By now, you've probably watched the first Iron Man 3 trailer. It reveals that Iron Man is facing his absolute worst case scenario here — but that's not all.
When you go through the trailer frame by frame, it becomes obvious that Tony's actually facing two different nightmares. Spoilers ahead... In particular, there's the fact that Tony's home gets destroyed and all his suits of armor are trashed, and then there's the whole "losing control over his new armor prototype" thing that also seems to be going on. Check it out.
We start out with Tony apparently having crashed in the snow, with his suit looking totally trashed. You notice his chest light keeps flashing on and off. He's in kind of bad shape. Guessing this comes from later in the movie, when things are getting really bad for Tony.
And then we flash back to earlier in the film, when Tony is still on top of the world — but he's been haunted since "New York" (i.e., The Avengers) which was an amazing experience, and then it was gone. Tony addresses the news media, wearing what (at first glance) looks a bit like Number Six's trademark jacket from The Prisoner.
Tony experiments with the automatic system that causes pieces of his armor to fly onto his body, piece by piece.
As we saw at SDCC, it works fine for this one gauntlet, and then it starts malfunctioning a bit, hitting him below the belt and knocking him for a loop.
Tony looks at his bed mournfully. He can't sleep, or when he does he has nightmares.
Rhodey gives (we're guessing) Tony a sad, maybe reproachful look, in a room full of busy military personnel.
This is a memorial of some sort for the victims of some major disaster — note the weird ash silhouettes on the walls. And the signs commemorating someone named Mike, who's dead. We featured tons of set photos of this sequence, which takes place in a small town in Tennessee, a while back.
As Tony muses that a zillion people want to kill him, we see Guy Pearce, who's playing sleazy businessman
Tony strikes a hero pose in the middle of his big hall of armored suits. Note what looks like a giant bullethole in one of the glass cases.
Tony tells Pepper that he just wants to protect the one thing that matters to him. Is this foreshadowing? Probably, considering that Pepper seems to be in dire straits soon after.
And then, while Tony and Pepper are in bed together, one of the Iron Man suits comes and leans over Pepper creepily, startling her. Tony is apparently asleep for this, despite all that talk about how he can't sleep lately. Did he summon it in his sleep somehow? Or — more likely — has someone taken control of his suit? It's around this time that we see the horrible sequence of all the Iron Man suits blowing up, which is showcased at the very top of this article.
The Mandarin peels back his hood — revealing a Captain America shield with an Avengers "A" in the middle. What's that about?
This seems to be Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), who appears to be in rough shape, having just been thrown to the pavement. In the comics, she's the scientist who develops Extremis.
War Machine, with his armor painted to look all patriotic, lands with the traditional three-point landing in front of a bunch of military brass.
And then walks up the red carpet. Is he going to be called Iron Patriot in this film? We'll find out soon enough, I bet.
Someone walks barefoot through a bunch of burning rubble. I'm guessing this is in Tennessee.
And then whoever it is walks up to a guy who's laying on his back, looking injured. Not sure who this is, though. (Update: Everybody seems to think it's Happy Hogan, played by Jon Favreau. That was my first guess too, and then I second-guessed it because his face looks sort of weird here. Note the strange blue glow on his chest.)
Aldrich Killian flirt/threatens Pepper Potts.
Tony is having what appears to be pretty major surgery. They're giving him anesthetic and getting ready to carve up his torso someplace.
We're on board an airplane, where a young serviceman looks out the window at something... (Update: various people in comments suggest that this Air Force One, and that's a USAF General's cover.)
...and an Iron Man gauntlet smashes through the window next to him. I'm guessing this is another case of Tony losing control over his suits.
The serviceman is thrown backwards by an explosion, apparently from a repulsor blast.
And soon everybody is falling out of the plane.
Iron Man catches one woman in mid-air and carries her to safety.
And now Pepper Potts is in some kind of weird torture device, in what looks like a squalid basement, possibly being interrogated.
And someone — probably Pepper — is holding a shattered Iron Man mask, from that explosion we saw before.
The Mandarin's rings, as he lectures us about how there are no heroes and we're all sheep.
Once again, the Iron Man suit is acting outside Tony's control, and Tony doesn't seem too happy about it.
Tony is in a diner or hometown restaurant, wearing a flannel shirt and stuffed vest, as a woman in a waitress uniform grabs him by the scruff of the neck and yells at him. And then seems about to kiss him. Guessing this is after Tony crashes in the snowy outdoors someplace, and he needs to find appropriate warm clothing.
War Machine/Iron Patriot slams someone into his desk. Darn desk jockeys!
Iron Man in the middle of a huge dust/smoke cloud, probably from one of the film's huge disasters, reaching out a hand to someone.
The Mandarin cocks his gun, ready to strike a blow against hero-worship and stuff.
Note that the helicopters that are about to destroy Tony's beautiful seaside home are fake news choppers. Why report the news when you can make the news?
Tony looks out his window and notices a dozen airborne rocket launchers on their way.
The Mandarin is still kind of pissed about all the time he had to spend getting Captain America's shield tattooed on his neck, and then he didn't even get to fight Captain America.
Tony and Pepper are blown backwards by the force of the explosions. Note the creepy and (at first glance) slightly inappropriate looking bunny.
The whole house is knocked off the cliff...
Tony gets into his armor and tries to hold on...
...only to be driven off the edge...
...and fall to the sea bed, where his entire house falls on top of him.
And then the last shot is Tony back in the snow again, having removed the armor — which he's now dragging along like a sled.