Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man 2

Francois Duhamel/Paramount Pictures

Oh, you like superheroes?! Well, if you weren't satisfied with the arrival of a new Superman (we're still swooning over Henry Cavill) or a possible new villainess for X-Men's Wolverine (Jessica Biel), then leave it to Iron Man to deliver.

When Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr., stepped out for a press conference for the hotly anticipated Iron Man 3, he, Don Cheadle and director Shane Black were more than happy to reveal some secrets from the sequel. But could IM3 possibly top The Avengers?

"We're not aiming for bigger, necessarily, we're aiming for different, fresh and new," producer Kevin Feige explained when the obvious question of following this year's box office juggernaut came up. 

"There is an idea about being big, but I think it's about capturing and redoubling the intensity that The Avengers managed to capture," Black continued. "That kind of lightning in a bottle feel of really stuffing so much into a limited space. We're trying to get as much into this as we can."

And while Downey may have stolen most of his scenes in The Avengers (or at least all those that didn't feature The Hulk), Iron Man 3 is all about him.

"This is a very Tony Stark-centric film, meaning not only Tony but his world," Feige revealed. "It was important for us, as part of the grand plan from Iron Man 1 to Avengers was building that up. Frankly, the grand plan with Iron Man 3 is to prove they're just as interesting if not more so by themselves as they were when they were all together."

Which means no S.H.I.E.L.D. and no Thor, for one. But there's still plenty to fill the flick:

Star Spangled Superhero: After set pictures leaked apparently spoiling the arrival of the Iron Patriot suit (think the regular super suit but with red, white and blue flair), fanboys got in a tizzy wondering who would don it. And the answer is…Don!

"Keep a straight face, Don!" Robert joked when the Iron Patriot subject came up (though Feige confirmed "It's a suit that Mr. Cheadle does get to wear"). Black wasn't so quick to confirm any theories though, saying, "The fun thing for us, just in terms of the fans and fan blogs, is how much of all the guessing is so wrong. Completely off-base! I said, let's just get someone in to walk around as the most obscure Marvel villain ever. Get some costume at Kmart and have that show up."

Love Is In the Air: "The romance is definitely a part of this. Obviously, we've got Gwyneth [Paltrow] coming back," Black reaffirmed when asked about Tony's personal life in this go. "Time has passed and, in The Avengers, Gwyneth and Tony are together, doing great, living together."

And Downey seems to be down for the lovey-dovey stuff too: "There's never been a movie like this, where your lead guy is in a relationship, with someone to go home to. Who's kind of like Gwyneth Paltrow, telling him what to do."

The Same Old Tony: "Avengers even surprised us to a certain extent. Looking back on it, you can kind of dissect why it was the right movie with the right people and the right director at the right time and we feel the same way about this now," Downey explained. "And we try to be practical in a post-Avengers world, what are his challenges now and what are some limitations that might be placed on him and what sort of threat, as usual, would have him ignore those limitations."

And for those wondering how Downey handles the pressures of being a hero (as one adorable little kid with a "marker goatee" did), the actor was happy to say he takes "it as seriously as Shakespeare."

So while Iron Man 3 might not be too worried about its super-sized predecessor, it certainly could affect Avengers 2. "Iron Man 3 is the beginning of the next phase," Black attested. "So it will set the tone in a lot of ways. Certainly, Tony's journey could spin forward but it's as self-contained a story as Iron Man 1."

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