Iron Man 3 will release on May 3, 2013, and director Jon Favreau considers the film as a continuation of Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers. In a way, it does make sense. Marvel wants their films in the same universe, and keeping those elements would establish that.
“In theory, Iron Man 3 is going to be a sequel or continuation of Thor, Hulk, Captain America, and Avengers.”
Some consider these series of films as a “chapter one” for Marvel films. Starting and ending this chapter with Iron Man would be fitting. And make no mistake: Marvel intends to translate more comic book characters onto film; “chapter two” will further expand the movie universe.