis procedure. However, before he can save her, a rig collapses around them and she falls to her apparent death. Stark confronts Killian and traps him in an Iron Man suit that self-destructs, but fails to kill him. Killian then reveals he is the real Mandarin. Potts, whose Extremis powers allowed her to survive her fall, intervenes and kills Killian.
After the battle, Stark orders JARVIS to remotely destroy each Iron Man suit as a sign of his devotion to Potts. The vice president and Slattery are arrested. With Stark's help, Potts' Extremis effects are stabilized, and Stark undergoes surgery to remove the shrapnel embedded near his heart. He pitches his obsolete chest arc reactor into the sea, musing that he will always be Iron Man.
In a present day post-credits scene, Stark wakes up Dr. Bruce Banner, who fell asleep listening at the beginning of Stark's story.
- A self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with mechanical suits of armor of his own invention. Stark now struggles to come to terms with his near-death experience in The Avengers, suffering from anxiety attacks. On making a thirdIron Man film, Downey said, "My sense of it is that we need to leave it all on the field — whatever that means in the end. You can pick several different points of departure for that." On following up The Avengers, Downey said they "tried to be practical, in a post-Avengers world. What are his challenges now? What are some limitations that might be placed on him? And what sort of threat would have him, as usual, ignore those limitations?".
- Stark's girlfriend, longtime associate, and CEO of Stark Industries. Paltrow says of her character's relationship to Tony, "[She still] adores Tony, but she absolutely gets fed up with him. He gets caught in a feedback loop." Kevin Feige comments on Pepper's role in the film: "The love triangle in this movie is really between Tony, Pepper and the suits. Tony, Pepper and his obsession with those suits, and the obsession with technology." Feige also states that the film uses the character to play with thedamsel in distress trope, and posits the question, "Is Pepper in danger or is Pepper the savior?"
- Stark's best friend, the liaison between Stark Industries and the U.S. Air Force in the department of acquisitions. Rhodes operates the redesigned/upgraded War Machine armor, taking on an American flag-inspired color scheme similar to the Iron Patriot armor from the comics. Kevin Feige said of Rhodes and the armor, "The notion in the movie is that a red, white and blue suit is a bold statement, and it's meant to be. With Rhodey, he's very much the foil to Tony's eccentricities, and in this one you get to see this and be reminded of the trust and friendship between them in that great Shane Black buddy-cop fashion." In the film, the president asks Rhodey to take up the moniker "Iron Patriot", and don the red, white and blue suit, in order to be the government's "American hero" in response to the events in The Avengers.
- The creator of the Extremis virus and the founder of Advanced Idea Mechanics, who is the true alter ego of the Mandarin.Killian develops Extremis to cure his own debilitating disability; in addition to his regenerative healing qualities, he has superhuman strength and the ability to generate extreme heat. Prolonged exposure to Extremis also grants him the ability to breathe fire. On taking the role, Pearce said, "I feel a little more experimental in what I'll take on these days, but I still don't know that I would want to play the superhero myself, since I'm playing a different kind of character in this film... The main difference was that, when I did The Time Machine, I was pretty much in all of it, so it was a really grueling experience. Prometheus and Iron Man are really kind of cameo stuff, so the experience of shooting them... I mean, on some level, it's tricky because you feel like a bit of an outsider. You don't really live the experience that you do when you're there all day every day with everybody. But at the same time, it can be more fun sometimes because you're just working in concentrated spurts." Pearce described his character as a man "who came into this world with a number of physical disabilities. He's never been able to accept those limitations though and has spent most of his life trying to overcome them in any way he can. His tenacity and blind determination in fighting for a better life are seen by some as irritating, as he often comes across as obnoxious. He just won't accept the cards he was dealt, and being as intelligent as he is, has real drive to change and become a different person." Shane Black specified, "Ultimately we do give you the Mandarin, the real guy, but it's Guy Pearce in the end with the big dragon tattooed on his chest." He elaborated, "Do they hand me a blank check and say, 'Go break something!' Or, 'Go violate some long-standing comic book treaty that fans have supported for years?' No, but they'll say: 'Let's break something together.' So it's okay to come up with these crazy things, these far out ideas … and they'll fly. It's just that the Marvel guys have to be in the room."
- A botanist whose work helped create Extremis. Hall said Hansen would be a "strong female character," and described her decision to take the role, saying, "I decided to do Iron Man 3 because I've never done the 'hurry up and wait' movie before. Even the studio movies I've done have been small studio movies, or indie films that we made on a wing and a prayer. I love those, but Iron Man is refreshing in a way because it's something out of my realm of experiences."
- A war veteran who becomes an assassin after her exposure to Extremis. Describing Brandt, Szostak says, "...[Extremis] was a second chance at life. We talked about what you feel like and I think it almost makes you a fuller version of who you are, all your weakness and your qualities - just everything gets enhanced. I saw it as very freeing, almost you become your true-self and your fantasy-self all at once."
- Killian's Extremis-powered henchman. Dale stated that his character in the film was "loosely based on" the comic version of the character. According to Dale, "Ben Kingsley is the mouthpiece. Guy Pearce is the brain. I'm the muscle."
- Tony Stark's former bodyguard and chauffeur, now Stark Industries head of security. Favreau, who served as both actor and director on the previous two Iron Man films, said participating in the new film was "like [being] a proud grandfather who doesn't have to change the diapers but gets to play with the baby."
- Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery
- A British actor with substance-abuse problems whom Killian hired to portray the Mandarin, a terrorist persona in jammed television broadcasts, in which he is depicted as a leader of the international terrorist organization The Ten Rings. Kingsley was filming Ender's Game when he was cast, and said that, "Quite soon I'll be with everybody and we'll be discussing the look and the feel and the direction of the character. It's very early days yet, but I'm so thrilled to be on board." On his performance, Kingsley stated: "I wanted a voice that would disconcert a Western audience. I wanted a voice that would sound far more homegrown and familiar – a familiarity like a teacher's voice or a preacher's voice. The rhythms and tones of an earnest, almost benign, teacher – trying to educate people for their own good." The Mandarin was initially set to appear in the first Iron Man film, but he was put off for a sequel as the filmmakers felt that he was "too ambitious for a first [film]". On the character, Feige stated, "The Mandarin is [Iron Man's] most famous foe in the comics mainly because he's been around the longest. If you look, there's not necessarily a definitive Mandarin storyline in the comics. So it was really about having an idea." Shane Black explains that Ben Kingsley's Mandarin is not Chinese in the film as he is in the comics in order to avoid the Fu Manchu stereotype: "We're not saying he's Chinese, we're saying he, in fact, draws a cloak around him of Chinese symbols and dragons because it represents his obsessions with Sun Tzu in various ancient arts of warfare that he studied." The filmmakers also cited Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now as an influence for the character.
- The first child featured prominently in the Iron Man films, Harley is a troubled boy living with his mother, who must work all hours since Harley's father left them before the events of the film. After Stark arrives in his town, Harley becomes his sidekick and helps to repair his suit and track down the Mandarin.
Paul Bettany reprises his role from previous films as JARVIS, Stark's AI system. Ashley Hamilton portrays Jack Taggart, one of the Extremis soldiers. William Sadler plays President Ellis, and Miguel Ferrer plays Vice President Rodriguez. Adam Pally plays Gary, the cameraman that helped Stark. Shaun Toub reprises his role as Yinsen from the first Iron Man film in a brief cameo, andStan Lee makes a cameo appearance as a beauty pageant judge. Wang Xueqi briefly plays Dr. Wu in the general release version of the film. A cut of the film produced for release exclusively in China includes additional scenes featuring Wang and an appearance byFan Bingbing as one of his assistants. Mark Ruffalo makes an uncredited cameo appearance in a reprisal of his role as Dr. Bruce Banner from The Avengers in a post-credits scene. Comedian Bill Maher and Joan Rivers and Fashion Police co-host George Kotsiopoulos have cameo appearances as themselves on their respective real-world television programs, as do newscasters Josh Elliott, Megan Henderson, Pat Kiernan, and Thomas Roberts.
Following the release of Iron Man 2, a conflict between Paramount Pictures, which had distribution rights to certain Marvel properties, and The Walt Disney Company, Marvel Entertainment's new corporate parent, clouded the timing and the distribution arrangement of a possible third film. On October 18, 2010, The Walt Disney Studios agreed to pay Paramount at least $115 million for the worldwide distribution rights to Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. Disney, Marvel, and Paramount announced a May 3, 2013 release date for Iron Man 3.
Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau said in December 2010 that he would not direct Iron Man 3, opting to direct Magic Kingdom instead. He remained an executive producer of director Joss Whedon's crossover film The Avengers and also served as an executive producer of Iron Man 3. In February 2011 Shane Blackentered final negotiations to direct and write the screenplay, and in March Drew Pearce was hired to co-write the screenplay. Black described his take on the film as not being "two men in iron suits fighting each other", and more like a "Tom Clancy thriller", with Iron Man fighting real world type villains. Downey, who had previously starred in Black's film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, said, "Bringing in Shane Black to write and direct Iron Man 3 to me is basically the only transition from Favreau to a 'next thing' that Favreau and the audience and Marvel and I could ever actually sign off on."
In September 2011, Marvel Studios reached an agreement to shoot the film primarily out of EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. Michigan was also in contention to land the production, but the Michigan Film Office could not match North Carolina's tax incentives. In April 2012, Ben Kingsley entered into negotiations to play a villain in Iron Man 3. The film's fake working titlewas revealed to be Caged Heat, and Marvel Studios worked with the Tona B. Dahlquist Casting company to hire extras in the North Carolina area. The following week, producer Kevin Feige revealed that Iron Man 3 would begin shooting in North Carolina "in five weeks", and said that it "is a full-on Tony Stark-centric movie ... very much inspired by the first half of Iron Man ... [H]e's stripped of everything, he's backed up against a wall, and he's gotta use his intelligence to get out of it. He can't call Thor, he can't call Cap, he can't call Nick Fury, and he can't look for the Helicarrier in the sky." A few days later, The Walt Disney Company China, Marvel Studios and DMG Entertainment announced an agreement to co-produce Iron Man 3 in China. DMG partly financed, produced in China with Marvel, and handled co-production matters. DMG also distributed the film in China in tandem with Disney.
The next week, Guy Pearce entered into final talks to play Aldrich Killian, a character who is featured in the "Extremis" comic book story arc. Chinese star Andy Lau became involved in negotiations to join the film, as a Chinese scientist and old friend of Tony Stark's who comes to his aid. Jessica Chastain entered into discussions for a role in the film but bowed out due to scheduling conflicts. In May, Rebecca Hall was cast in her place, and her role was described as "a scientist who plays a pivotal role in the creation of a nanotechnology, known as Extremis". Over the next few weeks, James Badge Dale was cast as the villain Eric Savin, Ashley Hamilton was cast as the armored villain Firepower, and Jon Favreau was set to reprise his role as Happy Hoganfrom the first two films. William Sadler was also cast in the film, as the President of the United States. Despite erroneous early reports that Cobie Smulders would reprise her role as Maria Hill from The Avengers in the film, Smulders wrote on her verified Twitterpage that this was not so.
Filming began in Wilmington, North Carolina on May 23, 2012 at EUE/Screen Gems Studios. Cinematographer John Toll shot the film primarily on the Arri Alexa camera. From June 4 through June 6, 2012, filming took place in Cary, North Carolina at the Epic Games headquarters and SAS Institute, with a large Christmas tree set up on the front lawn. A scene was also shot at theWilmington International Airport. On set photos in North Carolina featured an actor wearing armor similar to the "Iron Patriot" suit from the comics. It was later reported to be the War Machine armor painted in red, white and blue. Another picture appeared online showing a building with a sign saying AIM, Advanced Idea Mechanics. In late June it was reported that the large water tank in the EUE/Screen Gems Studios was being used to film a scene in which Stark's Malibu mansion would be destroyed and fall into the ocean. It was also reported that Andy Lau had turned down the role he was negotiating to play, due to the birth of his first child on May 9. With Lau out, other actors in consideration for the role included Chen Daoming and Wu Xiubo. Chinese actresses reportedly contacted for separate roles included Yao Chen and Fan Bingbing.
From July 19 to August 1, 2012, filming took place on Oak Island, North Carolina, to "film aerial drops over the Atlantic Ocean". In late July, it was reported that Stephanie Szostak had been cast in the film. Filming took place in Rose Hill, North Carolina in early August 2012. On August 14, actress Dale Dickey said she had been cast in the film, and was currently shooting her scenes. On August 15, production was halted when Robert Downey, Jr. suffered an ankle injury. Shooting had resumed by August 24. In early September, it was reported that Wang Xueqi had been cast for a role for which Lau had initially been cast.
Cast and crew began arriving in Florida on October 1, to shoot scenes on Dania Beach and around South Florida. That same day, Robert Downey Jr. returned to the set after his ankle injury. In early October, scenes were shot at a replica of the Malibu restaurant Neptune's Net, and filming took place on location at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Scenes were shot during the daytime inside the Miami Beach Resort at Miami Beach on October 10 and 11. The production returned to Wilmington in mid-October for additional filming. On November 1, scenes were shot at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and at an abandoned cement factory made up as an Afghanistan village market. Filming in the United States wrapped on November 7 in Wilmington.
Filming began in Beijing, China on December 10. Filming was scheduled to wrap a week later on December 17, 2012. The China filming did not include the main cast and crew. In January 2013, it was reported that a film crew led by Shane Black would begin location scouting in Hyderabad, India and Bengaluru, India between January 20 and 24. Also in January, Don Cheadle confirmed that reshooting was taking place in Manhattan Beach. Shooting also took place on the week of January 23, 2013 at TCL Chinese Theatrein Hollywood.
Chris Townsend served as visual effects supervisor for the film, which featured over 2,000 visual effects shots and was worked on by 17 studios: Weta Digital, Digital Domain,Scanline VFX, Trixter, Framestore, Luma Pictures, Fuel VFX, Cantina Creative, Cinesite, The Embassy Visual Effects, Lola, Capital T, Prologue and Rise FX. Townsend said that from January 2013 through the film's wrap in April, the collective crew had one day of downtime, otherwise working seven days a week and 14 to 18 hours a day.
Digital Domain, Scanline VFX and Trixter each worked on separate shots featuring the Mark 42 armor, working with different digital models. The studios shared some of their files to ensure consistency between the shots. For the Mark 42 and Iron Patriot armors, Legacy Effects constructed partial suits that were worn on set. Townsend explained that "Invariably we'd shoot a soft-suit with Robert then we'd also put tracking markers on his trousers. He would also wear lifts in his shoes or be up in a box so he'd be the correct height – Iron Man is 6″5′. During shooting we used multiple witness cams, Canon C300s, and we had two or three running whenever there was an Iron Man or Extremis character." The artists studied time lapse photography of decaying fruit and vegetables and actual phenomena such as theaurora borealis as reference for the effect of the glowing Extremis characters.
The film's production was delayed following Downey's leg injury, and for certain shots they were forced to create a double for Downey. Townsend explained that "The collective VFX [supervisors] and unit leads ran into a room as soon as the incident happened to try to ascertain what sequences could they shoot." Certain shots were filmed with a body double on set, and Weta Digital created a digital body double for others.
In October 2012, Brian Tyler signed on to score the film. The score was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, utilizing the recent Dolby Atmos recording technology. Tyler is the third primary composer to score an Iron Man film, following Ramin Djawadi of Iron Man and John Debney of Iron Man 2.
Disney Music Group announced in March 2013 that the concept album Heroes Fall and the film's original soundtrack would be released on April 30, 2013 by Hollywood Records and Marvel Music
Iron Man 3 is being distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures1 with the exception ofChina, where it is being released by DMG Entertainment, and Germany and Austria, where it is being released by Tele München Group. The Chinese version of the film offers specially prepared bonus footage made exclusively for the Chinese audience. This version features a four-minute longer cut of the film, with a scene showing Dr. Wu on the phone with Iron Man visible on a television screen behind him, as well as a longer scene of Dr. Wu operating on Stark. The extra material also features product placement of different Chinese products. The United States premiere of the film was held at the El Capitan Theatre on April 24, 2013. The UK premiere of the film, originally set for April 17, was pushed back to the 18th in order to avoid possible unrest over the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, which took place on the 17th. The film is being shown at a Korona World theatre in Nagoya, Japan in the 4DX format, featuring strobe lights, tilting seats, blowing wind and fog and odor effects, as well in other countries.Regal Cinemas, AMC Theatres and Carmike Cinemas put presale tickets on hold, two weeks before the US premiere. The cinemas were in a contract dispute with Disney, who wished to receive more of the ticket sale profit than they currently did, largely based on the projected premiere-weekend intake Iron Man 3 was expected to have. Carmike was the first to come to terms with Disney. It was later reported thatCinemark Theatres had also stopped selling presale tickets, and Regal Cinemas had removed all marketing material for the film from its locations. On April 25, 2013, Regal, AMC and Disney ended their dispute, which allowed Regal and AMC to proceed with selling presale tickets again.
In July 2012, at the San Diego Comic-Con International, a new Iron Man armor from the movie, the Mark XLII, was on display on the convention floor, along with the Marks I-VII from the first two Iron Man movies and The Avengers. A panel was held, during which Shane Black, Robert Downey, Jr., Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau and Kevin Feige discussed making the film, and several minutes of footage from the movie were shown. The first television advertisement aired during Super Bowl XLVII on the CBS network in the United States. On March 25, 2013, Marvel and Disney revealed on the official Iron Man Facebook page, "Iron Man 3: Armor Unlock", to reveal suits Stark has made before the events of the film.
Disney also promoted the film at its domestic theme parks. Disneyland's Innoventions attraction received a Stark Industries exhibit beginning April 13, and Monorail Black of the Walt Disney World Monorail System was given an exterior Iron Man scheme. The exhibit, entitled "Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries", features the same armor display that was shown at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, with the Marks I-VII and the new Mark XLII. In addition, there is a simulator game, titled "Become Iron Man", that usesKinect-like technology to allow the viewer to be encased in an animated Mark XLII armor and take part in a series of “tests,” in which you fire repulsor rays and fly through Tony Stark's workshop. The game is guided by JARVIS, who is voiced again by Paul Bettany. The exhibit also has smaller displays that include helmets and chest pieces from the earlier films and the gauntlet and boot from an action sequence in Iron Man 3.