After this year's smash-hit film The Avengers, it's no surprise that the third instalment of the Iron Man franchise has rallied such huge anticipation and interest. The trailer is still very much a teaser, and gives little away about a plot line beyond what we all expect from a superhero move: resident hero (Tony Stark AKA Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr) comes under attack by an inevitable foe. Nevertheless, enough is revealed to excite the senses and to incite powerful suspense.

The trailer sees a montage of scenes from the film; a weakened, perhaps even defeated Iron Man, de-masked to reveal Tony Stark's face bloodied; the interminable enemy, Mandarin (Ben Kingsley); damsel, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), in distress; Stark's house being blown up; Stark's Iron Man suits seemingly self-combusting, and most intriguingly, the appearance of a second masked figure that looks suspiciously similar to Iron Man himself. Any idea what's going on? No? Nor us!

Ben Kingsley will make a brilliant villain, as Mandarin's dark, gravelly voice tells us: "Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher. Lesson No. 1: Heroes. There is no such thing." The LA Times gave a brief background on the character: "In the comics, the Mandarin was an exiled orphan who discovers a crashed spaceship. He mastered the alien science he found there and kept 10 powerful rings used to drive the ship. He used the rings' power in his schemes for world domination...  the big-screen Mandarin's back story won't follow the comics, focusing in technology instead of magic." Iron Man 3 includes a fantastic supporting cast including Javier Bardem, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau and Don Cheadle, and is directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang).

The most unsettling point of the trailer, and the point we're all gagging to work out is an Iron Man suit snatching Pepper Potts from bed while she's sleeping next to Stark. Is it a dream or reality? Have the suits gone rogue? Or has someone else got access to that kind of technology? We've got a million more questions than answers but we'll have to wait until April (UK, May US) next year to have our curiosity satiated.