Some high-octane clips were shown (the film is due out in May 2013), and it was confirmed that Sir Ben Kingsley will play the Chinese villain The Mandarin, who dates back to the early days of Iron Man and Hulk comic stories in the early ’60s. The Huffington Post wrote of the Comic-Con presentation: “Kingsley looked absolutely intimidating in a clip shown during the presentation. The footage began with Stark (Downey Jr.) being put in his suit, with pieces flying in from every direction (one lands on his crotch with a rather unfortunate thud).” Evidently producer Favreau appears as former Stark employee Happy Hogan and jokes, “I don’t work for you anymore,” which also refers to the fact that Favreau directed the first two movies. Black said they were halfway through production.
HuffPo further reported that other footage showed Stark on an operating table, juxtaposed by a closeup of a damaged Iron Man helmet, and later helicopters were shown blowing up Stark’s mansion with missiles. One fan asked about seeing the return of the Hulk, to which Feige replied “At the end of Avengers, Bruce [Banner] jumped in the car with Tony. Then Tony dropped him off at the Port Authority, and we’ll see him again some day.” In their reporting, MTV.com mentioned the leaked photos of the Iron Patriot armor that have surfaced online. Feige was not thrilled that they were put out, but added that much of the guessing about it was wrong, although Cheadle confirmed he is suiting up in it. A darker side to the character emerged in the second film and continues in the third, which takes place in a post-Avengers world and timeline. But there is also love in the air.
“The remarkable thing that Jon Favreau managed to do is establish a precedent of espionage, Top Gun-style thrills coupled with romantic comedy in a strange way,” said Black. “It’s always been a mainstay of these movies, and that’s part of my favorite thing about it, too. So romance is definitely a part of this. Time has passed. In Avengers, Pepper and Tony are living together and doing great.”
While he is starring in a superhero movie, which might seem superficial to non-comic book fans, Downey takes his role very seriously. MTV.com reported that when asked by a young fan about how it feels to be a hero in these movies, Downey paused then replied, “There was just one of these photo things with a bunch of kids where they dressed up as Iron Man. There were a couple of War Machines, too. There’s something about it that’s just … wow, a great opportunity. It’s an odd thing. I take this as seriously as Shakespeare.”