Variety is reporting that Ben Kingsley, who was in my best film of last year, Hugo, and an Academy Award winner for Gandhi, is in negotiations to play a villain in Iron Man 3.
Marvel isn’t talking, and insiders have said the character isn’t Mandarin, a rich Chinese scientist and martial arts expert who’s indirectly responsible for creating Iron Man. Instead, Kingsley’s character is involved in the spread of a virus via nanobots.
The story is based loosely on Warren Ellis’ six-issue comic book [amazon_link id=”0785142592″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Extremis[/amazon_link], first published in 2005. That series — which also influenced the first Iron Man movie — introduced a new arc focused heavily on nanotechnology.
Look for the upcoming Avengers movie, in theaters May 4, 2012, to set up the story for Iron Man 3. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, and Don Cheadle are all expected to return. Jon Favreau, who said he wouldn’t direct any more sequels after Iron Man 2, is still on as producer. Stepping into the director shoes is Shane Black, who wrote The Last Boy Scout, Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, which starred Downey Jr.
It will be interesting to see how it all works out, and whether the film stays true to the series. A new writer is attached to Iron Man 3, as well — Drew Pierce, a former comic book enthusiast. His TV show, No Heroics, followed what superheroes did in their down time. It was well received, but lasted only one season. ABC tried to secure the rights with Freddie Prinze Jr. to star.
Listen, I may not be a super comic geek, but I love all superhero movies, ranging from The Dark Knight, Spider-Man, and X-Men. Iron Man was just a good as The Dark Knight, and I hope the Avengers movie will surpass my expectations. No one puts Iron Man in a corner!