Presenting the Iron Man 3 trailer, in which Tony Stark is having a hard time dealing with himself

(Video link) Above is the official trailer for Iron Man 3, in which we will catch up with Tony Stark after the events of this year's The Avengers. And it looks like he's, well, going through some stuff and having to deal with things related to Tony Stark and not just Iron Man. And then also the Iron Man stuff, like his new foe the Mandarin (played by Sir Ben Kingsley). This is what I like the most about superhero movies -- when they remember they're people, too. (via MarvelUK on YouTube)


  1. Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin? Obviously there are no Chinese actors capable of undertaking this demanding role…

        1. What “strips” are you referencing exactly? The Mandarin appeared in issue #50 of Strange Tales–comics strips =/= comic books.

      1. The Chinese put up money for the film and insisted some of it be filmed in China and that the Chinese not be a villain.

      1.  Well then I would start by not using a character named “The Mandarin”. That is, unless he made his fortune on tiny canned oranges.

        I’ll leave this here

        1.  Why not? British ex- patriot living in Hong Kong who becomes a big something in the crime world there….

      1. His birth name is Krishna Pandit Bhanji.  His grandfather was from India and his father was born in Kenya.  Does your computer not connect to Google?

    1. They probably didn’t want to offend their investors – I believe this movie is being partially funded by Chinese investors.  Besides, if they’re linking the Mandarin in with the Ten Rings organization from the first movie, they probably want to make him central asian anyways.

      1. In the original strips the Mandarin comes from a Kuomintang family, so I would have thought that our pseudo-Communist trade partners would have been more than happy for him to be portrayed as an “Evil Yellow Menace”; most likely with a base in Taiwan. 

        1. And Tony’s origin has been moved from Vietnam, his HQ from NYC. The Iron Man movies have been updating characters and stories alike to take on a more contemporary slant. I get where you’re coming from, but expecting 100% accurate comics -> film translations is a bit unrealistic.

      2. The character is essentially a racist stereotype. If you want to avoid offending anyone, don’t use him. If you use him, embrace his ethnicity – but give him a more racially sympathetic portrayal. As a Chinese person, this is all I ask.

        1. I’m not sure about the Mandarin. He’s a big reason why I never really followed the Iron Man comics. But I have to admit that I’m intrigued by the idea of a Mandarin who uses cultural appropriation as part of his villainy. It makes him evil in a very special way.

    2. There are loads of Chinese actors in Hollywood. Just look at the cast of any film set in Japan.

    3. I’ve found it curious that when the racists made a hubbub about a black guy playing Heimdall, everyone told them to shut the hell up, because screw racist people. And rightly so, because racists are jerks. But when, say, there weren’t enough Asian actors cast in that awful Avatar: The Last Airbender movie, or Kingsley shows up as Mandarin, we’re allowed to get upset. I’m seriously not trying to start a flame war, this is something I honestly find fascinating.

      1.  Adding one black guy to play a nominally white character (in a movie otherwise filled with white characters) doesn’t significantly reduce opportunities for white actors. The movie that shall not be spoken of by the director who shall not be spoken of was poorly cast overall, not just the lead roll.

        Not sure about Kingsley as a Chinese character, but since he’s at least part Indian, at least that’s something. Honestly, in this case, some actors just transcend race. Denzel Washington in The Pelican Brief wasn’t a black character, it was just a guy being played by a good actor.

        I haven’t read the comic books, but they’re doing a Lot of rewriting of events, backgrounds, etc., in this movie series, so perhaps they’re changing this character’s background too.

      2. Not to go too off-topic from Iron Man, but this is an valid point.

        You’re right, it is an interesting distinction; racism of any kind should avoided equally. However this assumes that the movie industry operates in a “post-race” vacuum where the playing field is equal. It’s unilaterally not.

        Something on the order of 81% of lead roles in American movies go to white actors (75% to white male). This leaves 19% for everyone else.*  When roles are given to white male actors that are either written as ethnically diverse in the source material (The Mandarin, The Cloud Atlas, Avatar:TLA), or even based on real people who are non-white (The Social Network, 21), it drives the number of roles available to actors of color even further down.

        Casting people of color in traditionally white roles, like Heimdall above, is more novelty and has never made a young… Asgardian feel excluded. Casting a white actor in a non-white role, either by rewriting the character as white or using blackface / yellowface, exacerbates a historical inequality that was present as Hollywood began and continues to this day. I don’t think that Hollywood should be held to some sort of quota, but you can almost hear ethnic communities throw their hands up in disgust when the year starts with a 2— and we still have Hugo Weaving and Jim Sturgess playing Asian with their eyes taped back.

        * Compared to the demographics of the US, while one-sided it isn’t dramatically so, with 72% of people white, 13% black, and 5% Asian. However thinking about where many movies are made, CA, the variance from the demographic makeup is much more pronounced, at 40% white, 6.2% black, and 13% Asian.

  2. I’m now at a point where I watch Iron Man just to see what RD Jr. will do, and the suit is quite secondary. Facing him off against a Ben Kingsley caliber actor sounds fascinating.

  3. Although this one looks marginally more interesting, I’ve never really got the appeal of these films.  The first one was shot without a finished script, and is among the most crushingly formulaic of all the superhero movies.  Yeah, Downey Jr’s schtick is entertaining enough, but it’s pretty much an interminable brand from one cash-crop franchise to the next.  How about another movie of the caliber of Zodiac, or is he just content to be the Will Smith that it’s ok for cool people to like, and make bazzillions upon bazzillions of dollars?

    ps: wouldn’t it be ironic if Iron Man retired, and became a carpenter?

    1. Zodiac?  Yes, because there haven’t been enough movies about serial killers and police.  That’s certainly fresh unexplored territory, and never seems crushingly formulaic. 

      1. Zodiac was anything but crushingly formulaic, however familiar the subject matter.  Iron Man was both crushingly formulaic AND familiar in subject matter.  Don’t really get your point.

        1. I disagree, I think there’s a lot of movies about serial killers, and police/investigators who go Ahab on finding the killer.  Yes, I know it was based on a true story, but I didn’t feel it broke new ground.  I thought the acting was good.  I think there’s easily 250 good cop movies.  I think there’s about 25 good superhero movies.  For me, a decent one is still a novelty.  I try and ignore hearing about the money, as it really shouldn’t matter in the film’s enjoyment, in either direction.  I enjoyed Mystery Men, even though the powers that be said it was terrible financially, I also enjoyed Iron Man, though it made a lot of money.  I certainly don’t care what the cool people like.  For me, as you said, “Downey Jr’s schtick is entertaining enough”.   

        2. I consider myself a big comic geek and have enjoyed the recent crop of super hero movies, but I’m starting to agree with your sentiment on this one, these movies are becoming “formulaic”. I definitely will not be going out of my way to see  Iron Man 3.
          Serial killer movies? Not my thing. I can pick up the newspaper on any given day if I want to be reminded how cruel and evil people can be.

    2. In fairness, RDJ has done an absurd number of movies which stand strong on their own merit, not to mention well outside franchises. While I wouldn’t complain if he dipped his toes back into drama, or indie films, or basically most anything he’s done in the past thirty years, he seems like he’s having a good time. Good on him. If I had kicked an addiction problem, gotten married to a brilliant woman, and was getting paid to pretend I was the superhero version of myself, I’d hesitate before saying no, too.

      As for the appeal of the Iron Man films, methinks part of what made the first one such a success was just that — RDJ swaggering about as a stylized version of his already stylized self. He wasn’t dark and twisty like Nolan’s Batman, sure, but he was living the dream in a movie which only flirted with campiness. It wasn’t the most brilliant superhero movie to date, it wasn’t the worst in the world, but it was certainly fun.

  4. Thank you for posting that.  Trailer gave me chills.  What can I say, I enjoy watching powered armor like that.  While I’m pretty sure I know where the movie is going overall already, I’m looking forward to this.  

  5. I liked the trailer – tho the Mandarin sounds a little too much like Nolan’s Bane for my taste. At least you can understand him, though.

      1. If I recall correctly, Dark Knight Returns frames Bane as a student of Ras al’ Ghul, so I might still be in the ballpark. :)

  6. That little Air Force code on the shoulder (FF 04 445) indicates that that suit belongs to the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley, Va, that its serial number ends in “445”, and that it was ordered by the government in 2004.

    1. That’s the sort of thing my Dad (retired Army) would know and mention.  He doesn’t really like this genre, and I don’t think he’s going to see this one, so thanks for channeling him, I appreciate it.  We were watching “300”, and a horseman rode off, and he whispered “anachronism, no stirrups back then”, wikipedia agreed with him.

      1.  awesome Dad :)

        Although, remember, they made a big thing about the movie being based off of the comic book, and neither of them really tried to be historically accurate.

          1. I have a friend who rates movies almost entirely on the quality of the uniforms on display; allowing for the stated date of the film, the date of introduction of the uniform and a guestimated propagation rate for the uniform to peculate through the force’s logistical train. 8th Cavalry movies are a particular bug-bear of him.

            Also a friend to his concert musician girlfiend watch Master & Commander, where she proceeded to criticise the instruments used by the Captain and Doctor in their duets as being inappropriate for the period.

            Knowledge is great :D

  7. Are all movies going to have dubstep bass references in their soundtracks now? Because that might put me off movies altogether.

  8. I don’t know why Iron Patriot is even in this. They could have gone with the Armor Wars (IM 225-231) for a good source and a story that works perfectly with his previously established film cannon; Tony Stark found out his Stark-Tech has leaked and goes about trying to shut it all down. This, as a concept, is easily understood by both the existing film audience and new viewers and does not require overlooking things like Mandarins ten rings which will almost certainly end up in the film as a jewelry fetish and not the propulsion system for an alien space ship that crashed in China that was piloted by a giant shape-shifting dragon.

    1. It’s not the Iron Patriot, they just grabbed the Iron Patriot color scheme and used it on War Machine — in some of the promo photos you can see that the armor says Rhodes on it. 

      1.  Oh I know it’s not Osborne, but that color scheme (admittedly something that no non-comic reader will even notice) is just so out of place and it leads to all kinds of really bad thoughts about “why”.

      1. Additionally, the sentence could parse well if the Mandarin is referring to “heroes” as a concept rather than a group of people.

  9. Looking like a pass for me, or at least not the theatre release anyways.  Unlike the author, I don’t want reminders that superheroes are people too.  Well, at least not too many reminders.  I like my heroes to be heroic, and my superhero movies to be about superheroes, not some people dealing with their emotional issues.  There are enough reminders in daily life that it’s all too easy for life to suck.

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