Fanboy Fix: 'Iron Man 3' Ramps Up Casting, So Who is Joining the Cast?
Forgive Robert Downey Jr. if he’s a little bit confused. Though the actor’s deep into the promotional push for Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, his thoughts likely are turning to the inevitable Iron Man 3, which begins filming in Wilmington, N.C. shortly.
Downey’s creative collaborators certainly are focused on the third Iron Man, which continues to add high-profile cast members to its supporting roles. Needless to say, the charismatic leading man will reprise his role of billionaire playboy Tony Stark and his metallic alter ego, Iron Man. He’ll be joined by Gwyneth Paltrow as feisty love interest Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle as right-hand man James “Rhodey” Rhodes (aka War Machine).
As previously reported, Sir Ben Kingsely was circling a villainous role in the third Iron Man, which Shane Black will direct. And earlier this week, news broke that Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Lockout) would be joining the cast as Aldrich Killian, a scientist responsible for the creation of the Extremis drug (confirming that the Extremis storyline from the Iron Man books would be the inspiration for the third movie).
But why stop there? Two additional names have been added to the casting couch recently as Iron Man 3 continues to bulk up in preparation for casting.
Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help, Take Shelter) reportedly is being looked at for the role of a quick-witted scientist who helps Stark on his mission. Chastain actually would have made for a spunky Potts had Paltrow not committed to the part. This new role might give her a similar chance to flirt with RDJ’s whip-smart technological inventor.
Chastain isn’t the only recognizable name considering a part in Iron Man 3. International superstar Andy Lau also is in discussions to play a scientist friend of Stark’s, and might tie in the recent news that parts of Iron Man 3 would be filmed in China. Of course, once you hear that an Asian actor like Lau is on the production’s radar, fans automatically assume he’ll play Iron Man’s chief nemesis, The Mandarin. But The Playlist notes that sources confirm Black actually doesn’t like the character, so the villain once again might get the shaft and be left out in the cold.
The Iron Man cast is starting to get a little crowded. In addition to all of the names listed above, Scarlett Johansson is expected to bring Black Widow from The Avengers into the fold (remember, she got her start in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2). Is there room for all of these talents? And will they steal spotlight away from Robert Downey Jr. – still the main event in the Iron Man franchise?
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.