Here’s another one of those “how many months until this movie comes out?” posts.
The Internet was all abuzz in the past couple of days with news and speculation about “Iron Man 3,” the first post-“Avengers” Marvel movie, coming out in May 2013.
First there were reports that Ben Kingsley was indeed playing Iron Man’s best-known villain, the Mandarin, who was referenced in the earlier “Iron Man” movies.
Then today spy photos from the set made their way online and seem to show a familiar, Iron Man-style figure … wearing a very familiar red-white-and-blue color scheme.
First thought, of course, was that Tony Stark had built a suit of armor for his newfound pal Captain America.
But since the actor in the suit was revealed to be James Badge Dale, who had already been announced as a bad guy for “Iron Man 3,” speculation soon centered on the comic book character Iron Patriot.
There’s a big catch, however: In the comics, Iron Patriot was the name assumed by Norman Osborn after he absconded with some of Tony Stark’s tech. And Norman Osborn, of course, is the Green Goblin from the Spider-Man comics.
Beginning in 2009, Osborn wore the Iron Patriot suit occasionally in the comics, especially when he formed his own “Dark Avengers” boy band to battle the real Avengers.
Since Osborn is part of the “Spider-Man” movie universe and not available for use in Marvel-produced movies, we can assume that Norman Osborn is not making an appearance. That must mean that Marvel is using some Spider-Man-adjacent characters and elements — the suit, but not the guy inside it — just as they stretched the boundaries of the strict movie universe division of Marvel properties by making the alien army in “The Avengers” the Chitauri rather than the Skrulls. The Skrulls are part of the “Fantastic Four” movie universe and not open to use by Marvel in its “Avengers” universe. But the Chitauri, the modern-day version of the Skrulls, were okay for use in Joss Whedon’s movie.
Director Shane Black was expected to do some very interesting things with “Iron Man 3” even before we heard this news. That he’s continuing the expansion of the Marvel movie universe makes me look forward to the movie even more.
Just one proviso: With Mandarin and Iron Patriot and who knows who else, please, Marvel, don’t make the same mistake as the 1990s “Batman” movies and give us a ridiculous super-villain team-up with too many bad guys. Please.