Nearly one year ago, while ‘Iron Man 3’ was filming, we got our first glimpse of the Iron Patriot armor on set. While we all thought that yet another villain would be causing some trouble for Tony Stark, it turned out that the armor actually belongs to Colonel James Rhodes AKA War Machine. The long-time friend of Iron Man just got a new paint job for his armor in the new film. Regardless, it’s still a bit weird seeing the imagery appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe without it’s original origins from the ‘Secret Invasion’ storyline. Understanding that fans are still a bit confused about War Machine’s new look, Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, spoke about the star-spangled armor appearing in Shane Black’s upcoming film.

According to Comic Book Movie, Black, Feige, and company saw the original Iron Patriot and loved the idea behind it, so they wanted to encompass it into their film. However, since Norman Osborn and all things Spider-Man related are only allowed to appear in Sony films, the comic version of the character couldn’t make an appearance. However, the filmmakers still had some pretty big ideas for the armor:

“A few years ago in publishing, they created a suit called the Iron Patriot, which was an advanced Iron Man suit painted red, white and blue with a star on it. In the comics it’s a different character that wears it and utilizes it. But we really loved that image; we thought it was a striking image. And coming off of “The Avengers” where you have Captain America and Captain America is such a symbol for The Avengers, we thought it would be fun if the United States wanted to have their own version of that. Of course, Captain America works for the United States, but as he’s more of an Avengers hero the US Government said, ‘We want our own,’ which is why they take War Machine and rebrand him as the Iron Patriot. Shane Black and I [seeing] the Iron Patriot for the first time [was an exciting reveal] and what the guys at Legacy had done with this suit. Each suit gets better and better. The Iron Patriot practical suit that was worn on set is the best practical suit they’ve ever built.”

Though the film will explore the ideology behind the Iron Patriot version of War Machine’s armor, Feige hints at small traces of the armor’s origin remain in their story, despite being portrayed by a different character and essentially in a totally different way:

“Now over the course of the film we learn that there was a nefarious purpose behind that. It’s a great example of how sometimes you take and stay true to a character as pulled from the comics, and sometimes the comics can be the kernel of an idea that you then flesh out and build into something else. One of the best things about being a part of Marvel Studios is that you have the house of ideas; you have the publishing division that comes out with dozens of books a month and we flip through almost every one of those books every month and just pull things and don’t know where they could be used. But you know, a few years ago we pulled out the Iron Patriot and said, ‘That’s cool. Wouldn’t that be fun to play with that someday?’ And you’ll see it in ‘Iron Man 3’.”

As interesting as the original Iron Patriot is, it’ll definitely be even more interesting to see how the character is incorporated into the first film of Marvel’s Phase Two. Though I was skeptical originally, reading what Feige had to say about it got me psyched to see their interpretation.

What do you think about the thought process behind the Iron Patriot in ‘Iron Man 3’? Are you on board with the idea? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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