Marvel has been running a Facebook "like us!" campaign for the last week or so, promising to debut an early look at "Iron Man 3." At this point you kind of HAVE to know it was just going to be one of those "trailer for the trailer" things, but whatever - it worked, and now the 18 second "pre-preview" is here. Highlights include Tony Stark dealing with reporters, Pepper Potts in trouble, the new gold armor in motion and Iron Man facing down what looks like a half-dozen armored enemies.
Oh, and also very possibly THE MANDARIN.
Hit the jump to see the teaser and a still:
Okay, short preview is short. I'm hoping that the long one features that "Iron Patriot"-inspired suit that's been seen in the early stills - I have a feeling that U.S. audiences who've never seen it before (in comics or otherwise) are going to flip for it. But the "HEY FANBOYS! WAKE UP AND GIVE US FREE HYPE!" money-shot comes at 00:08 - a quick glimpse at the back of... some guy's head:
Iron Man's ultimate enemy in the comics has generally been The Mandarin, a technology-as-magic "sorceror" generally depicted as an ancient-looking Asian man with long hair and gold robes with elaborate gold trimmings. That would certainly seem to be who we're looking at here. AWESOME. He's been referenced in the series before (though Middle East based, the terrorists in IM1 had Mandarin-style fixations on Genghis Khan and were named for his alien weapon from the comics, "The Ten Rings of Power) but it had been reportedly felt that he was a little too strange and a little too borderline-racist to show up in a modern movie - but when you're the immediate follow-up to the biggest superhero movie ever you don't have to worry about those things anymore.
FWIW, I think he'll probably still end up revised into a non-specifically Eastern man with an ancient China fixation a'la the terrorists in Part 1. SDCC audiences supposedly saw a full shot of known main-villain Ben Kinglsey (who is partially of Indian descent, something everyone manages to forget whenever he plays a non-caucasian character) looking unmistakably like The Mandarin from the front - hopefully the rest of us will see the same in the "full" trailer.
I think this is a good idea - while the "Iron Man" movies ARE going to have to go back to being their own thing post-"Avengers," they really do need to get him up against bigger (in terms of personality and power) antagonists now that everyone has seen him battle a God and an Alien Army. Mandarin should accomplish that nicely.