Iron Man 3 is scheduled to start shooting in North Carolina next month and release May 3rd, 2013, so casting is being wrapped up now. Robert Downey, Jr., Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, and Gwyneth Paltrow are all returning, and Ben Kingsley will
Now Variety reports Guy Pearce is in negotiations to play Aldrich Killian, Deadline reports Jessica Chastain is in negotiations to play “a sexy scientist every bit as smart as Tony Stark” (we’re guessing Maya Hansen), and Twitch reports Andy Lau is in negotiations to play a scientist who provides tech to help Iron Man fight the movie’s villains. The film’s Chinese backers (Walt Disney China and DMG Entertainment) wanted a well-known Chinese star in a non-villain role, and Andy Lau is an obvious choice considering his resume.
As previously reported, the plot of Iron Man 3 is loosely based on the nanotechnological virus from the “Extremis” storyline by Warren Ellis. Here’s a summary of the character Pearce is negotiating to play and the one Chastain is likely to be wanted for:
Through trial and error, the brilliant Maya Hansen constructed Extremis, a bio-electronics package fitted into a few billion graphic nanotubes and suspended in a carrier fluid. The package, when injected into the human genome, was meant to hack the body’s repair center and rewrite the normal human blueprint with a better one. [...] Maya learned that the military was pulling her funding before she could try Extremis on a live subject. She and her partner at Futurepharm, Aldrich Killian, decided that they should put Extremis into the hands of criminals, then involve Tony Stark’s creation, Iron Man, against the Extremis-enhanced criminal. She figured that if they could thus prove the value of Extremis, it would help her save countless human lives after her funding was restored. She and Aldrich stole Extremis and put it into the hands of terrorists. [marvunapp via /film]
Ah yes, the old “our funding got cut, let’s call some terrorists” gambit. What scientist doesn’t keep that one in their back pocket, besides all of them?