'IRON MAN 3' Is Finally Showing: Get The Full 'Iron Man' Backstory Here

iron man robert downey jrRobert Downey Jr. will be stepping back into Tony Stark’s shoes this weekend in ‘Iron Man 3.’

Iron Man 3” is upon us and it’s time to catch up on the franchise. We care because you care, and because Robert Downey Jr.’s past Iron Man movies have grossed $1.3 billion, between “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” and “Marvel’s The Avengers.”

Expect that number to get a lot higher with “Iron Man 3,” which opens in the U.S. Friday, May 5 after debuting overseas to a massive $195 million haul. 

The Disney film already has awesome reviews. Get excited. 

However, as hot as the series is, many people still don’t know the story of billionaire playboy Tony Stark and his adventures as Iron Man. We’re here to help out with that. 

Time to get caught up on “Iron Man” and get psyched for “Iron Man 3.”

He travels the world demonstrating defence technology to interested buyers.

During a missile demo in Afghanistan for the army ...

... Stark's crew gets attacked in an ambush ...

... and Stark is captured by a terrorist group, the 10 Rings.

They demand he builds one of his new missiles in exchange for freedom.

However, Stark's more concerned with another dire situation: pieces of shrapnel lodged near his heart.

Forgetting the missile, Stark builds (with the help of another hostage) and is fitted with an electromagnet chest piece and electric generator called an arc reactor.

(Sidenote: If this thing is gone, Stark is dead.)

He then builds what will become the first prototype for the Iron Man suit to escape.

Though he makes it out alive, the suit is toast.

Stark returns home where he's welcomed by his assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) ...

... and his friend Lt. Colonel James Rhodes (Terrence Howard).

After his near death experience, Stark decides his father's company will no longer distribute and manufacture weapons.

But he decides to rebuild the Iron Man suit for leisure anyway because he's a billionaire (and it was awesome).

With the help of his personal assistant Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany), he creates a revamped version of the suit.

*Note: This is from 'Iron Man 2.'

The next model is quite the upgrade.

It's equipped with rockets ...

... and allows Stark to fly.

He wrecks one of his expensive car in the building process, but it doesn't matter. He's Iron Man and he can fly.

Meanwhile, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), an old company partner of Tony Stark's father, is tired of the arrogant, young jock running Stark Industries.

While Stark was busy building a new toy, Stane has been plotting a way to overtake the company.

He's been busy providing the terrorist group who kidnapped Stark with company weapons and missiles.

Then he finds out about Stark's personal project and wants to duplicate the technology.

He tries to get the 10 Rings to make their own model of the suit, but it's useless without Stark's reactor.

So he steals Stark's to power his own suit.

Luckily, Stark has a back up and goes after Stane not only to save his father's company, but the world.

In a showdown atop Stark Industries, Stane perishes after falling into an explosion caused by Pepper Potts.

The press decides to dub Stark a hero, and the attention goes to his head.

He's given a cover story to tell during a press conference. It should be simple. Just stick to the cue cards. Don't mention anything about Iron Man.

But, Tony Stark doesn't play by anyone else's rules. In a twist that NEVER happens in any superhero film EVER, Stark outs himself as Iron Man.

This decision, of course, puts a giant target on his back—and Pepper's—in future films.

On to the next one!

As predicted, revealing your superhero identity is never a good idea. This is why.

Meanwhile, Tony Stark is on top of the world.

Not only is he reveling in the fact that he is Iron Man ...

... but that he also has somehow accomplished the impossible: world peace.

Life is basically a giant party. He reinstates a convention for world leaders to help develop a better future called the Stark Expo in New York.

However, a senator wants the government to control possession of the Iron Man suit because he deems it a weapon of mass destruction.

Later, Stark is racing a car in this film (because he's a jack of all trades).

Vanko comes and attacks Stark with crazy electric whips.

Turns out this guy's father was another associate of Stark's father (Howard) and is out to exact revenge on Stark for his death.

Note: Howard Stark did not keep great company.

After a quick defeat from Stark, Vanko joins forces with another villain, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), to create their own Iron Men army.

Meanwhile, Stark finds out he's slowly dying from his injury in the first film. The core in the reactor keeping him alive is slowly poisoning him and he has no alternative solution.

He decides to keep this information to himself and makes Pepper the CEO of Stark Industries ...

... who he has developed a relationship with since the first film.

He also hires Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) to take over as Pepper's future assistant.

Consumed by the thought of dying, Stark gets drunk on his birthday while wearing the Iron Man suit.

Rhodes, now played by Don Cheadle*, steps in to alleviate Stark of his suit and turn it over to the government.

While Stark's in a rut, he's met by secret agency S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).

He tells him his father was a founder of the secret law enforcement agency. During that time, the older Stark rendered some designs for an unknown element.

It's also revealed that Rushman is actually a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. squad as well. Her real name is Natasha Romanova (aka Black Widow).

With this information, Stark synthesizes the element, uses it without prior testing, and hopes it will save his life. (It does for now.)

However, Hammer plans to unleash them on the public.

While S.H.I.E.L.D. takes down Hammer, Stark teams up with Rhodes to take down Vanko and the legion of drones.

Stark couldn't agree more.

With thoughts of a superhero group out of his head, Stark unveils a new headquarters for Stark Industry in New York City.

It's an offer Stark is only too happy to undertake having saved the world twice before.

There's just one thing. Stark does not play well with other superheroes ...

... except for Bruce Banner / The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). The two end up forming a pretty spectacular on-screen bromance.

Stark makes the ultimate sacrifice by risking his life to send the missile through the portal before the Avengers can close it.

He tries to call the one person he cares about ...

... to tell her he's saving the world ...

... and to say goodbye.

But she doesn't answer.

For the first time, before the missile is even out of harms way, we see Stark look defeated.

A tear wells up in his eye.

Accepting his fate, he closes his eyes, and the missile explodes.

The world is saved. The portal is closing.

And Stark is free-falling to Earth.

By some miracle, he returns alive. He can barely believe it himself.

After nearly dying, Stark is finally unhinged.

He's having trouble sleeping ...

... and is plagued by nightmares.

After having the weight of the world on his shoulders, he's officially hit rock bottom.

It's going to take a lot to get Stark back into action.

Who can save the man who saved the world?

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