Iron Man 3 (titled onscreen as Iron Man Three) is a 2013 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Iron Man, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to Iron Man (2008) and Iron Man 2 (2010), and the seventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Shane Black from a screenplay he co-wrote with Drew Pearce, and stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stéphanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, and Ben Kingsley. In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark wrestles with the ramifications of the events of The Avengers during a national terrorism campaign on the United States led by the mysterious Mandarin.
After the release of Iron Man 2 in May 2010, director Favreau chose not to return for a third film. Black was hired to write and direct the sequel in February 2011, working with Pearce to make the script more character-centric, focus on thriller elements, and use concepts from Warren Ellis's "Extremis" comic book story arc. The film's supporting cast, including Kingsley, Pearce, and Hall, were brought on throughout April and May 2012. Filming took place from May 23 to December 17, 2012, primarily at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. Additional filming took place around North Carolina as well as in Florida, Los Angeles, and China; an extended version of the film specifically for Chinese audiences was created. Seventeen companies provided the film's visual effects.
Iron Man 3 premiered at the Grand Rex in Paris on April 14, 2013, and released in the United States on May 3, as the first film in Phase Two of the MCU. It received positive reviews from critics, with praise for its action sequences and Downey's performance. The film was a box office success, grossing over $1.2 billion worldwide, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 2013 and the sixteenth film to gross over $1 billion. It finished its theatrical run as the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time, while its opening weekend was the sixth-highest of all time. The film received Best Visual Effects nominations at the Academy Awards and the BAFTA Awards.