Flickchart Preview: ‘Iron Man 3’
Now, “Phase One” of Marvel’s blockbuster film schedule – kickstarted by Iron Man – is complete, Downey has two more performances and a cameo as Stark under his belt, and Phase Two has begun, with the North American release of Iron Man 3 today. Marvel and Disney’s advertising has been omnipresent for months, but if you’ve somehow been living under a rock recently, check out the trailer below.
Following the events of The Avengers, and the epic battle to save New York City – and, indeed, the world – Tony Stark is a man who has it all…and yet, he can’t rest. A terrorist known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) is tearing up the world, and targeting Stark and those closest to him, namely, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). The fight becomes personal, as it must be in all the best comic book-based films.
It’s hard to imagine any solo movie for one of The Avengers being as epic as Joss Whedon‘s extravaganza, but the man himself has reportedly been ultra-impressed with the payoff of Iron Man 3. Whedon’s reaction: “Now what am I going to do in The Avengers 2?”
Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black, who has been a player in Hollywood since the ’80s (he wrote Lethal Weapon, and acted in Predator), but never really a heavy-hitter. His presence behind the camera continues Marvel’s revolving-door policy on directors for their blockbusters, but no doubt has something to do with the fact that his feature directorial debut was Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: Not only a great movie in its own right, it also just happened to star one Robert Downey Jr.
Having not even been released domestically yet, Iron Man 3 is already breaking records at the box office, and proving the increasing importance of the foreign market to movie studios. Last weekend, Iron Man 3 opened in 42 markets to the tune of $195 million, soundly beating The Avengers‘ $185 million opening weekend. Box office analysts are speculating that the same could happen here at home, which would mean that Iron Man would pull in the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time, all by himself.
Downey’s third solo outing as Iron Man – sans the rest of The Avengers team – is possibly his last, if rumors are to be believed. When Iron Man went into production, Downey and Paltrow were only contracted for three films; this is their fourth as Stark and his main squeeze, Pepper. Recently, Don Cheadle (James “Rhodey” Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine in Iron Man 2 and Iron Patriot in 3) has speculated that Iron Man 3 could be the last in this franchise – or, at least, in this particular incarnation of this franchise.
Comic-book movie reboots are now a dime-a-dozen. Of course, this is nothing new. All the greatest superheroes have had their origin retold in comics many times over, but it’s seemingly impossible to imagine The Avengers 2 without the man who brought Tony Stark to life. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of Phase Two pans out, continuing with Thor: The Dark World later this year, and Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014.
In the meantime, Iron Man is back – ready to rule the box office and kick off the summer movie season in style.