Over the weekend, Iron Man 3 grossed over $175 million at the box office. I guess it’s safe to say that the latest installment in the franchise that launched Marvel Studios as one of the dominant forces in the entertainment industry is a bonafide blockbuster – Our own FamousMonster shares his opinions on the movie here – and we shall see more adventures of Tony Stark and his armored alter ego on the screen in the years to come. Hopefully, star Robert Downey Jr. will be there most of the way.
That’s just groovy. After the overhyped wet noodle that was Iron Man 2 – a heavily compromised production that also served as an abject lesson for how Marvel prioritizes its future cinematic projects from there on – it was great to see an Iron Man sequel that not only held its own with the spectacular 2008 original, but even managed its own sizable share of epic action sequences to rival the finale of last year’s The Avengers. Fanboys cried foul over how certain characters were handled, but on the whole I thought director Shane Black was the perfect person to resurrect ol’ Shellhead as a force to be reckoned with among modern movie heroes. I will say no more because right now you should drop what you are doing and go see Iron Man 3.
*Recently an unknown source posted screen grabs from an beautiful animated opening credits sequence that was created but ultimately discarded from the final cut of Iron Man 3 in favor of opening with narration from Downey. You can view a complete gallery of those grabs here below.
UPDATE: The sequence was created by designer Ash Thorpe. (Early reports were that Kyle Cooper, a longtime designer of movie title sequences whose past work includes Seven, The Mummy, Superman Returns, and Tron: Legacy among others, created these. Cooper – who is also no stranger to working on Marvel movies, as he has designed credits sequences for the first Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and for 2004’s Spider-Man 2 he created a sequence that recapped the events of the previous movie using original illustrations by Alex Ross – did have a creative role in the project.)
UPDATE: *According to Prologue Films, this was not the opening credits sequence, but rather designs that were pitched for the end titles, which is what Thorpe noted on his site. They also specified that there was never an opening title sequence that was cut from the movie.
Hopefully some day soon we will get to see a full motion video of the deleted credits sequence, or most likely it will surface as an extra feature on the eventual Blu-ray/DVD release. We can hope. (See 7-second video here.) In the meantime you can also view the images in sequence in a GIF file here.