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Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts will have huge part to play in 'Iron Man 3,' says Marvel Studios head

Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Iron Man 3' character Pepper Potts is going to be 'the one thing that matters most' to Tony, says Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, 'and that actually is what the entire movie’s about.' Gwyneth Paltrow has also starred in 'Country Strong' and 'Contagion.'

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Feige’s comments mirror those of Paltrow and director Shane Black, who previously explained that Tony’s reliance on his armor would be a major point of contention in his and Pepper’s relationship. It may not be the only one, either. The impact that Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) will have – beyond her knowledge of the Extremis virus – isn’t clear just yet, but Feige has hinted that Tony may feel a kinship with her that he doesn’t with Pepper.

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All of that comes in addition to a telling shot from the very first Iron Man 3 footage, showing Stephanie Szostak’s character seeming to force herself onto a surprised Stark. Now that Szostak’s character has apparently been revealed, we only have more questions about what that scene might entail. We knew Tony would be dealing with a much larger number of armors this time around, and it’s seeming more and more like the number of women in his life may increase to match.

New love interests may be coming into Tony’s life, but the past films (and The Avengers) have shown that Pepper isn’t the kind of girl to back down from a fight. That resolve and determination make her a poor fit for a ‘damsel in distress,’ even if the trailers have shown she may undergo one heck of a transformation. Feige explains what a female character that strong brings to the story:

“I will tell you this. In this movie we play with the convention of the damsel in distress. We are bored by the damsel in distress. But, sometimes we need our hero to be desperate enough in fighting for something other than just his own life. So, there is fun to be had with “Is Pepper in danger or is Pepper the savior?” over the course of this movie.

“In terms of where we go with future movies, we’ll see. In the comic books she does get a taste for the suit and becomes her own hero named Rescue, who doesn’t necessarily battle other people, but is on missions to help people and to save people. Will we do that down the line with Gwyneth Paltrow? Who knows. But her being in the suit is something we have been playing with since Iron Man 2, where we did some designs and it didn’t end up fitting in that movie. But [the idea] is something that we’re certainly interested in.”We don’t yet know how Pepper’s relationship with Tony’s armor will impact the series as a whole, but Marvel and Black have teased that a new story could begin with the third Iron Man movie. Nothing will be set in stone until fans see the movie for themselves, but it’s obvious that plenty more stories could be written about Stark and his surrounding associates – both planetside and in space.

What do you think of the story arc being set up for Pepper Potts? Is this a twist you’ve been waiting to see since the beginning, or would Pepper suiting up feel more like a gimmick than a true evolution? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Andrew Dyce blogs at Screen Rant.

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