The first trailer for “Iron Man 3” has arrived, and it offers not only our first look at Sir Ben Kingsley as the film’s villain, The Mandarin, but also a taste of the destruction wrought on Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in the aftermath of “The Avengers.” But the real kicker? Quite a bit of that destruction appears to be caused by various versions of his Iron Man armor.
Marvel released the two-minute trailer online today, and after you give it a look, make sure to re-watch it with an eye toward these five key scenes.
1. Armor Attraction
Around the 0:20 mark, we get a look at one of the improvements Tony has made to his armor when one of his gauntlets flies across the room to his hand as if magnetized. While the first “Iron Man” involved a relatively lengthy suiting-up process and the second film gave us Tony’s “briefcase armor,” we did get a taste of the possibilities in “The Avengers” when Tony’s armor followed him out a window and enveloped him in mid-fall. In “Iron Man 3,” that process takes the logical next step and we see Tony controlling the individual pieces of his armor via some unknown method — something that’s likely to play a big role in the movie, from what the trailer seems to indicate.
2. An Unwelcome Guest
Our first scene featuring what look to be renegade Iron Man suits pops up around the 0:39 mark, and it’s a recurring theme throughout the trailer — which leads us to believe that the greatest threat Tony faces in the new film might not be The Mandarin, but his own technology (which may or may not be controlled by The Mandarin, of course). Between this early scene and the later shots of Tony being pinned by his own armor, it looks like we can expect some Iron Man vs. Iron Man brawls in the new film, taking the brawl between Tony and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) from “Iron Man 2” to the next level.
3. Boom Goes The Iron Man
The destruction that fills the trailer kicks off in a big way around the 0:44 mark with a shot of each suit of Iron Man armor exploding, one after the other, as The Mandarin explains his plan to teach the world a lesson — starting with its so-called heroes. The scenes of devastation only increase from there, with scenes of a rubble-strewn battleground and a climactic shot of Tony’s oceanside home being bombarded with gunfire and missiles. The resulting collapse sends Tony and Pepper flying, and we later see a set of armor — possibly worn by Tony — being dragged to the bottom of the ocean and buried beneath the rubble. To say that this trailer indicates rough times ahead for Tony is like saying Batman had a few bad days in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
4. The Iron Patriot Arrives
One of the most talked-about elements spotted on the set of “Iron Man 3” ages ago was the “Iron Patriot” armor glimpsed in unofficial photos snapped early in the production period for the film. We get our first look at the armor in action around the 0:48 mark, and it looks to be a mix of the classic War Machine armor with some new, red, white, and blue twists. There’s still no firm information about who will be wearing the armor — though there is a lingering shot of Cheadle as Rhodey Rhodes earlier in the trailer. James Badge Dale and Guy Pearce have also been rumored as potential Iron Patriots, but nothing is certain at this point.
5. Behold, The Mandarin
Fans have been speculating since the first “Iron Man” about the future of the character’s best-known foil, The Mandarin, and when we’ll get a glimpse of him in Marvel’s cinematic universe. Well, we get our first good look at Kingsley as the iconic villain right around the 1:09 mark, after a set of early shots tease his debut in the trailer. And while Kingsley certainly strikes an intimidating visual as The Mandarin, it’s also worth a little freeze-frame action at the :59 mark to see the set of ten rings he’s wearing. Comic-book fans know that Mandarin’s ten rings are the source of much of his power, and though early reports indicate that the rings won’t have any magical abilities in the movie, their inclusion is — at the very least — a nice nod to the source material. While the live-action incarnation of Mandarin seems a little more gritty and a little less regal than his comics counterpart, it’s hard to see fault in what we’ve seen of Kingsley’s terrifying take on the character.
Oh, and for anyone wondering about Kingsley’s distinctly non-Asian look, it’s worth noting that the original version of Mandarin in the comics was actually only half-Chinese, and the son of a British mother and Chinese father. Much like the casting of Liam Neeson as the half-Arabic, half-Chinese villain Ra’s al Ghul in Christopher Nolan’s recent Batman franchise, it appears that we’ll see a more mixed-race take on the Mandarin in Marvel’s movie-verse.
And there you have it, folks. Make sure to let us know which scenes from the trailer impressed (or disappointed) you the most.