With Iron Man 3 very close to filming, it was recently revealed the upcoming sequel’s increased budget will certainly allow the third film to bring a special effects extravaganza like never before. With one confirmed villain set, while another may actually become a villain during the progress of the story, it seems like there’s plenty of antagonism to go around for one outing. But, it turns out that there may be more in store as a new casting report has come out, revealing another bad guy may be looking to put Tony Stark in his place.
Variety reports that actor Ashley Hamilton is currently in talks to play the villain Firepower in Iron Man 3. “The character is the pilot of an experimental armored suit built by the government, under the secret Project: Firepower project,” the report describes. “He eventually uses the suit to battle Iron Man.”
If this is true, this would be the third villain that the sequel has employed. Ben Kingsley was the first primary villain hired, claiming he plans to spread a nanotech virus throughout the world, while actor James Badge Dale will be playing Eric Savin who’s best known by his 90s superhero alter ego Coldblood. With the reveal of Firepower, it could be that the new villain and Coldblood are both agents for Kingsley’s organization, which some rumors point to be called “The Mandarin” as a variation of the famous nemesis from the comics.
Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwenyth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, and Paul Bettany are all confirmed to star with rumors placing actress Rebecca Hall in talks for a major female character, and Andy Lau as another role as well. Pearce’s role of Aldrich Killian has been confirmed, while Hall’s scientist role has only been incredibly vague with speculation placing her as Maya Hansen.
Based off the Extremis arc of the comics, the source material begins when Hansen contacts ex-boyfriend and intelligent mind Tony Stark after Killian commits suicide. Killian’s suicide over the guilt of handing nanotechnology over to a terrorist group causes Maya to resort to Tony in order to retain information on the all-new technology that will fuel a good portion of the film, especially Kingsley’s nanotech virus as a major point as well. Tony’s discovery of the nanotechnology will most likely lead him to the development that he occurs in the comics, which allows the Iron Man suit to be stored within his bones, and essentially making him part cyborg.
Another recent report expands upon Lau’s rumored role in the film saying “Andy will be Iron Man’s old friend in China, a rather well known scientist, and he will be responsible to strengthen and modify the weapons of Iron Man’s armour to battle the villain The Mandarin which will goes to Ben Kingsley. Chinese actresses Fan Bingbing and Yang Mi will be added to the cast as Andy’s wife and assistant respectively. The film will be shooting [on location] in Beijing and Shanghai, it will narrates that the daughter of Robert Downey Jr.’s friend was kidnapped and brought to China, in order to save his friend’s daughter, he flew over from America to China to seek help from Andy to strengthen his abilities to fight The Mandarin. You will see Iron Man fly over The Great Wall of China, National Palace Museum and other landmarks in Shanghai.”
Director Shane Black has said the film will focus more on Tony, with a portion of the film figuratively putting the character back within the cave where he became Iron Man in the first film. Production is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.
Iron Man 3 is currently set for release on May 3rd, 2013.