Talking with About.com, Feige explained what the undercurrent of Tony’s latest struggles will be – no surprise given his loved-up status with Pepper in Avengers Assemble. “The love triangle in this movie is really between Tony, Pepper and the suits. Tony, Pepper and his obsession with those suits, and the obsession with technology. And, it’s sort of unique for a big superhero summer blockbuster franchise to have that kind of layers.
“Yes, there’s a bad guy. Yes, the stakes are very, very high – the President of the United States is in danger. Air Force One is attacked. There are big stakes to this movie. But the real stakes are, is Tony going to be able to set aside the obsession to spend all day, every day in that workshop, tinkering with the suits in order to focus on, as he says in the trailer, the one thing that matters most: Pepper. And that actually is what the entire movie’s about.”
But don’t go thinking that she’ll always be a passive part, a screaming damsel waiting to be rescued. “I will tell you this. In this movie we play with the convention of the damsel in distress. We are bored by the damsel in distress. But, sometimes we need our hero to be desperate enough in fighting for something other than just his own life. So, there is fun to be had with ‘Is Pepper in danger or is Pepper the saviour?’ over the course of this movie.”
Because, as we’ve seen, Tony gets into possibly more trouble than even he can handle. Says Feige, “If you’ll remember the beginning of Iron Man, he’s in a cave. He doesn’t have access to anything, and he ends up building his first Iron Man suit. So, what we wanted to do in this movie was put him in a similar position. Take away everything from Tony and see how he can fight the villain back.”