What's the first thing you think of when remembering Iron Man 3? A glowing Guy Pearce? The supervillain Mandarin turning out to be a spaced-out British thespian? Not enough actual Iron Man footage? Whatever your memories, we're pretty sure Christmas and holiday spirits are not high up on the list. But according to Disney+, Iron Man 3 is a Christmas film for the whole family. Complete with fire monsters and PTSD flashbacks.
If you go to the Disney+ website and search for Christmas-themed fare, a bunch of options show up, dominated by romances and family comedies, from Noelle to I'll be home for Christmas. And there, sitting snugly in the middle of the list like it always belonged there, is the MCU's own offering, Iron Man 3, about a superhero using his robot armor to fight an international terrorist who turns out be a pawn working for the CEO of a multinational company who also happens to be a fire-breathing mutant.
But hey, the movie also has a scene with Tony working away in his lab while listening to Jingle Bell Rock. There is also plenty of snow, shots of Santa hats, and even more holiday-themed music. There is even a precocious child who bonds with Tony and teaches him the true meaning of Christmas: vanquishing the demons in your mind brought about by traumatic events in the past by using your robots to destroy an army of fire-demon soldiers. It's certainly some sort of lesson.
Technically, there is nothing wrong with the classification of the film as a Christmas movie. After all, it has long been argued that both Die Hard and Home Alone are also Christmas films, even though they both use the holiday setting to tell a grisly tale of a lone psychopath hiding in corners, building traps and brutally and fatally injuring a bunch of criminals. Wait, are we talking about Die Hard, Home Alone or Iron Man 3? Anyway, if you don't feel like going with watching something warm and cuddly over a glass of eggnog, Iron Man 3 is not a bad alternative.
Iron Man 3 was directed by Shane Black, who has made it his signature to set non-Christmas stories against a holiday backdrop. He wrote Lethal Weapon, which is set during Christmas but doesn't get mentioned as often as Die Hard in the Christmas movie debate. His directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which also stars Robert Downey Jr., is definitely a Christmas movie though it's also a very funny noir thriller to boot. Also featuring Christmas storylines are Shane Black's The Last Boy Scout script, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and for a brief moment at the end, The Nice Guys. His most recent directorial effort The Predator takes place at Halloween. Some call Shane Black the undisputed king of Christmas action movies, so is it any wonder his Iron Man 3 is earning a notch in the Christmas queue on Disney+.
Ultimately, the choice on Disney's side to tag the superhero flick as a holiday movie is simply a desire to add variety to their offerings, while reminding potential viewers as much as possible that they have the entire slate of MCU films.
In fact, it would not be too much of a stretch to see some future Disney+ offerings from the world of the MCU go beyond regular action-adventure fare. With so many spin-offs from the movies finding a place on the streaming platform, from a look at Vision and Wanda's blissful married life to a family drama about Hawkeye and his daughter, it is clear that Disney wants to diversify their Marvel offerings. We may very well soon see an MCU special on Disney+ where Thor helps Santa deliver gifts on Asgard or Black Widow leads a protest march on Women's day. And we'd watch the heck out of it.
This was pointed out first over at ComicBook.com