Earlier this week, we gave you a segment from our interview with "Cowboys & Aliens" and "Iron Man" franchise director Jon Favreau in which he indicated that "Iron Man 3" will be a sequel to "The Avengers" and the other Marvel movies that come before it (including "Captain America" and "Thor").
In the rest of the segment (posted below), Favreau discusses how Marvel's movie world will change between now and when "Iron Man 3" goes into production — and whether that means we'll finally see his arch enemy, The Mandarin.
"If you remember, 'Iron Man' was a very normal world. It was based in our real world, with a few little things exaggerated," Favreau told MTV News. "The technology was exaggerated slightly, but really it didn't feel like you were stepping into a superhero world. It didn't feel like you were stepping into the Marvel Universe."
"By the time 'Iron Man 3' happens, you will have had three other superheroes revealing themselves at least, in addition to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Black Widow and whoever they have in 'Avengers,'" he explained. "So now you're going into a world where you open up the paper and you're reading about villains and heroes and a lot of people with different types of powers. Everything was tech-based in 'Iron Man,' but the world is opening up very much."
Favreau indicated that Marvel's growing movie universe is in good hands between now and then, though — especially when it comes to the superhero team-up extravaganza "The Avengers" and its director, Joss Whedon.
"There's a balance that has to be struck, but there's a tremendous opportunity for humor, and character, and with Joss they got somebody who really understands the underlying material and has proven that he's good and clever with his interpersonal communication," said Favreau. "So I look forward to all of that."
"I'm involved with 'Avengers,' so as I'm working on ['Cowboys & Aliens'], I'm supportive and more than available for them as little or as much as they want me to be," he added.
So does this changing universe and the introduction of magical elements in films like "Thor" mean we're any closer to seeing The Mandarin's diabolical blend of sorcery and science?
"I hope so," said Favreau. "Because all my stuff was tech-based, and now you have other worlds and inter-dimensions and this sense of history — which I think is quite cool — that we started with the Stark Expo."
"There was a lot of stuff we had to present to set up other future properties, so I'm well aware of the challenges that go into it," he added. "You're not just servicing one film. You're not just making the best film you can, you're setting up a playground for all of the characters to play in."