Phase One of Marvel’s shared universe concluded with The Avengers, and it left people wondering if Phase Two would ramp up the cameos and inclusion of more superheroes in the upcoming films. The first movie to usher in Phase Two is Iron Man 3, and Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios shared a few words about the film:

“By the end of Avengers, when a portal is opened up in Manhattan and he’s met Thor and The Hulk and the Chitauri are coming down on him, he realizes that he doesn’t know everything; we think that has had an effect on his psyche, and then his world is blown out from underneath him.

Iron Man 3 doesn’t feature any of the other Avengers, or Nick Fury showing up, or any of those world-blending conceits that the Phase One films had

[…] showing once again that these characters are just as interesting alone as they are together.”

–Kevin Feige

I’m glad they’re scaling things back with the shared universe for each heroes’ respective films. Iron Man 2 went overboard and felt more like a commercial for The Avengers, a “tune in for next time!” episode. And it suffered for it.

Putting the focus solely on Tony Stark is the right direction. Any references to the shared universe should be background noise, a glimpse that there’s more going on, but not letting it come to the forefront.

Iron Man 3 rocks theaters May 3, 2013.