Oct. 23, 2012 at 10:56 AM ET
You've heard the casting reports, glimpsed some plot spoilers, winced at on-set mishaps and seen the concept art. Now, feast your eyes on the trailer to "Iron Man 3," Robert Downey Jr.'s highly anticipated threequel to the smash superhero franchise.
And boy, does he have his work cut out for him this time, as he squares off against super-terrorist Mandarin, played with menacing aplomb by Ben Kinglsey.
Ready for some ass-kickin'? Right this way, please.
Prepare to speak Mandarin: Kingsley makes his grand appearance as the super-villain while sporting some pretty nifty threads, to boot! (We're digging that cowl -- matches the scowl.) "Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher," he snarls in a voice-over. "Lesson No. 1: heroes -- there is no such thing." He certainly makes good on that promise by promptly blowing up Tony Stark's sleek cliff-side pad.
Iron Man threesome! Ladylove Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) certainly gets cozy in bed with Tony. But wait -- what's going on here?! And who's the other dude in the Iron Man suit? Pepper herself looks equally shocked upon seeing their strange bedfellow as she's violently rustled out of her slumber by a very unwelcome guest as Tony lies next to her.
The doc is in: Welcome to your first look at Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, a renowned geneticist who, according to comic-book lore, invents a powerful serum that grants superhuman abilities to its subjects. Killian's presence in the movie has reinforced fanboys' theories that the film's plot would indeed be based on the comic book's famous Extremis storyline, and--judging from this nanosecond glimpse of Pearce -- we'd say the actor certainly delivers some steely-cool villainy.
Don Cheadle returns as War Machine: Tony's fellow armored ally is back. Good thing, because Iron's Man's gonna need it: When Mandarin unleashes his assault on Tony's pad, we see a bevy of Iron Man suits go kablooey as everything erupts into a spectacular explosion of metal. Cue the operatic music!
A changed (Iron) Man: Tony seems to have undergone a transformation, and it's more than just an upgrade to his suit. "Nothing's been the same since New York," he says, alluding to last summer's The Avengers. "You experience things, and then they're over." Indeed, at one point Tony command parts of his armor to magically fly across the room and snap onto his hand. All these whopping changes -- and mayhem! -- leave our our cocky billionaire hero humbled, as we seen him desperately dragging his Iron Man suit in the snow at the end of the trailer. Is he headed for a superhero freeze-out? Find out when the movie hits theaters on May 3, 2013.