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Iron Man 3 (stylized onscreen as Iron Man Three) is a 2013 American[4]superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Iron Man, produced by 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 film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Shane Black from a screenplay he co-wrote with Drew Pearce, and stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, and Ben Kingsley. In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark deals with posttraumatic stress disorder caused by the events of The Avengers, while investigating a string of terrorist attacks led by the mysterious Mandarin, and comes into a conflict with an old enemy: Aldrich Killian.

After the release of Iron Man 2 in May 2010, Favreau, who served as director, decided not to return, and in February 2011 Black was hired to write and direct the film. Black and Pearce opted to make the script more character-centric and focused on thriller elements, which also uses concepts from the "Extremis" story arc by Warren Ellis. 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, and lasted through December 17, 2012, primarily at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. Additional shooting took place at various locations around North Carolina, as well as Florida, China, and Los Angeles. The visual effects were handled by 17 companies, including Scanline VFX, Digital Domain, and Weta Digital. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.

Iron Man 3 premiered at the Grand Rex in Paris on April 14, 2013, and released in the United States on May 3. The film received generally positive reviews and was commercially successful, grossing over $1.2 billion worldwide, the second-highest-grossing film of 2013 overall, and the second-highest-grossing film at the domestic box office released in 2013. It became the sixteenth film to gross over $1 billion and the 5th-highest-grossing film of all time, with its opening weekend ranking as the 6th-highest-grossing opening of all time. The film also received a nomination for Academy Award in the category of Best Visual Effects, and received another nomination for BAFTA Award in the same category.

Plot[edit]

At a New Year's Eve party in 1999, Tony Stark meets scientist Maya Hansen, the inventor of experimental regenerative treatment Extremis that allows recovery from crippling injuries. Disabled scientist Aldrich Killian offers them a place in his company Advanced Idea Mechanics, but Stark rejects him. In 2013, Stark's is having panic attacks due to his experiences during the alien invasion and subsequent Battle of New York.[N 1] Restless, he has built dozens of Iron Man suits, creating friction with his girlfriend Pepper Potts.

A string of bombings by a terrorist known as the Mandarin has left intelligence agencies bewildered by a lack of forensic evidence. Stark's security chief Happy Hogan is badly injured in a Mandarin attack, causing Stark to issue 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 with Potts. Stark escapes in an Iron Man suit, which his artificial intelligenceJ.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 whose bodies explosively rejected the treatment. After veterans started exploding, these explosions were falsely attributed to a terrorist plot in order to cover up Extremis's flaws. Stark witnesses Extremis firsthand when Mandarin agents Brandt and Savin attack him. Meanwhile, Killian resurfaces and kidnaps Potts and Hansen. American intelligence agencies continue to search for the Mandarin's location, with James Rhodes—the former War Machine, now re-branded as the Iron Patriot—lured into a trap to steal his Iron Man-like armor.

With Harley's help, Stark traces the Mandarin to Miami and infiltrates his headquarters using improvised weapons. Inside he discovers the Mandarin is actually an English actor named Trevor Slattery, who is oblivious to the actions carried out in his image. Killian, who appropriated Hansen's Extremis research as a cure for his own disability and expanded the program to include injured war veterans, reveals he is the real Mandarin behind Slattery's cover. After capturing Stark, Killian reveals that he has subjected Potts to Extremis in the hope that he will help fix Extremis's flaws while trying to save her. Killian kills Hansen when she tries to stop him.

Stark escapes and reunites with Rhodes, discovering that Killian intends to attack President Ellis aboard Air Force One. 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 his young daughter's disability. On the platform, Stark goes to save Potts, as Rhodes 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 and traps him in an Iron Man suit that self-destructs, 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 each Iron Man suit as a sign of his devotion to Potts, while the Vice President and Slattery are arrested. With Stark's help, Potts' Extremis effects are stabilized, and Stark promises to leave his life as Iron Man behind, undergoing surgery to remove the shrapnel embedded near his heart and throwing his obsolete chest arc reactor into the sea. He muses that, even without the technology, he will always be Iron Man.

In a present-day post-credits scene, Stark has been telling this story to Bruce Banner, who fell asleep.

Cast[edit]

  • Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man:
    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,[6][7] suffering from anxiety attacks. On making a third Iron 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."[8] 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?"[9] Screenwriter Drew Pearce compared Tony to an American James Bond for both being "heroes with a sense of danger to them, and unpredictability" even if Stark was a "free agent" instead of an authority figure like Bond. He also likened Tony to the protagonists of 1970s films such as The French Connection, where "the idiosyncrasies of the heroes is what made them exciting."[10]
  • Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia "Pepper" Potts:
    Stark's girlfriend, longtime associate, and the current CEO of Stark Industries.[6][11] 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."[12] 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 the damsel in distress trope, and posits the question, "Is Pepper in danger or is Pepper the savior?"[13]
  • Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes / Iron Patriot:
    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.[7] 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 Blackbuddy-cop fashion."[14] 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.[15]
  • Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian:
    The creator of the Extremis virus[16] and the founder and owner of the science and development organisation Advanced Idea Mechanics,[17] who adopts the mantle of the Mandarin as his own.[18][19] 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."[20] 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."[17] 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."[18] 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."[21]
  • Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen:
    A geneticist whose work helped Killian to create Extremis.[7][22][23] 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."[24] Hall confirmed that her character's role was greatly reduced in the final film, saying, "I signed on to do something that was a substantial role. She wasn't entirely the villain—there have been several phases of this—but I signed on to do something very different to what I ended up doing."[25]
  • Stephanie Szostak as Brandt:
    A war veteran who becomes an assassin after her exposure to Extremis.[7][26] 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."[27] The writers originally envisioned Brandt as Killian's main henchman, which would return throughout the movie to fight Tony, but eventually that role was reassigned to Eric Savin.[28]
  • James Badge Dale as Savin:
    Killian's Extremis-powered henchman.[7][29] Dale stated that his character in the film was "loosely based on" the comic version of the character.[30] According to Dale, "Ben Kingsley is the mouthpiece. Guy Pearce is the brain. I'm the muscle."[31]
  • Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan:
    Tony Stark's former bodyguard and chauffeur, and now serves as Stark Industries head of security department. 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."[32]
  • 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 the leader of the international terrorist organization the Ten Rings.[7][33][34] 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."[35] 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."[36] 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]."[37] 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."[14] 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.[38] The videos where the Mandarin gives historical background to the attacks expressed how it emerged as the product of "a think tank of people trying to create a modern terrorist."[28] Thus the Mandarin "represents every terrorist in a way," from South American insurgency tactics to the videos ofOsama bin Laden.[38]

Paul Bettany reprises his role from previous films as J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark's AI system.[26]Ty Simpkins portrays Harley Keener,[26] a boy who becomes Stark's sidekick,[39] as part of a three-picture deal with Marvel Studios.[40]Ashley Hamilton portrays Taggart, one of the Extremis soldiers.[41]William Sadler plays President Ellis,[26][42] (named after Warren Ellis, who wrote the "Extremis" comics arc that primarily influenced the film's story)[43] and Miguel Ferrer plays Vice President Rodriguez. Adam Pally plays Gary, a cameraman who helps Stark.[44]Shaun Toub reprises his role as Yinsen from the first Iron Man film in a brief cameo,[45] and Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance as a beauty pageant judge.[43]Dale Dickey plays Mrs. Davis, mother of an Extremis subject that is framed as a terrorist.[46]Wang Xueqi briefly plays Dr. Wu in the general release version of the film.[47] A cut of the film produced for release exclusively in China includes additional scenes featuring Wang and an appearance by Fan Bingbing as one of his assistants.[48][49]Mark Ruffalo makes an uncredited cameo appearance, reprising his role as Bruce Banner from The Avengers, in a post-credits scene.[50] Comedians 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.[citation needed]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

"Truthfully, the way to go about doing a part 3, if you're ever in that position, as I'm lucky enough to be, is to find a way that the first two weren't done yet. You have to find a way to make sure that the story that's emerging is still ongoing and, by the time you've finished 3, will be something resembling the culmination of a trilogy. It's about, 'How has the story not yet been completely told?,' and I think we're getting there. I think we've really found ways to make this feel organic and new, based on what's come before, and that's what I'm happy about."

—Shane Black, director of Iron Man 3, on the film.[9]

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.[51] On October 18, 2010, Walt Disney Studios agreed to pay Paramount at least $115 million for the worldwide distribution rights to Iron Man 3,[52] with Disney, Marvel, and Paramount announcing a May 3, 2013 release date for the film.[53]

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.[54][55] Also in 2010, Downey reached out to Shane Black, who directed him in 2005's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, to write and direct the film.[56] In February 2011, Black entered final negotiations to join the project,[57][58] and in March it was announced that Drew Pearce, who Marvel had originally hired for a Runaways script, would work with Black on the script.[59] Downey 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."[8]

Writing[edit]

Shane 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.[58] Drew Pearce added that they would avert magic and space, with Iron Man 3 being "a techno-thriller set in a more real world than even The Avengers." The duo spent some time discussing themes and images and ideas before starting the script.[10] While writing, the focus was to avoid scenes of pure exposition, making every moment propel other narrative points forwards. Some elements from the comics were used even if in different connotations, such as making Rhodes wear Norman Osborn's Iron Patriot armor, and naming some characters with names from unrelated people in the Marvel Universe, such as Eric Savin and Jack Taggart.[28]

The film's plot is influenced primarily from "Extremis," the 2005–2006 Iron Man comics storyline written by Warren Ellis.[43] The first two acts would remain character-centric, albeit in Shane Black's words "more hectic, frenetic, and large scale" to fulfill its sequel obligations, with the third act going for more over-the-top action to what Drew Pearce described as "giving a sense of opera." The middle act was compared to Sullivan's Travels in having Tony meeting various people on his journey, and the writers made sure to not make the characters too similar. The initial draft had Maya Hansen herself leading the villainous operation, with the Mandarin and Killian emerging as antagonists in later versions of the script. During one of the writing sessions, Pearce suggested that the Mandarin was a fake, and Black agreed by going with making him an actor, which in turn Pearce detailed as an overacting British stage performer. Black explained: "Who would be fool enough to declare that is an international terrorist? If you're smart, whatever regime you're part of, you'd put a puppet committee and remain your house." In turn Killian would hide Slattery in "his own frat house, in kind of a drug-related house arrest" to keep the secret alive.[28]

According to Black, the reveal of the actual villain being Hansen was "like Remington Steele, you think it's the man but at the end, the woman has been running the whole show." The role was eventually shifted to Killian because of objections by Marvel Entertainment executives, who were concerned with apparent merchandising losses that could come with having a female villain. The roles of several other major female characters were also made smaller in the final film compared to earlier drafts.[60]

Both the opening and the ending of the film were reworked in various ways. First it would begin with a flashback to Tony's childhood. Then like Iron Man it would begin in medias res, with Tony crashing in Tennessee before a voiceover that would lead to how he got there, until it got changed to the final version. For the climactic tanker battle, it was originally considered that Brandt would show up in the James Bond tradition of the henchman coming back for the heroes. Instead they chose to use Killian himself, and have Pepper, whom he abused earlier, cause his downfall as a way of poetic justice. The final dialogue was originally written as "I am Tony Stark" to be a response to the first film's ending, but eventually it changed to "I am Iron Man" to enhance the mythical qualities.[28] On setting the film around Christmas, Black said "I think it’s a sense of if you’re doing something on an interesting scale that involves an entire universe of characters, one way to unite them is to have them all undergo a common experience. There’s something at Christmas that unites everybody and it already sets a stage within the stage, that wherever you are, you’re experiencing this world together. I think that also there’s something just pleasing about it to me." Pearce added that he would have wanted to see a third Iron Man film set at Christmas, adding that "when you’re telling a story about taking characters apart, it almost has more resonance if you put it at Christmas and if you’re also telling a story about lonelier characters as well. That loneliness is heightened at Christmas." Black also felt the character Harley Keener embodied the ghost of Christmas past for Stark.[61]

Pre-production[edit]

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.[62] In April 2012, Ben Kingsley entered into negotiations to play a villain in Iron Man 3.[33] 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."[63] 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.[64][65]

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.[16] 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.[66] Lau would later turn down the role, and Wang Xueqi was cast instead.[67][68]Jessica Chastain entered into discussions for a role in the film,[69] but bowed out due to scheduling conflicts.[22] In May, Rebecca Hall was cast in her place,[22] and her role was described as "a scientist who plays a pivotal role in the creation of a nanotechnology, known as Extremis."[23] Over the next few weeks, James Badge Dale was cast as Eric Savin,[29]Ashley Hamilton was cast as Firepower,[41] and Favreau returned to reprise his role as Happy Hogan from the first two films.[70]Stephanie Szostak and William Sadler were also cast in the film, with Sadler playing the President of the United States.[42][71] Despite erroneous early reports that Cobie Smulders would reprise her role as Maria Hill from The Avengers in the film,[72] Smulders wrote on her verified Twitter page that this was not so.[73]

Filming[edit]

Filming began in Wilmington, North Carolina on May 23, 2012 at EUE/Screen Gems Studios,[74] with the working titleCaged Heat.[75] 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.[76] From June 4 through June 6, 2012, filming took place in Cary, North Carolina at the Epic Games headquarters[77] and SAS Institute,[78] with a large Christmas tree set up on the front lawn.[79] A scene was also shot at the Wilmington International Airport.[74] The Port of Wilmington served as a location for the oil tanker in the climactic battle, along with a soundstage recreation of the dock.[28] The crumbling house itself was filmed in a hydraulic-poweredgiubo 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.[80][81]

From July 19 to August 1, 2012, filming took place on Oak Island, North Carolina, to "film aerial drops over the Atlantic Ocean."[82] 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 Bullskydiving 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.[83] Filming took place in Rose Hill, North Carolina in early August 2012,[84] and the town's name was incorporated into the script as the Tennessee city Stark visits.[81] On August 14, actress Dale Dickey said she had been cast in the film, and was currently shooting her scenes.[46] The following day, production was halted when Downey suffered an ankle injury.[85] During the break, Black and Pearce made more script revisions before shooting resumed by August 24.[86][87]

Cast and crew began arriving in Florida on October 1, to shoot scenes on Dania Beach and around South Florida.[88] That same day, Downey returned to the set after his ankle injury.[89] In early October, scenes were shot at a replica of the Malibu restaurant Neptune's Net,[90] and filming took place on location at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.[91] Scenes were shot during the daytime inside the Miami Beach Resort at Miami Beach on October 10 and 11.[92] The production returned to Wilmington in mid-October for additional filming.[93] On November 1, scenes were shot at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.[94] Filming in the United States wrapped on November 7 in Wilmington.[95]

Filming began in Beijing, China on December 10. Filming was scheduled to wrap a week later on December 17, 2012.[47] The China filming did not include the main cast and crew.[95] In January 2013, it was reported that a film crew led by Shane Black would begin location scouting in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, India between January 20 and 24.[96] Also in January, Cheadle confirmed that reshooting was taking place in Manhattan Beach.[97] Shooting also took place on the week of January 23, 2013 at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.[98] A major part of the content filmed in the reshoots regarded the Mandarin, with Drew Pearce saying that 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."[10] A report on actual production costs for films from FilmL.A. Inc., indicated a gross budget of $200 million, with a net of $178.4 million for Iron Man 3 after tax incentives from North Carolina and Florida.[2]

Post-production[edit]

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.[80] 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.[99]

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.[80] The heads-up display features of the helmet were inspired by visualization techniques from MRI diagnostic pattern recognition and graph theory, particularly by the connectogram, a circular graph that maps all of the white-matter connections of the human brain.[100]

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.[99]

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),[28] marking the longest stand-alone Iron Man film.[43] Post-production also had a 3D conversion[101] and a digital remaster for the IMAX release.[102]Todd-AO mixed the sound in Dolby Atmos to enhance the immersive experience.[103]

Music[edit]

Further information: Iron Man 3 (soundtrack) and Music of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

In October 2012, Brian Tyler signed on to score the film.[104] According to Tyler, he was approached more for his "thematic" scores such as The Greatest Game Ever Played, Annapolis, and Partition rather than his "modern" action scores such as The Fast and Furious films, with Kevin Feige asking a theme that was recognizable and featured those dramatic tones.[105] To employ the "deeply thematic component with a strong melody," the score employs mostly orchestra sounds. The main theme for Iron Man focuses on horns and trumpets,[106] to be "both a march and anthem." Tyler mentioned that John Williams' work in Raiders of the Lost Ark was the first thing he thought as an influence, and the cue for the Well of Souls in Raiders influenced the Extremis motif, as Tyler felt it should enhance an spiritual side for having a "technology so advanced that nears magic." Echoing the Mandarin's amalgamated personality, his theme was religious music "that borrows from many cultures," from "Monastic, Gothic, and Christian chants to music from the Middle-East."[105] The score was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.[106] 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.

Along with Tyler's soundtrack album, Hollywood Records released a concept album inspired by the film, Heroes Fall. It features twelve original alternative rock and indie rock songs, with only one appearing in the film itself, Awolnation's "Some Kind of Joke."[107]

Release[edit]

Iron Man 3 was distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures1 with the exception of China, where it was released by DMG Entertainment, and Germany and Austria, where it was released by Tele München Group.[64] The Chinese version of the film offers specially prepared bonus footage made exclusively for the Chinese audience.[49] 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 for various Chinese products.[4]

The film's premiere happened at the Grand Rex in Paris, on April 14, 2013, with Robert Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow in attendance.[108][109] While the UK premiere of the film was originally set for April 17, the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher taking place in that date made the event be pushed to the following day.[110] Downey, Ben Kingsley and Rebecca Hall were present for the advance screening at London's Odeon Leicester Square.[111] The El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles hosted the United States premiere of Iron Man 3 on April 24.[112] The film opened in 46 countries through April 22–24,[113] with the United States release, in 4,253 screens, happening one week later.[114]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.[115] It was later reported that Cinemark Theatres had also stopped selling presale tickets, and Regal Cinemas had removed all marketing material for the film from its locations.[116] On April 25, 2013, Regal, AMC and Disney ended their dispute, which allowed Regal and AMC to proceed with selling presale tickets again.[117][118]

IMAX screenings began on April 25, 2013 internationally and May 3 in the United States.[102] The film was shown in the 4DX format, featuring strobe lights, tilting seats, blowing wind and fog and odor effects in selected countries.[119][120] In Japan, the technology opened its first room at the Korona World theatre in Nagoya, Japan with the release of the film.[121]

Marketing[edit]

In July 2012, at the San Diego Comic-Con International, a new Iron Man armor from the film, the Mark XLII, was on display on the convention floor, along with the Marks I-VII from the first two Iron Man films and The Avengers.[122] 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 film were shown.[32] The first television advertisement aired during Super Bowl XLVII on the CBS network in the United States.[123] 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.[124] In January 2013, Marvel Comics released a two-issue comic book prelude by writers Christos Gage and Will Corona Pilgrim with art by Steve Kurth and Drew Geraci. The story set between the second and third Iron Man films centers on War Machine, revealing why he was absent during the battle in New York of The Avengers.[125]

Like with the first two films, Audi again provided product placement with various vehicles.[126]Oracle also returned from Iron Man 2, showcasing both the Oracle Cloud and the Oracle Exadata server.[127]Verizon FiOS and TCL's flat panel televisions and Alcatel One Touch smartphones are also featured in the film,[128] and the Chinese cut also shows a Zoomlion crane and Yili milk.[129] Promotional deals were arranged with Subway and the Schwan Food Company,[128] and tie-ins included Lego sets,[130]Hasbro action figures,[131] and a mobile phone game by Gameloft.[132]

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.[133][134] 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 uses Kinect-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 J.A.R.V.I.S., 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.[135]

Home media[edit]

Iron Man 3 was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment in digital download form on September 3, 2013. This was followed by the film's release on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD, digital copy, and on demand on September 24, 2013.[136] The home video release includes a Marvel One-Shot short film titled Agent Carter starring Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter from Captain America: The First Avenger.[137] It debuted atop the DVD and Blu-ray charts in the United States, and second in the rental charts behind World War Z.[138] As of January 31, 2014[update], Iron Man 3 is the eighth-best-selling DVD of 2013, earning more than $79 million in sales in the U.S.[139][140]

The film was also collected in a 13-disc box set titled "Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two Collection", which includes all of the Phase Two films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was released on December 8, 2015.[141]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Iron Man 3 grossed $409 million in North America and $805.8 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $1.2 billion, outgrossing both of its predecessors combined. Worldwide, it became the fifth-highest-grossing film, the second-highest-grossing film of 2013, the second-highest-grossing film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (behind Marvel's The Avengers),[142] the highest-grossing film of the Iron Man film series,[143] the sixth-highest-grossing film distributed by Disney, and the highest-grossing threequel.[144]

Greetings, friends! I’m afraid you’ve caught me in my semi-annual if-it’s-not-about-OSF-don’t-talk-to-me post.

Obviously, I’ve just returned from my group trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. As you may know by now, I typically take this trip with a gathering of twenty-something high-schoolers, and it was with that group I saw the plays and attended a few activities – but for the most part, my mother and I stuck with our carpool team, my friend Gracie (the Wasp) and her parents.

The Ashland carpool teams in themselves are always an interesting study.

Every year, when our group congregates outside the Angus Bowmer theater, you can always tell which kids took cars together because a highly-caffeinated four-hour drive has a certain affect on people. They walk in sync, they say things in unison, and they basically walk around going

As Gracie was sentenced to sit next to me for the entirety of the trip, the image above is more or less an accurate photograph of us (she’s classic Dipper) ((Plus, she brought a couple of Cabin Pressure episodes to listen to. 10/10 would sit by again)

This year we enjoyed a spectacular trip, and should you consider making an Ashland trip of your own, I dearly hope it is as good as mine. The OSF experience is different for everyone, but there are some constants in the equation. I’ve recorded such constants in the below five steps that my group took and would now highly recommend.

1. See Ashland

Ashland is a gorgeous place. Simple as that. Gracie and I took many walks downtown, exploring stores we’d not seen before and trying out new restaurants, always making sure to drop in what became one of the taglines of our trip, “Oh my gosh I want to sit down so badly.” Of course there were high-energy times of the trip as well, and you could tell when one was going on, because one of us was belting out “SUITS” at two-second intervals and the other was swirling around street lights, crooning “THE WINGMAN I CAN WEAAR.” Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit is the first track on the official soundtrack of this trip.

2. Participate in the activities Ashland offers

Museums, walking tours, the Green show – Ashland won’t let you get bored. The group with which we bought tickets arranged a field trip to “Exploring Design,” a workshop led by Chris Tufts to explain how the costume designers at OSF use symbolism and character studies to decide on the best possible costumes. During the group activity, my team got so into the spirit of things that we very nearly dressed The Tempest‘s Caliban in Steampunk Darth Maul regalia. In any case, I expect a job offer with the festival within the month.

3. Meet the people

When you separate from your group of peers, you are freed up to meet more of the fascinating Ashland locals. Of course everyone has different ways of getting connected. Some people may strike up a conversation with their neighbors in the audience of the plays they see. Others might greet the people enjoying beautiful Lithia Park. My personal strategies included holding eye contact with the SOU students wearing fandom t-shirts and talking loudly to the Wasp about the Festival in the presence of OSF actors who were trying to get errands done in peace. What’s that? Passive socializing is not for you? Then may I recommend seeing Into the Woods and waving so hard at orchestra musicians onstage that you nearly lift off your seat?

(My row and the trumpet section really bonded. We’re going for coffee next week.)

4. Enjoy the plays

Obviously the plays are a must. The people at OSF know what they’re doing, and each play is a masterpiece. This season I saw The Cocoanuts, The Tempest, Into the Woods, and A Wrinkle in Time, though I would have loved to see more. They were all astounding in their own ways, from the ingenuity of the stage design in the Tempest, to the frankly ridiculous amount of fun the cast of the Cocoanuts was obviously having. There are tips to enjoying it as much as possible. Before A Wrinkle in Time, I read a chapter of the original work out loud to my seat buddy, and I finished the Tempest shortly before making the trip. Pre-show preparation can only do so much when the play is actively going on however, so my most certain suggestion is that you sit next to someone you may punch in the arm mercilessly, should the mood take you.

Sorry, Gracie. But I’m pretty sure we were even on that front, right?

5. Be a good audience

I love a lot of things about live theatre, but one of the main things has to be that it’s one of the few story-telling outlets where overt, unbridled enthusiasm is encouraged. Actors don’t want to play in front of a room of people half-asleep. They want to know you’re there. And considering that my one true gift is enthusiastic response, there’s no question as to why OSF is my happy place. Every audience I was a part of was excellent – it’s hard not to be responsive in Ashland. Like I said, they know what they’re doing.

When we went in to see A Wrinkle in Time, Gracie even started a small-scale round of applause for Calvin’s impressive basketball-twirling, and the actor went on to do that move for far, far longer than he had when I’d seen this play before.

Encouragement! Try it today!

At the Q&A session after the play, the darling who played Mrs. Who bounced in and said that the whole cast had asked her to tell us that we’d been a wonderful audience.

And don’t fret, Gracie and I went ahead and took way more credit than we probably should have.

The morning after I arrived home, I awoke with a cough that announced itself as the incarnation of the last four days having been spent alternately singing at the top of my lungs and scream-shouting “WHY A DUCK,” “YOU’VE GOT DREAMBOAT EYES,” and”AGONYYY” at every shadow of an opportunity.

If anything is a sign that a trip went well, that’s got to be it.

All by following five easy steps!

Tags: A Wrinkle in Time, Ashland, Cabin Pressure, Gravity Falls, Into the Woods, Madeleine L'engle, Marx Brothers, Oregon, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, OSF, Stephen Sondheim, The Cocoanuts, The Tempest, theater, William Shakespeare

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