Coming off playing the antagonist in Hugo (at least in the first half), Ben Kingsley will be getting villainous again in a major blockbuster. Variety reports that he has joined Shane Black‘s Iron Man 3, which is set to kick off filming next month. He’ll be joining Robert Downey Jr., but not as the evil Chinese scientist Mandarin, a character Jon Favreau wanted to capture if he were to have directed this third film. But as he moved on, previous rumors suggested the film will be based on Warren Ellis‘ Iron Man: Extremis storyline.
This is now confirmed, in the story which Stark battles a terrorist by “[writing] himself into the Iron Man suit at a cellular level, making him Iron Man inside and out”; such a decision grants him the ability to “store the inner layers of the Iron Man armor in the hollows of his bones as well as control it through direct brain impulses.”
Kingsley will be playing a character that spreads a virus via nanobots. I have faith in Black for turning this fairly lame villain “skill” into something interesting. Let’s hope the rest of the film follows suit. As for Kingsley, his big-budget efforts like Prince of Persia have left a lot to be desired, but under great direction this could be a worthwhile opportunity for him.
Iron Man 3 arrives on May 3rd, 2013.
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