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Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige: Pepper Potts Ain’t No Damsel in Distress, Might Be [SPOILER]ing [SPOILER] in Iron Man 3


In an interview with About.com, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige had some really interesting things to say about Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3. Some things that stopped just short of confirming a popular rumor about…

No, you know what? We’re jumping right into spoiler territory.

Says Feige:

In this movie [Iron Man 3] 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?’ over the course of this movie.

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 her being in the suit is something we have been playing with since ‘Iron Man 2,’ where we did some designs and it didn’t end up fitting in that movie.

“Will we do that down the line with Gwyneth Paltrow? Who knows.” Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. Pepper Potts is suiting up. Just say it! If keeping this plot point under wraps is your goal, you should really take a lesson from the Star Trek Into Darkness folks.

Frustration (and it’s more of a fond frustration, really) at all this PR-talk aside, yay! Pepper (probably) suiting up and saving Tony! I mean, she’s already saved Tony multiple times before, because she’s Pepper and she’s awesome and you don’t mess with her or her people. But it looks all but certain that the suiting up-refusing to be rescued-saving other people thing will happen, too.

This calls for a Kermit flail.

(via: MTV)

Previously in Pepper Potts

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christina-Morejon/1058281650 Christina Morejon

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! please say it isnt so. Yes, damsel in distress is played out BUT so is the Perfect Mary sue character (hey pun intended). Pepper Potts needs to either stay in the office (because thats who her character is) OR fall off a building (hopefully a tall one) I swear I will walk out of the theatre if this is where the Iron Man movie is going. and I betchoo IM not the only one upset…

  • http://www.facebook.com/lynn.wiberg Lynn Damien Wiberg

    HOW DARE THEY LET A CHARACTER GROW???

  • Anonymous

    Are you kidding? Pepper Potts dons her own suit in the comic books and goes by the name of Rescue, so she hasn’t exactly been the perfect Mary Sue for a while now. Everyone I know has been CLAMORING for Rescue to make an appearance for this movie, and I am right there with them. Yes, Pepper is an office girl who’s amazing at her job, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the capacity to save herself from danger and protect the people who are important to her when the situation calls for it.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Yay!, RESCUE (Pepper). She can help RICH (Tony) and DUTY (Rhodey) fight STEREOTYPE (The Mandarin…apparently, played by The Joker).

    I’m kidding. I’m kidding. It’s a SWELL hero name.

    MAYBE she can join TEAM SQUABBLE along with the other members, ANGRY, RICH, SHAMPOO, SPY, AND USELESS.

  • Anonymous

    Rescue would be really cool to see. Iron Patriot and Rescue could be Team Iron Man or something.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. Is Rhodes a Marty Stu for being a commanding officer, Iron Man’s best friend (who’s usually right) AND donning the War Machine gear?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.jeans Jamie Jeans

    Wait, which one is USELESS?

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s great to see Pepper putting on the suit but I also think it’s a catch 22 in that there is a really, really bad habit now of people putting down women who impact the world through something OTHER than using their fists in the name of girl power.

    The bottom line is that this concept of a “damsel in distress” has been subverted for a long time in DIFFERENT ways. Lois Lane was often rescued by Superman but when she appeared in 1938 she was also this fierce, obstinate career woman who would go running into fire and often saved the day in her own way. THAT in and of itself was a complete subversion of this idea of the damsel because damsels were usually written as these passive creates and Lois Lane was this ballsy career woman punching gangsters.

    I think it can be wonderful to explore other side of these women. Pepper putting on the suit? Great. Totally suits her character. That said, women who don’t put on superhero suits and physically fight are no less powerful or empowering than the ones who do. We have to get over this idea that the only way to be a powerful woman in these narratives is to use your fists. You can use your brain. You can use your career. And those are equally as valid. So, in this instance, i’d say it works because it fits Pepper. That said, I don’t want or need to see every human female character do this to prove she can play with the boys or prove her power.

  • Anonymous

    The only way I would challenge this is to remember that powerful business women have just as much capacity to “save” and “protect” themselves in DIFFERENT ways.
    I’m thrilled Pepper is going to be putting on the suit because I think it fits her comics history. But I do think there is an unfortunate trend these days of assuming that women who don’t adopt tradtional male stereotypes and put on the costume are somehow not contributing to the heroism on the same level. Which isn’t true. Female empowerment and being that “savior” figure is achieved in different ways. But for THIS character, I’d say it works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.jeans Jamie Jeans

    In the original Superman cartoon, the one back in the 30s, Lois Lane often defended herself, at one point taking up a Tommy gun to shoot at gangsters while trapped on a runaway train.

    And that was in the 30s!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.jeans Jamie Jeans

    Papper Potts has been one really good character in the Iron Man series, even if she has been hit with the Damsel in Distress trope. Heck, in 2008, one of the most pleasantly surprising moments was Pepper calling out Tony’s privilege as a straight white guy having the advantage of being able to sleep around without it impacting his career as compared to if she were to do such a thing, after he took her dancing.

    I do hope that she gets a suit and comes out as Rescue to kick some butt.. even if it’s the racist villain that’s been whitewashed Mandarin.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Hawkeye.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Yea, cuz Tony was totes experienced in fighting bad guys instead of inventing weapons before he got kidnapped and held prisoner.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    The press has been very explicit that the movie Mandarin is not Chinese, he is just a person who has decided to appropriate Chinese culture because of Sun Tzu. Which is better than allowing him to remain a racist Chinese caricature. If I have the choice between making him a man who appropriates Chinese culture, or a problematic stereotype I’ll take the former over the latter.

  • http://twitter.com/EdmondHaskell Edmond Haskell

    David. if you think Sandra`s stori is inconceivable, on thursday I got Ford Mustang since I been earnin $5168 this-past/4 weeks and more than 10/k lass month. without a doubt it is the most-rewarding Ive ever had. I began this four months/ago and pretty much immediately began to earn more than $77 per hour. I work through this website,……….. BIT40.ℂom

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    I am Soooooooo looking forward to this film!

  • Anonymous

    The sad part is that USELESS currently has the best comic book that Marvel is publishing AND the best tumblr-based-initiative and still gets no respect.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Ehehe, Marty Stu…that’s funny. I’ve never heard it before. You get a “Like.”

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Really good point. Listening to metal and playing with cars doesn’t make him an action hero. He does NOT even list it himself when he qualifies himself to Captain America.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I wish they’d just pay the five bucks and make him Fu Manchu. It’s not as if Disney couldn’t afford to, rather than beat around the bush…

    But at least Kingsley’s performance is…confusing so far.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I forgot Captain America. Um. I suppose he’d be SHIELD or SNOB. Maybe SELF-RIGHTEOUS? But, yes, Useless is Hawkeye.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I know and I agree, but whereas they took plenty of time to show how Black Widow could contribute, they never really did that with him and and his inclusion on the team seemed mostly arbitrary at the end.

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I refer to any character, male or female as a Mary Sue, but apparently the accepted term for a male character is Marty Stu. ::shrug::

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    He was supposed to have a much bigger story, per Whedon, which was the entire impetus for putting him in the movie, but it had to be cut for time. And then they needed someone to get turned by Loki, and since Hawkeye’s part was already cut, they decided to make it him.

  • Leonard McCain

    I’d mostly argue that “suiting up” is almost inevitable/required sooner or later of every notable “civilian” in most comic book universes, male or female. If you’re friends with superheroes or dating/married to a superhero or work for superheroes, one day you’re going to experiment with being a superhero, or get drafted into the role by emergency circumstances.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I think there’s enough division in the human race without every term getting sexed, so calling male characters Mary Sue is fine with me, but Marty Stu is pretty cute.

  • Brian

    Captain America can be GOSH.

  • http://twitter.com/Loerwyn Kathryn

    Yessssss. Rescue is awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/Loerwyn Kathryn

    I’d argue almost the opposite. It’s refreshing – and good – to see a superhero(ine) who doesn’t *need* to punch everything in a 5-mile radius to help people. It shows there’s more to being ‘Good’ than giving the bad guy a black eye.

    How many people have died/been injured in superhero titles because Mr Good And Righteous has been too busy willy-waving with Mr Evil And Ruthless in a burning building or something along those lines? Surely if you have those powers, your priority would be to make sure everyone survives?

    I thought that was one of the highlights of the Watchmen film, now I think about it. Silk Spectre II and one or two others actually stop and rescue people from a burning building before continuing with whatever they were doing. But I can’t remember why the building was on fire. I haven’t watched it in ages.

  • Anonymous

    From reading the article, she is specifically *not* ‘using her fists in the name of girl power’, but is ‘helping people’. I could eyeroll at that distinction too – if you have a supersuit, sometimes to help people you have to do battle. That would make more sense character & situation-wise.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Whoever did the downvote, I don’t agree with that title, I just knew who the reference was for. I lurve Hawkeye, and there can never be enough Renner. ;D

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Hah! Oh, god. Yes.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’m a Hawkeye fan, as well, though not so much the Renner…he’s O.K.

  • http://twitter.com/Ingonyama70 Curt Clark

    I love this.

    Also, TWANG should be Hawkeye. He’s not useless. :p

  • http://twitter.com/Ingonyama70 Curt Clark

    The ironic thing is, racism notwithstanding, Mandarin’s an awesome villain in the comics.

    He’s got magic rings, tech-smarts, a vast criminal empire, and connections to some of the more dangerous bad guy organizations out there, like AIM and the Masters of Evil. He was Iron Man’s archnemesis in the 90s cartoon for a reason.

    I just wish his origins had been a little less unfortunate.

  • http://twitter.com/Ingonyama70 Curt Clark

    This announcement is the first I’ve ever heard of Pepper’s Rescue career in the comics. I love it, and frankly, would be angry if they DIDN’T go this route in IM3.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamie.jeans Jamie Jeans

    You and me both, dude… his origin as the great, yellow menace, with some shadings of communism evilness thrown in, is just bad on so many levels.