‘Iron Man 3′ Secrets Revealed: Robert Downey Jr. Explains It All

Tony Stark's next adventure is fueled by Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau and J.J. Abrams, among others, Downey says.

If there’s one thing the latest “Iron Man 3″ trailer makes clear, it’s this: Tony Stark’s third solo outing is going to be bigger than any adventure he’s ever had — except for the time he flew off into space and battled aliens, perhaps.

Robert Downey Jr., director Shane Black and Marvel’s head honcho Kevin Feige showed brand-new footage from “Iron Man 3″ to MTV News and other outlets earlier in the year to stress just how action-packed and pulse-pounding Tony’s next armored adventure will be. With a fuller look at the destruction of Tony’s seaside home under our belts, it’s safe to say that Marvel fans have a lot to look forward to in May.

Read on for more of what to expect from “Iron Man 3,” based on what RDJ told reporters.

On armoring up again: “Iron Man 3″ marks Downey’s fourth time wearing ol’ Shellhead’s red and gold duds — his fifth total appearance, if you count his movie-closing cameo in “The Incredible Hulk” — but getting into costume hasn’t gotten any easier with time. “It’s lighter and more flexible, but there’s no comfortable version of it,” he confessed. “It’s kind of like, ’Don’t you think these bamboo shoots are a little less rough on the cuticle until they get down to the nerve?'” Thanks for the pleasant imagery, Mr. Downey!

On Tony’s relationship with Pepper Potts: Downey said that the newly monogamous Stark fascinates him because superheroes are rarely “in a committed relationship,” citing Bruce Wayne’s flings with Kim Basinger’s Vicki Vale and Nicole Kidman’s Doctor Chase Meridian in 1989’s “Batman” and 1995’s “Batman Forever” as examples. “It’s such a different time generationally,” he said. “There has to be conflict in the relationship, and there has to be a resolution that isn’t the same.”

On reuniting with Jon Favreau: While Shane Black takes the wheel as director of “Iron Man 3,” the original helmer behind the first two films in the series remains in place for the third outing. Not only is Favreau reprising his role as Happy Hogan, but he also served as a consultant throughout the process of making the film. “We would call Jon Favreau [and say] ’What do we do?’ He’d be like, ’Stick with this, stick with the love story,'” recalled Downey. It was an ironic turn of events, said the actor, because he and Favreau used to consult Black when making the earlier “Iron Man” movies. And Favreau wasn’t the only filmmaker that Black and Downey turned to for help on “Iron Man 3.” “We reached out to J.J. Abrams at one point when we were really confused in act three,” he revealed. “He helped us, too. It’s interesting.”

On the “Avengers” factor: Cap, Thor and the incredible Hulk are nowhere in sight when “Iron Man 3″ rolls around, leaving Tony Stark all on his own. Downey said that a goal for the movie was to “just get back to nuts and bolts Tony stuff,” but that the film still focuses on “how Tony is processing the ’Avengers’ experience.” So even if Earth’s mightiest heroes aren’t along for the ride in the flesh, the lessons learned in the record-breaking blockbuster remain firmly in the genius playboy philanthropist’s brain going forward.

On “Avengers” not jumping the shark: Not even an alien invasion was enough to put Marvel over the edge of credibility. And while the otherworldly aspects of “Avengers” won’t be as present in “Iron Man 3,” Downey believes that Joss Whedon’s super-flick paved the way for a “liberating” experience on Stark’s third solo sojourn. “My big question was, ’Okay, so we didn’t jump the shark, even though the sky opened up a wormhole in Manhattan?’ Apparently not,” he said. “It seems kind of liberating now, because of the way ’The Avengers’ turned out.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Iron Man 3.”

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