Ben Kingsley to Play the Villain in Iron Man 3
04.10.12 by Ryan
We're still not sure who Tony Stark, aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), will be fighting in the upcoming sequel, Iron Man 3, but we know Ben Kingsley will be playing him. Or, at least one of them. We'll explain.
Variety reports that Kingsley is in final talks to join the sequel as the villain, which reportedly will not be the Mandarin, Iron Man's longtime comic book nemesis, who many fans hoped would finally make an appearance in the third installment. Back in 2010, Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau revealed that he wanted the Mandarin for Iron Man 3, despite the complications of the character's 10 magical rings and how those could be explained in the tech-heavy world of Tony Stark. Unfortunately for fans of Mandarin, Favreau will only executive produce the movie, while Drew Pearce is responsible for the script along with director Shane Black.
Instead, Kingsley will reportedly play a character involved in spreading a virus through nanobots, as, according to the piece, Iron Man 3 is loosely based on comic book writer Warren Ellis' 2005 story arc "Extremis," whose origin story for Stark already served as the inspiration for the one used in the original Iron Man. In the storyline, Extremis is the name of a military nanotechnology serum that attempts to replicate the Super Soldier serum that was injected into Captain America. Stark eventually ends up taking the serum himself, becoming more mechanized as a result.
According to THR, however, Kingsley will not be the movie's primary villain, but could play the Mandarin after all. The report claims that the script is still being written — which is weird since Downey Jr. said last December that the Iron Man 3 script was the "best I've read in five years," (maybe it was a first draft and could include the Mandarin along with the "Extremis" storyline). How the character will be integrated is unknown, though the reports says that The Mandarin's "classic traits might be merged" with the Extremis serum, so perhaps that's how the movie version will distance the character from his 10 power rings.
At this point, Kingsley's character is still a matter of speculation, so we'll have to wait and see who exactly the Academy Award–winning actor. Downey Jr. will return to the role of Tony Stark, while both Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle are also expected to return as Pepper Potts and Lt. James "Rhodey" Rhodes, a.k.a War Machine, respectively. Cheadle said in January that Iron Man 3 will be even more "action-packed" than previous movies.