Somewhere between Iron Man 2’s kiss and Avengers Assemble’s champagne, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) took their relationship to the next level. Speaking exclusively to SciFiNow, Marvel Studios president and Iron Man 3 executive producer Kevin Feige reveals what’s changed for Stark’s better half, and how Jon Favreau is taking a back seat…
Where do we find Pepper Potts at the beginning of this film?
Pepper Potts, at the beginning of Iron Man 3, is running Stark Industries; she’s the CEO of Stark Industries as she was in Iron Man 2 and she’s sort of accepting this notion that Stark Industries is something that Tony’s no longer a part of. He’s really focusing on the suits; he’s focusing on being a superhero and she is this incredibly powerful woman that has taken this position of power within the company. She’s moved in with Tony; they are certainly a couple now and there are no secrets about that, as you saw in their relationship in The Avengers.
Clearly it had progressed past the kiss at the end of Iron Man 2. So they are living together and they are in a committed relationship, which again is somewhat unique to the superhero genre. That is one of the reasons we really wanted to do it. But when you live with Tony Stark there are always issues and there are always concerns and one of the concerns at the beginning of this film is the fact that he is not sleeping. He’s spending all of his time tinkering and building suits. And Tony’s been doing nothing but building suits and suits and suits and suits. It’s an obsession and, as Pepper calls it, his distraction. It’s clearly affecting their relationship.
Jon Favreau is reprising his role of Happy Hogan. What was it like having him back but not in the director’s chair this time around?
Having Jon Favreau on the movie, not just playing Happy Hogan in as big a role that Happy Hogan’s ever had in the ìIron Manî movies, but also as executive producer behind-the-scenes, is a tremendous asset in regards to the script. Jon was very, very gracious in the way that he helped Shane [Black]. Shane would ask him a question about either working with Robert [Downey Jr] or setting up the character, or getting the best out of any of the cast that had been in the prior movies and even technical things.
Jon is an A-list director now, who’s done a tremendous amount of visual effects work and prides himself on being extremely knowledgeable about that. Jon’s graciously shared that knowledge with Shane.
It was really a very special thing to have Jon on set and his part in this movie is in a way what activates Tony into his adventure in this movie. The heart at the core of this movie is not only Pepper, it is not only the little boy Harley, but it is Happy Hogan. Jon steals, I think, almost every scene he’s in Iron Man 3. It’s hilarious and he really gave his all.
Iron Man 3 will be released on 26 April 2013. Read an exclusive interview with Robert Downey Jr and screenwriter Drew Pearce in this month’s SciFiNow.