“What we learn in the beginning of Iron Man 3 is that they’ve made an arrangement, Tony has let Rhodey have this suit; he’s using it in conjunction with the US Government. So at the beginning of Iron Man 3, we see that the President has asked Rhodey as War Machine to get a new paint job and take on the new moniker of the Iron Patriot in order to do American business and be the American hero as opposed to The Avengers or Iron Man himself, who is sort of a separate entity…In a way it becomes a buddy action film, in the third act, where they team up. Neither of them have a suit at a certain point in the movie and they really team up in a great, sort of old- fashioned action movie way and Don and Robert have such an amazing rapport.”
He also expands upon Guy Pearce’s character, Aldrich Killian, and how he fits into the rest of the movie.
“Killian heads a brain-trust organization called AIM that is developing Extremis,” explains Feige, “which is something that taps into human DNA and is able to reprogram it and regenerate limbs and enhance strength and cure wounds. But it also could change the whole world, which is what Killian intends to do with it.”
One thing many fans noticed about Kingsley’s Mardarin was his Captain America tattoo on the back of his neck.
“Shane Black had an idea of making him somebody whose background is unknown,” said Feige, “we don’t know where he’s from at first, but he seems to be some kind of military officer that has gone off the reservation. He is starting to pull all of this iconography and symbolism from other cultures to his own ends to use them as symbols to pervert the symbol of the United States. He utilizes the moniker of the Mandarin and robes with dragons on them and uses South American sort of guerrilla tactics to create this aura of fear of his terror organization. The Mandarin is sort of a very frightening, modern-day terrorist who has taken terror motifs from all over the world to use to his own ends. It was a very cool and relevant and scary idea.”
A final thing that he touches on is when Air Force One is attacked and people are falling to the ground, if you don’t want to know how Tony saves them, then stop reading here.
“Our writers had a great idea,” said Feige, “which played to the theme of putting Tony in a situation that you don’t know how he’s going to get out of. Shane and Drew’s idea was basically to throw 13 people out of an airplane and have Jarvis tell Tony he can only carry four of them. So how in the world, as they’re plummeting to their death, is Iron Man going to be able to save them all?
“And they came up with this notion of Barrel of Monkeys, this Hasbro game, where you connect all the monkeys together and see how many of these little plastic monkeys you can latch together by their fingers. And Tony begins to fly down and begins to grab onto people and tells those people to grab onto the next person. And suddenly with this great show of teamwork you have 13 people all latched onto each other with Iron Man blowing his repulsors to stop their fall. ”