Highlights from the Iron Man 3 Press Conference *NO SPOILERS*

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After traveling the world promoting the latest chapter in the cinematic Marvel universe, the cast of Iron Man 3 came home to LA to answer questions from the domestic press pool.

While we can’t give you a review just yet (curse you, embargoes!), we can give you a NO PLOT SPOILERS chat with the cast, director Shane Black, and writer Drew Pearce.  They do talk about the setting, some behind-the-scenes hijinks, and their goals in bringing a third Iron Man film into the world, post Avengers, but none of what you’ll find here will give away any of the big story points and major twists (yes, the film will surprise you!).

If nothing else, the video is worth watching just for the interaction between the cast members. After doing this kind of thing in a dozen major cities around the world over the past few weeks, it has to be hard to keep a smile on your face answering the same questions over and over.

Here are a few more quotes from the cast and director on the making of Iron Man 3:

Rebecca Hall (Maya Hansen) on her first impressions of the Iron Man films…
“I remember going to see the first Iron Man film and thinking what an unusual thing that they’re not casting action heroes.  They’re casting Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow.  This must be interesting.  I remember watching and thinking it’s not just about the action sequences and the thrill ride.  It’s also about the repartee, the wit and the dialogue and there was this screwball battle of the sexes comedy going on that I loved.”

Director Shane Black on sitting in the director’s chair for the third part of a trilogy…
“Our ambitions were to make sure we had a movie that felt like a worthy successor to the previous Favreau films.  To Marvel’s credit, they said we’ve done the Avengers, we made a lot of money, but let’s not do that right now, let’s do something different.  They allowed for a different sort of stand-alone film, where we got to be more character-centric and look back to basics at what Tony Stark would do next, what was left to tell of his story.  And that was very appealing to me.  So to make it more of a thriller and to make it more about Tony and less otherworldly and sort of just ground it more, that was our intention.  I hope we succeeded.”

Robert Downey Jr (Tony Stark/Iron Man) on working with child actor Ty Simpkins…
“Ty Simpkins is great and I think we’ll see a lot of him.  Shane Black had this idea of this Capra-esque departure.  A lot of things in Iron Man 3, we knew we were taking risks and we were kind of outside the familiar territory.  And his idea of a superhero running into a kid in the heartland of America wound up being a wise choice and kind of a calculated risk.”

Sir Ben Kingsley (The Mandarin) on creating the voice of the Mandarin…
“I tried to give the Mandarin in his political broadcasts a rather unnerving sense of righteousness, and making him almost paternalistic, patriarchal.  And that’s where the timbre of his delivery comes from and his weird iconography was there to disconcert and completely scatter any expectations of where he might be coming from.  The line “you will never see me coming” sort of voices that unpredictability that he has.”

Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/Iron Patriot) on his preference of armor and what he sees as Rhodey’s evolution…
“The Iron Patriot is about 3 kilos heavier, so I prefer War Machine.  Something that Robert and I talked about after we finished the second one, he came to me and said, ‘let’s really try to kick this relationship off and really try to see who these guys are’.  A lot of the fun for me in this one was being able to do a lot of action outside of the suit, getting to work with the stunt team and doing a lot of the cable work was just a real thrill for me.  I was a big kid getting to play with the best toys.  I think you see the relationship is strengthened in this one and sort of pays off on the promise that was made in the end of Iron Man 2 in the Japanese garden, where these guys really started busting each others chops, back to back, you know they’re friends, but they really help balance one another.”

Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts) on why the Iron Man movies work…
The truth is that these movies work because Robert plays Tony Stark and not only because of the similarities in their own lives and not just because of his specific brand of vulnerability and strength and humor, but because Robert has a really big picture creative mind about what these movies should feel like.  We all know that Marvel is amazing at the stunts and the CGI and the action and everything.  But one of the particular strengths of Robert’s we don’t see on screen is he’s always asking ‘what is the big picture here? how can we make it feel real?  how can we make it feel like something we care about and something we want to watch?’  And that’s why the movies keep working and they’re not a weak carbon copy of the one before.”

Iron Man 3 officially kicks off the summer blockbuster season in theaters May 3rd.

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