'Iron Man 3' Stars An 'Avengers'-Affected Tony Stark

Iron Man 3

"Iron Man 3" is the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 2, which means it has the job of setting the stage for the Marvel Studios movies taking place after "The Avengers." Kevin Feige has explained in a new interview that "Iron Man 3" will take place in the aftermath of "The Avengers" and show us a Tony Stark who has been taken down a notch.

"This is all about how he was affected by the events of 'The Avengers,' and how his world and mindset can be affected by that," Feige said in the upcoming issue of Empire, courtesy of Comic Book Movie. "By the end of 'Avengers,' when a portal is opened up in Manhattan and he's met Thor and The Hulk and the Chitauri are coming down on him, he realizes that he doesn't know everything; we think that has had an effect on his psyche, and then his world is blown out from underneath him."

With that being said, Feige firmly said that there will be no cameos from any of the other Avengers in this film. As for The Mandarin, it turns out that we almost met him much earlier in the "Iron Man" trilogy. Feige explained that the character appeared in "early -- and very late -- drafts" of the first "Iron Man" film before it was decided that he shouldn't appear until later in the series.

"The Mandarin is his most famous foe in the comics mainly because he's been around the longest. If you look, there's not necessarily a definitive Mandarin storyline in the comics. So it was really about having an idea," he said. "In terms of the Fu Manchu stereotyping that was involved, we never had any interest in that. He's relentless. Assuming that he's the one responsible for what happens to Tony's house, no other villain has been able to strike that fast and that hard at one of our heroes. He's very much about believing that the world needs to learn, and he wants to bend the world to his vision."

In a different interview with The West Australian, Feige, director Shane Black and star Robert Downey Jr. all talked about "Iron Man 3" and explained that it isn't intended to be "bigger" than the previous films, but rather capture "that lightning-in-a-bottle feel."

"It's not a serious movie, but we seriously dig into exploring more of Tony," Feige said. "The trick is just trying to make great movies. We try to make them all great, all different and all fresh. What you'll see in 'Iron Man 3' is some very unique directions that were taken."

"Iron Man 3" is due in theaters on May 3, 2013.

What are you most looking forward to in "Iron Man 3"? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!