Tony and Pepper

First off, if you haven’t watched the trailer to Iron Man 3 yet, you need to go here and do so immediately. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Have you seen it? Are you going back to watch it again? It’s that good, isn’t it?

Iron Man 3 has officially blown the doors off of Summer 2013, just like The Avengers did back in 2012, and pretty much every other Summer Marvel movie before it. But this one seems different, and it seems like something special. Shane Black’s Marvel debut seems to have a finality to it in the trailer, as we see Tony Stark facing his greatest challenge: dealing with the events of The Avengers. Through this lens, we see him contemplate mortality, anxiety at the prospect of losing the ones that he loves, and overall growth from the selfish billionaire playboy we saw on the screen not too long ago. This doesn’t sound like a “continuing installment” of the Iron Man saga, it sounds like a bookend. A closing chapter, that will obviously leave Tony open to partake in all of the other Avengers themed pictures down the line, but will sign the final note of the solo Iron Man trilogy. It’s the right time to do this, and here’s why.

Please Note: Reason 7 includes spoilers for The Avengers, and possible Spoilers for Iron Man 3. This is only going by what’s out in the trailers, but still you’ve been warned.

10. It Promises to “Leave it all on the field”

Tony Stark Guns Blazing

“My sense of it is that we need to leave it all on the field — whatever that means in the end. You can pick several different points of departure for that.” That quote has been the big talking point whenever mentioning the possibility of Robert Downey Jr. leaving the Iron Man franchise, and that possibility has been mentioned quite a bit as of late. Frankly, it’s a talk that needs to be had, especially with Phase 2 underway and Phase 3 in the planning stages. With Iron Man 3 setting the bar this high, it’s the best point to end a trilogy that’s been successful in varying degrees.

Just going by the trailer we have personal drama with Tony and Pepper, we’ve got The Mandarin being an overt presence of Evil, and we’ve got Aldrich Killian’s snake in the grass. Already we’re going back to the Iron Man 1 formula of intrigue, but we’re going with the Iron Man 2 level of action. (Which is what Iron Man 1 should have done, and Iron Man 2 should have repeated, but still.) Trilogies work, and for one good reason: a story only really survives two escalations. Rarely you’ll find a story or a framework that allows you to break the rules, and even then you don’t usually want to stray too far from the path. Tony Stark isn’t James Bond, so let’s not treat the franchise as if he is. Go big, then go home.

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This article was first posted on March 12, 2013