Marvel's Iron Man 3 - Robert Downey Jr
Marvel's Iron Man 3 - Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) © 2012 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2012 Marvel, photo by Zade Rosenthal
Marvel's Iron Man 3 - Robert Downey Jr
Marvel’s Iron Man 3 – Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) © 2012 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2012 Marvel, photo by Zade Rosenthal

Not only is Iron Man 3 a continuation of the two previous movies, but it also follows up on Marvel’s The Avengers.

In this film, brash-but-brilliant billionaire-inventor-industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) is forced to face a new enemy, The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley), who destroys his world, leaving Stark to survive on his own wit and devices.

Robert Downey Jr spoke of the film last week, which has already broken box office records around the world.

What was your biggest challenge doing Iron Man 3?

Marvel's Iron Man 3 - Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow
Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) © 2012 MVLFFLLC & Marvel

The great thing about Iron Man 3 is that we really are going back to kind of an extension and continuation of some of the things that made the franchise fly to begin with.

With the execution and incredible success of Marvel’s The Avengers, we’re afforded the opportunity to not have to set up another film, and can really explore the character of Tony Stark in ways that are very organic and connectable, and play to the strength of the franchise.

I think the big challenge this time was, these movies are only as good as their bad guys, and once we cast Sir Ben, half our troubles went away. Then the other half had to do with him executing this very peculiar and awesome arc.

In Iron Man 3 Tony interacts with a kid for the first time, can you talk about that?

Marvel's Iron Man 3 - Ben Kingsley
The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) © 2012 MVLFFLLC & Marvel

With a lot of things in Iron Man 3 I think we all knew we were taking risks, and we were out of what would have been familiar territory.

This idea of a superhero running into a little kid in the heartland of America wound up being a wise choice and kind of a calculated risk.

Since the aftermath in New York in Marvel’s The Avengers has had such an impact on Tony, what was your take on how much you could refer to that in this movie?

Marvel's Iron Man 3 - Robert Downey Jr
Tony Star (Robert Downey Jr) © 2012 MVLFFLLC & Marvel

It’s weird when one movie that’s connected to another doesn’t reference that movie at all. I think it would lack confidence if we didn’t. I thought it would be helpful. I just liked the idea of this kid getting under my skin.

I like the idea of kids bringing their parents to the verge of an anxiety attack.

I thought it was a nice way to refer back to [The Avengers]. Sometimes you can look at the bigger picture like a continuance of stories.

I was reading this morning about the new Thor [movie], and I’m like, ‘Oh, wow. That fits here real nice.’ We’re always aware.

In the post Avengers world, [fans] are going to ask you, ‘What was it like for Tony?’ So you have to have thought about it and have addressed it creatively.

Where would you like to see Tony Stark go in the future?

Marvel's Iron Man 3 - Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey Jr
Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) © 2012 MVLFFLLC & Marvel

I don’t know. These things tend to come out of creative discussions. When we’re shooting we always say, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be great …’ A lot of those things have come true already.

I was always saying, ‘God, I just want to see Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) in the suit. I want to see her experience what Tony gets from it, and I want her to help him transcend it.’

Wish fulfillment happens pretty quick in the Marvel universe. So I don’t have any particular goals with it right now.

And speaking of another Iron Man movie, Robert was asked if there was going to be one – click here to watch his answer.

Gwyneth Paltrow was asked why she thinks the franchise has been so successful. Click here to see her response.

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.