Jon Favreau Returns as Happy Hogan to Iron Man 3; Ashley Hamilton to Play a Villain
05.25.12 by Ryan
Perhaps this isn't very surprising, but since actor-director Jon Favreau decided not to return to the director's chair for Iron Man 3 there was some question whether he would reprise his role as Happy Hogan, Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) chauffeur-bodyguard. However, with Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) taking over as director, THR reports Favreau has closed his deal to return as Hogan. Production began on Wednesday in Wilmington, N.C.
Favreau is also returning to produce the movie, something that he made clear more than a week ago, hence the lack of surprise. In a recent interview with THR, Favreau said that he would be "very involved" with Iron Man 3, and was proud to see the franchise "moving forward in a way that re-enforces" the prior Iron Man movies.
I was just talking to Shane Black and Downey and look, I think it’s a really smart way to go. After Avengers, you want to start with something really bold and inspired, and if you’ve ever seen Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, you’ve seen that when Downey and Shane get together, interesting and unexpected things happen. I’m happy to see that it’s taking a bit of a tonal shift from The Avengers and it’s going to be something completely different and exciting, and I’m happy to be a part of it.
Favreau isn't the only person announced to be joining the cast. Variety reports that Extra correspondent Ashley Hamilton will join the cast in the small but villainous role of government cyborg Firepower. In the comic books, Firepower is the pilot of an experimental armored suit that looks much like the robotic drones in Iron Man 2. At one point, Firepower is asked by The Mandarin to join other Iron Man enemies in an effort to destroy Iron Man, which might be how Firepower is used in the sequel.
Its only a guess, but with the recent casting of James Badge Dale as Eric Savin, aka the cyborg Coldblood, who is suspected to be a villain, and with Ben Kingsley rumored to be playing the Mandarin (or, perhaps, the head of a conglomerate known as Mandarin) a host of cyborg enemies could be part of a movement to take down Iron Man. We'll have to wait and see.
We do know that Iron Man 3 is loosely based on comic book writer Warren Ellis' Extremis storyline and follows the spread of a virus through nanotechnology. Black co-wrote the script with Drew Pearce. Besides Downey, Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle will return as Pepper Potts and Lt. James "Rhodey" Rhodes, aka War Machine, respectively. Newcomers Rebecca Hall and Guy Pearce will co-star as a "sexy scientist every bit as smart" as Tony Stark and geneticist Aldrich Killian, respectively.