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“Iron Man 3” receives release date … in 2013!

By Sean O’Connell Glanced over (somewhat) in the Hollywood Reporter story that Paramount will shift distribution rights for two major Marvel tentpoles to Disney is the news that a third “Iron Man” will kick off the 2013 summer season.

What year is it right now? Oh, 2010. Sometimes we write so many stories about upcoming projects, its hard to stay focused on the present and not gets lost in the haze of future calendar days.

So Disney circled May 3, 2013 as the opening date for “Iron Man 3.” And now the questions begin. No doubt Robert Downey Jr. will return in the lead. He’ll also don the signature suit in “The Avengers” (which shifts to Disney in the reported deal). But will Jon Favreau return? He was asked about a third “Iron Man” multiple times while promoting the second film (which arrived on DVD last week). When he didn’t accept the opportunity to direct’ The Avengers,” however, he moved on to “Cowboys & Aliens” and could fit in one or two other projects before “Iron Man 3” ramps up.

Will he want to return? Who would be Iron Man’s villain in a third film? Where will the character be after “Thor,” “Captain America” and – more important – “The Avengers.” These are all major issues that need to be resolved before a third “Iron Man” gets underway. But now that it’s a concrete date on a release schedule, you can bet studio heads will begin batting these questions back and forth. I can’t wait to hear their answers.

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