Comic-Con fans were in for a treat this weekend when Iron Man 3 stars Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle greeted a packed auditorium at the San Diego convention center, with new franchise director Shane Black saying that the third film is "a little more thriller-esque" and full of "suspense."
"It'll feel different, you'll see," said Black, who took over helming duties from Jon Favreau this time around. Black revealed that it was nice to have Favreau on the set as "an enormous resource" to keep the franchise consistent and maintain "uniformity," and it was helpful to have him on hand to answer questions.
Finally having a moment to breathe, Favreau said that he finally got to enjoy working solely as an actor on the project (once again playing Tony Stark's driver, Happy Hogan): "Now I really just get to have fun," he said. "As far as executive-producing, as opposed to directing, I feel like a proud grandfather who doesn't have to change the diapers, but gets to play with the baby."
Downey Jr. is back once again as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Cheadle again plays James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War Machine, this time taking on a brand-new villain, The Mandarin, played by Sir Ben Kingsley.
"It's just an opportunity to play with other great actors in a genre that it sort of limitless in where it can go, so we're just real excited about it," said Cheadle.
Also starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Guy Pearce, Iron Man 3 flies into theaters May 3, 2013.