WTF is happening in these bizarre Iron Man 3 set photos?

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012

New photos and a video from the set of Iron Man 3 have shown up online, and now is the time to start theorizing about what exactly is happening in them.

The third film in Marvel's blockbuster franchise has been busy filming in Wilmington, N.C., since May, with stars Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle, along with director Shane Black, emerging last week to show off some footage at Comic-Con.

We still know very little about the plot—except that it does involve Tony Stark's archnemesis the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and possibly Iron Man's Extremis armor—and these new pics posted online by EW don't clarify much.

Both show a lot of people dangling from wires, including someone in an Iron Man helmet who may or may not be Downey. The first pic is rather chaotic, with people hanging every which way; in the second, they appear to be pointed in the same direction, as if being airlifted.

Could this be some sort of attack by the Mandarin on an aircraft or building, with Stark flying in to rescue as many people as he can? Who is the woman holding onto Iron Man for dear life? Who is the guy in military dress?

Video footage is online too (see below), but it doesn't clear things up. Whatever this is all about, it looks like it will be part of one heck of an action sequence.

Iron Man 3 arrives in theaters on May 3, 2013.

(Photos via Paul Stephen/StarNews)