30. Iron Man 3
Director: Shane Black
Stars: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, Wang Xueqi, Ashley Hamilton
Release Date: May 3
When you've gone as big as superhumanly possible in The Avengers, where does that leave Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man series? As it appears, Marvel's team has gone much darker for the hero's third adventure, a wise decision that bodes well for its chances of saving face from the slightly underwhelming, though still financially successful Iron Man 2.
This time, though, director Jon Favreau is out (he'll still co-star as Tony Stark's loyal chauffeur/bodyguard) and Downey, Jr.'s friend Shane Black (who wrote Lethal Weapon and directed the actor in the slept-on action-comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) is in as the new shotcaller.
As for Iron Man 3's villain situation, hopefully Black (who also co-wrote the script) is able to pit RDJ against a memorable foe, unlike Iron Man's Jeff Bridges and Iron Man 2's underused Mickey Rourke. He's certainly gone in an interesting, three-headed-antagonistic route: Ben Kingsley is onboard as the Mandarin, Guy Pearce plays the malevolent background as Aldrich Killian, creator of the Extremis virus, and James Badge Dale plays Iron Man comic book regular Eric Savin.