The first two films to be released in Marvel Studios’ post-Avengers, second wave of interconnected films are Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 and Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World. Through various rumor mills and casting reports we’ve already gleamed a lot about what these two sequels are going to be about, but today Marvel finally released official synopses of the two films, and have effectively removed any lingering doubts.
First up is Black’s film, which the studio describes by saying, “Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?”
While all that stuff about Iron Man having to go on a quest that tests his mettle is pretty vague, that last line of the synopsis about the man making the suit or the suit making the man clearly supports the rumors that have surfaced (due to various casting reports) that Iron Man 3 would largely be taking its inspiration from Warren Ellis’ “Extremis” storyline from the comics. “Extremis” introduced readers to a techno-organic virus that links people’s brains to technology, and eventually led to Tony Stark having a new Iron Man armor that lived inside of his body and formed over his skin when he wanted to do battle.
Next up is Taylor’s Thor movie, which the studio describes by saying, “Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.”
The big thing that this synopsis confirms is that the reports surrounding Christopher Eccleston and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s castings were true, and the evil Malekith the Accursed and his race of Dark Elves will indeed by the main bad guys that Thor has to face in his ‘verse-spanning adventure. Though there aren’t really any iconic storylines about the Dark Elves that this film is rumored to be directly biting, it’s probably pretty likely that we’ll be seeing the origin of the villainous Kurse onscreen, which happens when Eccelston’s Malekith sacrifices one of his own men in an attempt at killing Thor.
Also, that last line officially confirms that Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster will once again be appearing in this sequel, which saves the screenwriter from having to insert in an awkward line explaining away where she’s been, like Joss Whedon had to do in The Avengers. Certainly, we’re all very thankful for that.