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Why IRON MAN: EXTREMIS Makes Sense To Be The Plot For 'Iron Man 3'

It's the next logical step for Tony Stark in the 'Iron Man' trilogy.

In the Iron Man movie we saw Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., create a magnetic field wired to a suit that would keep a piece of shrapnel from an explosion from reaching his heart. There we watched as the suit was the only thing keeping Stark alive. In Iron Man 2, Stark took his technology to the next level after he discovered that the suit he created in the first film, was also killing him.

The palladium core in the arc reactor began slowly poisoning Stark until, that is, he discovered a new element (thanks to his father's research) that made his dependency on palladium obsolete. The new element allowed Stark to survive. Now that Stark's problems with the suit are out of the way, the next logical step for Stark would be to upgrade what he already has -- which is why Warren Ellis' IRON MAN: EXTREMIS story arc is the best story to adapt for an Iron Man 3 movie. So what is Extremis and will Warren Ellis' IRON MAN: EXTREMIS translate well to the big screen? More specifically, though, would it be a good story to adapt in 'Iron Man 3'? We say, absolutely. In fact, we really can't think of a better story.

So what is the extremis serum? The extremis serum is like a super soldier serum, and when taken, it increases the power of a human being significantly by interfering with the brain's "repair center." When an individual is injected, they are essentially rebuilt from the inside, they cocoon, and experience a sort of rebirth. When they awaken, their senses are heightened and they become virtually indestructible. In IRON MAN: EXTREMIS, Stark realizes the potential of the serum and he injects himself with it -- but not before manipulating its code, first. When Stark awakens, he is able to "low jack" himself into his armor, global satellites and even his cell phone. Stark explains to Maya (who developed the serum with the help of Dr. Killian) that he has stored the Iron Man suit sheath in his bones, and that he is now able to make it emerge and cover his entire body on mental command. The extremis serum not only makes Stark a more powerful hero, but it alters with his physiology, tying him even closer to technology.

== TEASER ==

Obtaining a stronger, more powerful suit that is more closely aligned with his own biology is the perfect next step for Stark to make in Iron Man 3. In Iron Man we saw him build the suit, in Iron Man 2 we saw him fix the suit, and in Iron Man 3 we should see him improve on what he's already established.

Yet, this story isn't just about the technology. Yes, making a stronger, more powerful Iron Man suit makes sense for a third film. It seems like the natural progression for the character; but there is more than that. IRON MAN: EXTREMIS also deals with the mental and emotional repurcussions of Tony Stark being Tony Stark; and although these issues are less likely to be at the center of an 'Iron Man 3' movie, they are at the heart of the story and are what made IRON MAN: EXTREMIS so good. Sure it's cool that Tony Stark got a better suit; one that was more powerful that could be activated by merely thinking -- but there were deeper issues in this story arc that we haven't yet seen addressed in any of the Iron Man films.

In the first issue Tony has a conversation with the Mr. Pilinger, a documentarian. Pilinger brings up the fact that Stark is (according to some) an "arms dealer" because he has built and supplied weapons for the United States military. He goes on to mention that some of Stark's weapons have gotten into the wrong hands; namely, the unstable "Gulf region." It is in this scene that we see the influence of the first 'Iron Man movie script. Tony was in the Gulf when a land mine exploded and caused tremendous amount of damage to Stark's body, and led him to create the first Iron Man suit. We even see a flashback of this very scene in issue four after Stark injects himself with the serum. Ellis is bringing Stark full circle. The building of the suit was his first birth into becoming Iron Man; by injecting the serum and becoming a more powerful version of himself, he experiences a rebirth. Yet, there are some things he cannot change -- namely, his past.

Extremis also deals with Tony's emotional state. At the start of the first issue, just prior to Stark's interview with Pilinger; Tony can barely look at himself in the mirror. He hates himself for who he is and what he's done. He defends himself during his interview citing that the technology he's created has bettered society in some way, until he is countered by Pilinger with all the harm he's done to society. Pilinger asks Stark whether he believes that they have "painkilling drug pumps in Iraq," or if "and Afghan kid with his arms blown off by a landline is remotely impressed by an Iron Man suit." It's then that Tony becomes speechless. This scene is powerful because it reveals Tony Stark's true feelings of regret. He understands that his Stark Industries empire is built on developing weapons of mass destruction that have gone on to kill innocent lives; and he hates himself for that.

Even before Stark sits down for the very invasive interview, he can barely look himself in the mirror. This fact is indicative of his disappointment with himself. His actions from when he was a young weapons designer overshadow any philanthropic work he does with the Avengers. The only time he can look himself in the mirror is when he's preparing to save the world from destruction; in this case, Extremis.

The fact that Stark is technically an "arms dealer" is really not something we've seen in either of the Iron Man movies. There is a downside to being Tony Stark, and this is what makes him a relatable character -- it's what grounds him. He is a human being, he has made mistakes. And no amount of philanthropic work he does can wash all the blood off this hands. Now that would be some seriously awesome Iron Man movie.

What do you think, though? Do you think IRON MAN: EXTREMIS would make a good plot for Iron Man 3, or is there a different Iron Man story you would rather see?

88 Comments
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Posted by cattlebattle

Wasn't this announced as the plot, or at least a sub plot a month ago?? I think the director stated it in an interview

Posted by ThanosIsMad

It's too soon for Extremis, IMO. Let that be the plot of the eventual fourth or fifth movie.

Posted by X35

Idk i always thought it'd be weird to have this as the plot to Iron Man 3 because it would be a bit similar to Spider-Man 3... I think it'd be better as Iron Man 4... a better opener for a "second trilogy" and is a good introductory type of story in that regard... and hopefully then people won't draw comparisons to Spider-Man 3.

Posted by Om1kron

way too soon, and lets not even get into special effects costs.

Posted by wmwadeii

@cattlebattle said:

Wasn't this announced as the plot, or at least a sub plot a month ago?? I think the director stated it in an interview

Probably to the response of the Avengers sneak peak where Stark is talking to Loki and puts on an arm band.

Posted by Gambit1024

I'm totally ok with Extremis. I couldn't think of another plot, except for maybe Demon in a Bottle. But I'm pretty sure they said that they're never going to do that, so Extremis it is.

Posted by mattwing87

It would make sense! They should make it like, he gets jealous at the end of The Avengers because Captain America, Thor and The Hulk have powers and he wants powers so they best way to make the Extremis serum and inject himself with it like Cap and Hulk did.

Posted by feargalr

I dunno, the marvel movie universe is sorta kinda more realistic then the comics, I'm not sure how well this would fit in, plus the scenes where he's putting on the armour in the first movie still give me goosebumps.

Posted by Ulviar

Extremis is going to be a perfect plot for the movie. The scriptwriters won't even have to change a lot.

Edited by NightFang
The Extremis mini-series was loosely adapted as an Iron Man: Armored Adventures episode of the same name. In the episode, the Extremis formula is re-imagined as an attempt to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum that granted Captain America his powers. Mallen (here an ex-agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. rather than a terrorist) injects himself with the formula after being fired by Nick Fury, and badly injures Iron Man during their initial encounter. Tony then injects himself with a little bit of the modified version of the Extremis formula, allowing him to fully interface with his armor (along with all other forms of technology) and defeat Mallen. According to Andros Stark (Tony Stark’s grandson), in the future everyone has an upgraded version of Extremis, and he himself (in 2099) runs version 16.5.
Posted by Morpheus_
@X35 said:

Idk i always thought it'd be weird to have this as the plot to Iron Man 3 because it would be a bit similar to Spider-Man 3... I think it'd be better as Iron Man 4... a better opener for a "second trilogy" and is a good introductory type of story in that regard... and hopefully then people won't draw comparisons to Spider-Man 3.

Why do you find it similar to Spider-Man 3?
Moderator
Posted by haydenclaireheroes

I think it could be a logical plot for the next Iron Man movie

Posted by X35

@Morpheus_: Well idk it's just from a very basic overview both stories would be about "new suits that have a negative impact on the titular character"... plus they'd both be the third film in their respective series... it just might be a bit similar in that regard......

Posted by Gambit1024

@Morpheus_ said:

@X35 said:

Idk i always thought it'd be weird to have this as the plot to Iron Man 3 because it would be a bit similar to Spider-Man 3... I think it'd be better as Iron Man 4... a better opener for a "second trilogy" and is a good introductory type of story in that regard... and hopefully then people won't draw comparisons to Spider-Man 3.

Why do you find it similar to Spider-Man 3?

Venom symbiote takes over Spider-Man =/= Extremis virus takes over Iron Man?

Posted by War Killer

I wouldn't mind them using the Extremis storyline but if they do I hope they use the storyline but go one step further and have him create the Bleeding Edge armor as well. Like Reed Richard stated in the comics, the Bleeding Edge armor is basically Extremis 2.0 and instead of having part of the suit stored in his body while the rest is stored in a suitcase, it would only make sense to just store ALL of the armor in his body. Plus the special effects would look absolutely amazing as the suit covers his body and forms into his armor for the first time on-screen.

Invincible Iron Man #25
Invincible Iron Man #25
Invincible Iron Man #25
Online
Posted by Morpheus_
@X35 said:

@Morpheus_: Well idk it's just from a very basic overview both stories would be about "new suits that have a negative impact on the titular character"... plus they'd both be the third film in their respective series... it just might be a bit similar in that regard......

I see your point and understand the comparison, but it seems simplistic. As opposed to the symbiote, Extremis has no real drawbacks. Iron Man's emotional and psychological turmoil began once he was appointed Director of SHIELD. It's also not really a suit. Iron Man made no alterations to his armor in the Extremis storyarc, he simply injected himself with the virus (after tampering with it) because he would have died after being brutally beaten by an Extremis enhanced terrorist named Mallen.
Moderator
Posted by saoakden

I haven't read a lot of Iron Man stories but this could work if the Mandarin was the villain of the movie. Mandarin beating him up, Tony uses the serum then goes on to defeat the Mandrain. I think they did Armor Wars and Demon in the Bottle for the second one or parts of those stories. Maybe the Enter the Mandarin story for the 3rd movie. The story is about how Iron Man & the Mandarin first meet and fought each other. IF they were going to do another Iron Man movie then do Extremis, then some other good stories maybe adapt some of Matt Fraction's run on Invincible Iron Man.

Posted by X35

@Morpheus_: It's not a comparison i would make personally (it's a one i kinda noticed), but i think it's something those people who don't read comics but go see the films might pick up on and criticise the film for it. As I said, i wouldn't myself...but i defo could see others doing it.

Posted by Don_Jay

I believe extremis makes sense as the ultimate upgrade: becoming partially the machine. And (this is where I might get stoned to death) this would make a great setup for the Mandarin in Iron Man four as the villain. Just think about it: Stark upgrades himself with the extremis in IM3 and in the fourth movie (if they make it that far and why would't they) Tony would be super reliant on his tech even more than before thus giving an even bigger contrast between him and the Mandarin's magic based powers and making the Mandarin (who still looks like a bad chinese stereotype from the sixties) an evem more serious and menacing villain than ever before.

Posted by revbucky

The movies are usually not too concerned about following the exact story lines of the comics. It's frustrating.

Posted by Morpheus_
@X35 said:

@Morpheus_: It's not a comparison i would make personally (it's a one i kinda noticed), but i think it's something those people who don't read comics but go see the films might pick up on and criticise the film for it. As I said, i wouldn't myself...but i defo could see others doing it.

Understandable, and I agree. I just think there are a lot of things they can potentially do to avoid it.
Moderator
Posted by The Impersonator

I'm really excited to see the Extremis form. But it's too soon to be shown in Iron Man 3.

Posted by InnerVenom123

@Gambit1024 said:

@Morpheus_ said:

@X35 said:

Idk i always thought it'd be weird to have this as the plot to Iron Man 3 because it would be a bit similar to Spider-Man 3... I think it'd be better as Iron Man 4... a better opener for a "second trilogy" and is a good introductory type of story in that regard... and hopefully then people won't draw comparisons to Spider-Man 3.

Why do you find it similar to Spider-Man 3?

Venom symbiote takes over Spider-Man =/= Extremis virus takes over Iron Man?

That comparison makes no sense, for two reasons.

A: Tony needed the Extremis to stay alive at that point in the story. It's not something that finds its way into his life and has a dark influence.

B: The Extremis isn't alive.

Posted by JonesDeini

Definitely one of my favorite Iron Man stories of all time and I'd love to see it adapted to film at some point. Armors a bit too powerful without giving Tony a foe that'll provide a true threat though.

Posted by Atari_Graphics

I remember watching the motion comic on Netflix but I don't remember if Ellis's Extremis storyarc is actually in MU canon or not? Anybody...

Posted by InnerVenom123

@War Killer said:

I wouldn't mind them using the Extremis storyline but if they do I hope they use the storyline but go one step further and have him create the Bleeding Edge armor as well. Like Reed Richard stated in the comics, the Bleeding Edge armor is basically Extremis 2.0 and instead of having part of the suit stored in his body while the rest is stored in a suitcase, it would only make sense to just store ALL of the armor in his body. Plus the special effects would look absolutely amazing as the suit covers his body and forms into his armor for the first time on-screen.
Invincible Iron Man #25
Invincible Iron Man #25
Invincible Iron Man #25

I would kill to see a sequence like this on screen.

If people thought the suitcase armor was badass, this would just blow them away.

Posted by X35

@InnerVenom123 said:

@Gambit1024 said:

@Morpheus_ said:

@X35 said:

Idk i always thought it'd be weird to have this as the plot to Iron Man 3 because it would be a bit similar to Spider-Man 3... I think it'd be better as Iron Man 4... a better opener for a "second trilogy" and is a good introductory type of story in that regard... and hopefully then people won't draw comparisons to Spider-Man 3.

Why do you find it similar to Spider-Man 3?

Venom symbiote takes over Spider-Man =/= Extremis virus takes over Iron Man?

That comparison makes no sense, for two reasons.

A: Tony needed the Extremis to stay alive at that point in the story. It's not something that finds its way into his life and has a dark influence.

B: The Extremis isn't alive.

Well what you're doing there is picking apart specifics, when you break down the two stories to their very basics "character gets a new suit, improvements all around, it works out bad for them, bad stuff happens". i'm not even saying it's a thing, i'm just pointing out people could see the similarities in regards to the two

Posted by Band Lone

Too powerful IMO. It takes the vulnerability away from Stark

Posted by InnerVenom123

@X35 said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

@Gambit1024 said:

@Morpheus_ said:

@X35 said:

Idk i always thought it'd be weird to have this as the plot to Iron Man 3 because it would be a bit similar to Spider-Man 3... I think it'd be better as Iron Man 4... a better opener for a "second trilogy" and is a good introductory type of story in that regard... and hopefully then people won't draw comparisons to Spider-Man 3.

Why do you find it similar to Spider-Man 3?

Venom symbiote takes over Spider-Man =/= Extremis virus takes over Iron Man?

That comparison makes no sense, for two reasons.

A: Tony needed the Extremis to stay alive at that point in the story. It's not something that finds its way into his life and has a dark influence.

B: The Extremis isn't alive.

Well what you're doing there is picking apart specifics, when you break down the two stories to their very basics "character gets a new suit, improvements all around, it works out bad for them, bad stuff happens". i'm not even saying it's a thing, i'm just pointing out people could see the similarities in regards to the two

Except the bad stuff happened to Tony before he got the Extremis.

Extremis is what helped him defeat the villain and stay alive.

It's like, the reverse of the proper comparison.

Posted by mickoreo_LZ

This is kind of old news isn't it? I heard about the Extremis plot at least 2 weeks ago.

Anyways I think it does work for a movie and I think it's a story that needs to be told. A trilogy has to have a sort of natural progression and I feel like Extremis is the next logical step in the progression. Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, RDJ, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Jessica Chastain make up one hell of a cast though. This movie could be great

Posted by Kallarkz

Sometimes things can be too comic booky for movies. I think they would be afraid viewers just wouldn't be able to make the leap.

Posted by JonesDeini

@Kallarkz said:

Sometimes things can be too comic booky for movies. I think they would be afraid viewers just wouldn't be able to make the leap.

Aliens (Possibly) Gods, and Monsters in avengers...I think they'll be okay.

Posted by Kallarkz

@JonesDeini said:

@Kallarkz said:

Sometimes things can be too comic booky for movies. I think they would be afraid viewers just wouldn't be able to make the leap.

Aliens (Possibly) Gods, and Monsters in avengers...I think they'll be okay.

yeah those ARE new concepts. perfect comparison

Posted by Project_X89

it should have been iron man : iron man vs the hulk . i reallly want to see the hulk buster on the big screen

Posted by sho3s22

I don't think the general population would be very accepting to the idea of EXTREMIS. As a comic book fan it's a story arc I'd love to see on film, but I think it would be a hard concept to accept/understand if you haven't read EXTREMIS or have watched the motion comic.

Posted by Smurfboy

My son, 3, and I are looking forward to Iron Man 3 (as well as Avenger). Whatever the story may brings in Iron Man 3, we can't wait to watch it! So exciting!

Edited by Illuminatus

The Extremis storyline is a masterpiece of hard science-fiction, and if adapted properly, it could be an outstanding film that finally poses the question: How far can Stark progress with his technology before he himself loses his humanity, both in a literal and metaphorical sense?

Posted by JonesDeini

@Kallarkz: Just saying, they've been exposed to "living" costumes in Spidey 3 and just because they're not primarily comic readers doesn't mean they're unfamiliar with Scifi and even crazier concepts. I think at times us comic geeks are too insular about our culture and undervalue the intelligence of those who don't read comics. I'm sure a movie audience will not be flabbergasted and utterly lost if things are succinctly explained. Inception wasn't a hit for no reason is all I'm saying, people can be challenged and fantastic elements are par the course for Sci-Fi, Fantasy,& Superhero movies. It certainly doesn't violate the scientific spirit of the previous Marvel studio films.

Posted by EpicMeltDown

@War Killer: I don't read Iron Man. The only Iron Man comic I own is the Extremis trade. I liked the idea of the under coated being stored in his bones. And it made a decent amount of sense in the context of the story. Volume wise, I was willing to except that this thin layer could be stored internally. I really like the Bleeding Edge armor concept but I wanted to ask a question (that I suppose is open to anyone): Where does the armor go when he's not wearing it? Yes, I get that the concept is that it's inside his body but from a literal volume perspective, am I being asked to believe that he has enough room inside him to store his entire suit? Is this a stripped down emergency model or his fully operational armor? It's fiction so they can do what they want but I'm curious if that's the whole idea. I know I could look this up but I'm a little lazy and I figure a fan can explain it better than the comic vine entry (no offense comic vine).

Posted by BritishMonkey

do extremis and make mandarin the villain and i'll be happy

probably loads of others too

Posted by Park

I'd really like to see either this or a sub plot on Tony's alcoholism in the next movie.

Posted by fodigg

I like the idea of skipping ahead to more recent stories. There's no reason we have to trod over everything in order.

Posted by JPWolf5

I am guessing this article has stumbled out of the news that Guy Pearce has been added to the Iron Man 3 cast as Dr. Killian.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@JonesDeini said:

@Kallarkz: I think at times us comic geeks are too insular about our culture and undervalue the intelligence of those who don't read comics. I'm sure a movie audience will not be flabbergasted and utterly lost if things are succinctly explained. Inception wasn't a hit for no reason is all I'm saying, people can be challenged and fantastic elements are par the course for Sci-Fi, Fantasy,& Superhero movies. It certainly doesn't violate the scientific spirit of the previous Marvel studio films.

QFT

Posted by dewboy01

Come on y'all!! Mandarin, and fin fang foom.

Posted by KidSupreme

thats amazing art work

Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude

I think it's a great way to go. Now if we were talking about it if Iron Man just existed in his own movie universe it wouldn't work, as the first movie had a very realistic tone to it and having armor coming out of your body takes away from that(No matter how much you try to use techno babble to explain it). Fine in a comic or cartoon, but bad for a realistic movie. But since Iron Man's been established to exist in the movie-verse with Hulk and Thor, two HIGHLY unrealistic characters, I don't see a problem. Extremis is my favorite Iron Man story and I for one would love to see it on the big screen.

Posted by The_Peter_Cosmic

Extremis is my favorite Iron Man story and I don't think it makes sense to say he should need to wait another movie or two since Avengers is already Stark's third appearance. There are very few franchises that can manage not to suck after 4 or 5 movies.

Posted by WarMachineMarkV

- Like any movie based on a comic, it all depends on how well they translate the storyline to the big screen

- It is one of the most popular of the recent storylines so using it makes a lot of sense in a marketing aspect, but it is also among the more complex ones making the translation harder to pull off.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

It seems the "Stark growing a conscience" part has already been well established in the first movie though. All I can really see Extremis being good for is addressing Tony making the upgrade to biosuit technology for the Mark iron armor, nothing more. Besides, with the possibility of The Mandarin being the archenemy of this movie it would make sense to borrow elements of that with this. After all, we come to see in comic movies they tend to borrow lots of ideas from across the board in comics, and Iron Man 3 should be no different.

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