It's hard to know what to think of Iron Man 3 at this point. Early reports that Shane Black's superhero threequel was going to follow the well-known "Extremis" storyline from the comic books seemed to be confirmed by casting notices, but every time a new villain is announced the film sounds more like an "Armor Wars" movie instead. First there was the cyborg Coldblood, then there was the power-suited Firepower, and how the weirdest news of all... behind the scenes spy shots (courtesy of The Superficial) of James Badge Dale in what appears to be an Iron Patriot suit.
For casual comics fans, or the oblivious outside observer, a little context: in 2009, Marvel supervillain Norman Osborn - better known as The Green Goblin - took over The Avengers, repopulating the team with supervillains. The assassin Bullseye became the new Hawkeye, for example, and Osborn himself got a star-spangled Iron Man suit, creating a new persona called The Iron Patriot. Marvel Studios does not currently own the film rights to Norman Osborn (Sony does, at least for now), but apparently they do have the rights to the Iron Patriot suit. Hence James Badge Dale, whose character shares the name with the lesser-known villain Coldblood, donning the armor here.
It seems like Iron Man 3 isn't screwing around when it comes to big power-suited thrills, and that's perfectly fine with us. As long as they balance the action with the fine characters and drama we've come to expect from a Marvel Studios release, we're perfectly happy with any of the craziness we've seen from the production so far.
Iron Man 3 is currently scheduled to be released on May 3, 2013.
CraveOnline will be back with more Iron Man 3 news if we ever get the flipping Titanium Man announced. Seriously, didn't he used to be Iron Man's arch-nemesis or something?