Re: IM3 a "continuation" of the previous movies good idea or horrible?
We haven't even seen if Marvel's shared universe approach is going to pay off, and yet Marvel seems to be banking VERY heavily on it. If it turns out that audiences only wanted more Iron Man movies, then Marvel is going to have one big ass problem on their hands. Marvel just assumes that people will be OK with keeping up with multiple film series in order to fully understand what's going on in the film series they're actually interested in, and I think it could end up backfiring. A lot of these cross-franchise references don't make sense out of context, and that not only weakens the effectiveness of the film, but it also can scare away directors like it apparently did with John Favraeu.
Favraeu wanted to make Iron Man 3, but Marvel wanted to make Avengers 1.5. Favraeu was perfectly willing to co-operate with Marvel's vision of a unified Marvel movie-verse, but I don't know why they didn't reconize that things would get harry when they started mandating things that he had to include. Why did Black Widow have to be in Iron Man 2, or even Nick Fury for that matter? Did they actually belong in the movie and fulfill some function that nothing else could, or was it as many presume and Marvel just wanted to get their foot in the door for future movies with these characters?