Only one of these guys has a chance of appearing in Iron Man 3.
Ben Kingsley is in talks to play a villain in Iron Man 3 which is set to open May 3rd, 2013. THR reports he won’t be the “primary villain”, and Variety reports he won’t be playing the Mandarin, which shouldn’t be surprising since Shane Black (the director who replaced Jon Favreau) has called the Mandarin a “racist caricature“.
Instead, Kingsley’s character is involved in the spread of a virus through nanobots, given that “Iron Man 3” is loosely based on Warren Ellis’ six-issue “Extremis” comicbook series first published in 2005. That arc — which also heavily influenced the first “Iron Man” pic — introduced a new origin story and focused heavily on nanotechnology. [Variety]
Meanwhile, THR speculates Kingsley might play a reworked version of the Mandarin whose “classic traits might be merged with a nanotechnological virus” from the Extremis storyline. All we know for sure is that Robert Downey Jr. once played Charlie Chaplin, and Sir Ben Kingsley has played Gandhi, which can only mean one thing: