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Iron Man 3 is an 2013 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Iron Man, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is intended to be the sequel to 2010's Iron Man 2 and the seventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being the first major release in the Marvel Cinematics Universe since the crossover The Avengers.

Shane Black was set to direct the screenplay by himself and Drew Pearce, which will be based on the "Extremis" story arc by Warren Ellis. Jon Favreau, who directed the first two films, serves as executive producer along with Kevin Feige. Robert Downey, Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle reprising their roles as Pepper Potts and James Rhodes respectively. Robert also wanted Pepper Potts to do more in this movie.

The film was released on April 14, 2013 in theaters around the world and May 3, 2013 in America and was also available in 3D and IMAX theaters.


Tony Stark recalls a New Years Eve party in 1999 with scientist Maya Hansen, inventor of Extremis—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. Two people in this sequence that are of note are the Doctor Ho Yensin; who saved his life in the first film and an undentified asian man who may in fact be the real Mandarin (someone most people missed as the film centers on AIM and Maya Hansen).

Years later, Tony's experiences during the alien invasion of New York are giving him panic attacks. Restless, he has built several dozen Iron 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.

Maya, who came to warn Tony, survives the attack along with Pepper. Tony escapes in the Mark 42 suit, which his artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. 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 is the real Mandarin; 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, Tony 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, Tony goes to save Pepper, and Rhodey saves the president. Stark summons his Iron Man suits, controlled remotely by J.A.R.V.I.S., 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 who in turn attacks him, breaking three of Stark's suits with his Extremis-granted power. Stark, feigning surrender, sends his Mark 42 to trap Killian and blows it up, but fails to kill him. Potts, whose Extremis powers allowed her to survive her fall, intervenes and kills Killian.

After the battle, Stark orders J.A.R.V.I.S. to remotely destroy the remaining 21 Iron Man suits, under the order of the Clean Slate Protocol, as a sign of his devotion to Pepper. 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 he will always be Iron Man.

In a present day post-credits scene, Tony wakes up Dr. Bruce Banner, who fell asleep listening at the beginning of Stark's story.





  • California
    • Malibu


  • Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man:
    A self-described billionaire, genius, playboy and philanthropist, who is one of the founding member of The Avengers, and is famously known as the super-hero Iron Man through high-tech suits of armor of his own invention.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts:
    Stark's girlfriend, long time associate and personal assistant. Potts is a victim to the Extremis experiment and gains superpowers until she gets surgery to remove Extremis from her body.
  • Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian / Firebrand: The main antagonist of the film. He is the creator of The Extremis Virus. Only in this film, he will become just like Mallen and fight Iron Man at the docks.
  • Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen: A botanist, Stark's former girlfried, and the creator of the Extremis Virus. Hansen worked for A.I.M. alongside Killian.
  • Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan: Tony's good friend and his former personal bodyguard. He reprised his role in Iron Man 3.
  • Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin / Trevor Slattery: A supporting antagonist of the film. Though traditionally the Mandarin is portrayed as Iron Man's arch-nemesis in the comics, he will be portrayed as the leader of the Ten Rings to cover up Killian's "experimental" explosions.



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. 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 Black entered final negotiations to direct and write the screenplay, and in March it was announced that he would have as a co-writer Drew Pearce, who Marvel had originally hired for a Runaways script. 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 title was 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 Stark's who comes to his aid. Lau would later turn down the role, and Wang Xueqi was cast instead. 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 Eric Savin, Ashley Hamilton was cast as Firepower, and Favreau returned to reprise his role as Happy Hogan from the first two films. Stephanie Szostak and William Sadler were also cast in the film, with Sadler playing 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 Twitter page that this was not so.


Filming began in Wilmington, North Carolina on May 23, 2012 at EUE/Screen Gems Studios. Cinematographer John Toll opted to for the first time in his career work with digital cameras, as he found them more convenient for a visual effects-heavy production. 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 the Wilmington International Airport. The Port of Wilmington served as a location for the oil tanker in the climactic battle, along with a soundstage recreation of the dock. The crumbling house itself was filmed in a hydraulic-powered giubo platform that could bend and split into two pieces. All the interior footage had practical effects, including debris and explosions, with computer graphics used only to add exteriors and Iron Man's armor.

From July 19 to August 1, 2012, filming took place on Oak Island, North Carolina, to "film aerial drops over the Atlantic Ocean."They were done for the scene where Iron Man rescues the people falling from the Air Force One over Miami, which were originally envisioned done with green screen effects, but were changed to using actual skydivers as second unit director Brian Smrz knew the Red Bull skydiving team. Computer graphics were only employed to add clouds, the destroyed plane and matte paintings of the Florida coastline in the background, replace a stand-in with the Iron Man armor, and some digital compositing to combine different takes of the skydivers together. Filming took place in Rose Hill, North Carolina in early August 2012, and the town's name was incorporated into the script as the Tennessee city Stark visits. On August 14, actress Dale Dickey said she had been cast in the film, and was currently shooting her scenes. The following day, production was halted when Downey, Jr. suffered an ankle injury. During the break, Black and Pearce made more script revisions before shooting resumed by August 24.

Cast and crew began arriving in Florida on October 1, to shoot scenes on Dania Beach and around South Florida. That same day, 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. 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, Cheadle confirmed that reshooting was taking place in Manhattan Beach. Shooting also took place on the week of January 23, 2013 at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. A major part of the content filmed in the reshoots regarded the Mandarin, as according to Drew Pearce in early cuts the character "didn't feel real enough- there wasn't a sense of him being [part of] the real world, mostly because he was just looking down a lens and threatening the world."


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, including 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 end of filming 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 the aurora 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.

A total of three hours and 15 minutes of footage were shot before editing, where it was brought down to 130 minutes (119 without the credits), marking the longest stand-alone Iron Man film. Post-production also had a 3D conversion and a digital remaster for the IMAX release. Todd-AO mixed the sound in Dolby Atmos to enhance the immersive experience.

Behind the Scenes

  • The patriotic-themed suit below was originally rumored to be a new paint job for Iron Man, but has since been revealed that the armored suit was actually just a new paint job for War Machine. [1]

Blu-Ray Release


Iron Man 3 is the first to be available digitally, on September 3rd, 2013, with hard copies releasing a few weeks afterwards, on the 24th. Fans will be able to choose between a 3-Disc 3D Blu-Ray Super Set, a 2-Disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack with Digital Copy, a 2-Disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack, and a basic DVD.

Here's what fans can expect in terms of bonus features and extra content:

  • 3-Disc 3D Super Set (Blu-ray 3D+Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy+Music Download) - Bonus Includes:
    • Marvel One Shot: Agent Carter
    • Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Look Marvel's “Thor: The Dark World”
    • Marvel's Iron Man 3 Unmasked
    • Deconstructing The Scene: Attack On Air Force One
    • Gag Reel
    • Deleted / Extended Scenes
    • Audio Commentary With Drew Pearce & Shane Black
  • 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack with Digital Copy (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy) - Bonus Includes:
    • Same as the 3-Disc 3D Blu-ray Super Set above
  • 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray+DVD) Bonus Includes:
    • Same as the 3-Disc 3D Blu-ray Super Set above
  • 1-Disc DVD + Digital Copy - Bonus Includes:
    • Deconstructing The Scene: Attack On Air Force One
    • Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Look Marvel's “Thor: The Dark World”


A game based on the movie was released, entitled Iron Man 3 - The Official Game. It was released only for mobile devices as Marvel was bought over by Disney.

The storyline of the game continues on from the Iron Man 3 storyline, but some parts change in the course of the storyline, thus indicating that the story of the game does not have much relation as to what happens after the movie. Implyoig that the story of this game os soft canon, and does not continue after the storyline after the events of Iron Man 3. The true storyline will only be continued during The Avengers: Age of Ultron storyline.

The game could be downloaded from the Apple Mobile App Store, for free, although it requires a large amount of space before it could be installed.

Possible Sequel & Future

Although no sequel has been confirmed or announced by Marvel Studios of an upcoming Iron Man 4 film, The Avengers: Age of Ultron is the next film in line to continue the storyline of the Marvel Cinematics Universe, chronologically. Tony Stark is set to return as the fellow Avenger, and his character role will be reprised by actor Robert Downey Jr.

On September 8, 2014, Robert Downey, Jr. confirmed to the media that there is no Iron Man 4 in the works as of now.

Spin-off Short Film

A spin-off short film, also known as Marvel One-Shots, was released with the title, "All Hail The King". It features Ben Kingsley who reprises his role as Trevor Slattery from Iron Man 3. The film delves deep into Trevor's secrets and how he came to be as the Mandarin.

Sam Rockwell makes a cameo appearance, and reprises his role as Justin Hammer.


  • Iron Man 3 is the third installment in the overall film series, but is the fourth film chronologically when including The Avengers.
  • Iron Man 3 was released worldwide on April 23, 2013, and on May 3, 2013 in the United States.


  • The movie's ending theme music was being played at the Stark Tower in Club Penguin during the Marvel Superhero Takeover 2013 in Club Penguin. May 3rd, the date that the film came out in theaters is also date of Tony Stark's birthday.
  • Air Canada's version omitted the Air Force One skyfall rescue scene.
  • When Tony's mansion is destroyed by the Mandarin's airstrike, the only cars that are present are the Bugatti Veyron SS and the Audi R8.
  • In the second post-credits scene, after it was revealed that Tony was talking to Bruce Banner, a message appeared on the screen saying, "Tony Stark Will Return", implying that the character will appear in future films.
  • Since Shane Black directed Iron Man 3, many things from the previous films have disappeared and changed in the movie. This may be because of the change in director, or also because of the events that happened in The Avengers.
    • Christine Everhart, who is a recurring female news reporter in the last two films, no longer appears in the movie.
    • From having only three of Tony Stark's armors to be introduced in the last two films, to having 35 new armors being introduced in the movie.
    • Howard Stark, who played a key role in the previous films, no longer had a role in the movie.
    • The earlier version of the script featured Tony staying with Bruce Banner in the Avengers tower, Maya Hansen becoming a Technovore after Killian injected an nanobot parasite, Mandarin being real and not an actor, Tony fighting with an enraged Hulk possessed by the Mandarin, and lastly, all of this taking place at Stark tower, NYC.


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Theatrical Trailers

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  1. Hollywood Reporter

External Links

  • Iron Man 3 on the Marvel Comics Database.
  • Iron Man 3 on the Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki.
  • Iron Man 3 on the Marvel Movies Wiki.