After a series of set photos, stills and teasers for the trailer, our first proper look at Marvel’s highly anticipated Iron Man 3 has finally arrived in the form of the first full trailer. Directed and co-written by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) — along with Drew Pearce (No Heroics) — this new installment finds brash billionaire industrialist and superhero Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) down on his luck, with his mettle tested like never before by a new enemy known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). This trailer is certainly darker in tone than the previous Iron Man films directed by Jon Favreau, and as Marvel honcho Kevin Feige recently told USA Today, “In this movie, we are again going to see him stripped down more than we’ve ever seen him since he was in that cave, again with his back against the wall and with nothing but his wits to help him survive.” The story — which is rumoured to take influence from Warren Ellis’ excellent Extremis — certainly sounds like a vast improvement on Iron Man 2, which was essentially one long and messy prequel to The Avengers, and I’m intrigued to see what Black brings to the table for Marvel’s first post-Avengers outing. The action looks as spectacular as ever, Kingsley looks appropriately menacing and mysterious (although I’m not so sure about that voice), and the stakes seem higher than ever for Stark. Gwyenth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau are all back in the fold, and the top notch supporting cast also includes Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce and James Badge Dale (of whom we only see Pearce here). All early signs point towards another successful entry in the ever-expanding Marvelverse, and there is potential for this to be the strongest entry in the Iron Man franchise thus far, provided that the darkness evident here doesn’t dominate the entire film as that would not do justice to the wisecracking character we know and love.
Iron Man 3 opens May 3, 2013. Check out the first theatrical trailer, poster and some more stills below (via The Playlist).