When we first saw Joss Whedon’s ‘The Avengers’, I think that it was safe to assume that we all thought that it was awesome in so many ways. I even went so far as to say that it was the best superhero movie that I’ve ever seen. But as we see more and more from Shane Black’s ‘Iron Man 3’, it looks as if it could be a very, very close second. I mean, even Whedon himself sounds impressed by it.

In a recent interview with 2 Kids and a Coupon, Kevin Feige revealed a lot of interesting information about the next Tony Stark solo outing on the big screen, including what ‘The Avengers 2’ helmer thought of the film. But before we get to that, there are some interesting tidbits about the rest of the movie to share.

As fair warning, there are some mild *SPOILERS* ahead in these quotes, so proceed with caution.

First, the Marvel Studios President talks about what happens in the film and what Tony’s motivations are behind these actions:

“Happy Hogan is again played by Jon Favreau, who is one of Tony Stark’s best friends.  [He’s] hurt, seemingly an attack by the new villain as Mandarin, a terrorist in this world.  And he’s going to investigate who this terrorist is and where he can find him.  And it leads him to a place Tony’s never been in any of the movies, which is the middle of the good old US of A.  He’s in small town, Rose Hill, Tennessee.  And he meets a boy.

But we really wanted him to be fighting for his friends, for the love of his life, Pepper, who wants to see him as something that he’s not.  He’s comfortable in the Penthouses of Manhattan, in mansions in Malibu.  Here he is in the middle of Tennessee with his hat pulled low and he’s trying to do this investigation.  And this very sweet and funny relationship that he begins with this little boy.  Again, reminding the audience he’s a superhero, he’s frankly our most famous superhero, all because he’s got a very intelligent, scientific mind.”

Then Feige went on more about this boy that Tony meets in Tennessee and the relationship between the two of them:

“It is a fun bond.  Tony does not treat him like a kid necessarily.  He goes on in this scene and he doesn’t, you know, pat him on the head and treat him like a little boy necessarily.  Which I think little boys like when adults don’t treat them like that.  We’ve screened it for a few audiences just in a normal test screening, and this relationship is ranked as one of the most surprising, and unique, and new things about the movie.  Which was exciting because it was one of the scary things. We’ve never done…we never really had a kid that, a little kid that had that big a part in any of our films. So that was exciting.”

Next, he touches on Pepper Potts and the rumor that she’ll be getting some time in a suit during this movie:

“I will tell you this.  In this movie we, 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?  Uh, 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 it’s certainly something…her being in the suit is something we have been playing with since Iron Man 2.  We did some designs and it didn’t end up fitting in that movie.  But the little taste you saw here is something that we’re certainly interested in.”

Finally, we get to the part about Joss Whedon’s thoughts on the ending of ‘Iron Man 3’. Basically, you could say that the creative mind behind ‘Firefly’, ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’, and ‘Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog’ didn’t know what to do with himself:

“There are a lot of suits in this movie. While it is both a movie in which he spends quite a bit of time outside of the suit, as you see it’s not working and he’s — and he’s with Ty in Tennessee, by the end of it we reveal that underneath the house, which is now covered with rubble, he’s got dozens and dozens of suits.

And once, throughout the course of the movie, and all that rubble gets pulled aside by construction cranes, just when he needs him, he calls them to the rescue and we have what I think is the biggest most action-packed finale we’ve had. I showed the film to Joss Whedon, who is our writer-director of Avengers and who is currently working on Avengers 2, and he saw the finale of this and he goes, ‘Now what am I supposed to do now? What am I going to do in Avengers 2?’”

It sounds like Shane Black didn’t hold anything back with this new installment of the ‘Iron Man’ franchise. If the first film in Phase Two garners that sort of response, then we can only imagine what Joss Whedon will come up with to end the current phase in ‘The Avengers 2’.

For more on what Kevin Feige thinks about the acquisition of Marvel by Disney, the legacy of Marvel’s characters, and the film’s PG-13 rating, check out the rest of the interview at 2 Kids and a Coupon.

Do you think ‘Iron Man 3’ is going to be better than ‘The Avengers’? Are you hoping to see Pepper Potts take on the mantle of Rescue finally? What are your thoughts on Tony’s little sidekick? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments.

‘Iron Man 3’ starring Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall, and Guy Pearce opens on May 3, 2013.