Iron Man 3: From Page to Screen by Jerry Whitworth
Little is known about the third Iron Man film save that it will in some manner adopt Warren Ellis’ Iron Man: Extremis storyline and that several key characters have been cast for it. In the last film, Tony Stark refused to share his armor designs with the United States government claiming modern technology would take some time yet to catch up to the ability to uncover the secrets of his technology, knowing its design would be safe with him and not the latest weapon the various nations of the world would use against each other. This all changed when Ivan Vanko appeared publicly battling Stark using the same repulsor technology prompting Stark to allow friend and Air Force liaison James Rhodes to abscond with a suit of armor amidst what appeared a drunken brawl between the Iron Men. Outfitted with this new armor with additional armaments provided by Justin Hammer, Rhodes and Stark defeated Vanko (in his own suit of armor) and repulsor-powered robot drones.
Regarding Extremis, it is a virus developed as a super-soldier serum that in a select few people on Earth, it can rewrite their physiology to make them superhuman and capable of various new abilities. For Stark, he rewrote the virus in place of several of these abilities to allow him to directly interface with any machine, including his armor (though, the virus’ ability to remake organs also significantly helped improve the troubles afflicting his heart), to survive injuries sustained from a battle with Mallen, a terrorist empowered by Extremis. After surviving being infected, Stark can now summon his armor by mental command to assemble upon him. Some of the characters thus far confirmed are:
ALDRICH KILLIAN and MAYA HANSEN
A scientist in the Extremis project that attempted to replicate the super-soldier serum by developing nanotechnology into a virus to alter a subject’s physiology, Aldrich Killian supplied a local terrorist organization with the virus. Leaving a suicide note for co-worker Maya Hansen, he informs her of his crime and takes his own life at his work terminal. Hansen, a former lover of Tony Stark, contacts Stark to ask for his help. Aldrich Killian will be portrayed by Guy Pearce (Prometheus, Memento) and Maya Hansen by Rebecca Hall (The Prestige).
ERIC SAVIN/IRON PATRIOT
Working as a soldier in the United States Army, Eric Savin was placed in charge of protecting Project: Ultra-Tech, which developed new weapons for the military and provided cybernetic implants to soldiers. There, Savin met and fell in love with scientist Gina Dyson who later uncovered the project manager Mako was selling secrets to foreign corporations. When Savin tried to gather evidence to take Mako down, he was decimated after stepping on a mine. Dyson managed to save Savin’s life by turning him into a cyborg and, eventually, they took down Mako. Taking the name Coldblood-7, Savin became a mercenary and later fought against the Superhuman Registration Act. Eric Savin will be portrayed by James Badge Dale (World War Z, Lone Ranger).
Iron Patriot was an identity adopted by Norman Osborn, Spider-Man’s nemesis who adopted the Green Goblin identity for much of his villainous career, who had remade himself in wake of the Superhuman Registration Act. As the head of the government’s Thunderbolts initiative, which borrowed from the concept behind the original group known as the Thunderbolts of villains organized by Baron Zemo from his Masters of Evil to act as heroes to take the position of power left by the absent Avengers only to end up becoming actual heroes, Osborn recruited supervillains to capture superhumans who defied registration to the United States government (which often meant battling superheroes) for reduced sentences in a manner not unlike Freedom Force. When Osborn took over S.H.I.E.L.D. from Tony Stark in the wake of Secret Invasion, he was tasked with organizing a new Avengers team. Osborn chose to assemble supervillains with similar abilities to notable past Avengers to assume those heroes’ identities as a Dark Avengers group that pleased the public with their appearance but that Osborn knew would do whatever monstrous deeds he ordered of them. This included Bullseye as Hawkeye, Scorpion/Venom as Spider-Man, Daken as Wolverine, and Moonstone as Ms. Marvel and Osborn adopting a suit of armor similar to Iron Man with a patriotic theme becoming Iron Patriot, which played on Iron Man and the believed deceased Captain America.
Iron Man’s nemesis, the Mandarin is a brilliant scientist and martial artist descended from Genghis Khan who discovered the ancient downed vessel of a Makluan alien with ten rings that were used to power its engines. Studying this foreign technology (uncovering the secrets of teleportation) and donning the rings, Mandarin learned each ring offered a different ability (Ice Blast, Mento-Intensifier, Electro-Blast, Flame Blast, White Light, Black Light, Disintegration Beam, Vortex Beam, Impact Beam, and Matter Rearranger) which he employed to conquer various regions within China before beginning a quest for world domination. Mandarin would draw the attention of Iron Man when he stole missiles and spy planes where the pair have fought each other ever since. After some time, Mandarin would generally employ agents to handle Iron Man and various heroes, once using the remnants of the Masters of Evil but often Iron Man’s various enemies. A terrorist organization known as the Ten Rings has been involved in both of Iron Man’s previous films, operative Raza responsible for kidnapping Stark resulting in the creation of Iron Man and the Ten Rings helped Ivan Vanko escape Russia to get to Monaco and battle Stark. The Mandarin will be portrayed by Ben Kingsley (Hugo, Shutter Island).