UPDATE: Ben Kingsley In Talks For IRON MAN 3 Villain Role; Movie Will Be Based On "Extremis"
Marvel Studios are in "final talks" with Ben Kingsley to star in Iron Man 3 in a currently undisclosed role. Sources indicate that he will NOT be playing The Mandarin and the the film will be based on "Extremis".
Showblitz reveal that Ben Kingsley is set to play the villain in Iron Man 3. Director Shane Black has previously revealed that he has no interest in bringing the Mandarin to the big screen (describing him as, "a racist caricature"). While Marvel has refused to comment on the deal, insiders have confirmed his involvement and denied that he will play the iconic villain. In Iron Man 3, which the site reveal will be loosely based on Warren Ellis' "Extremis", Kingsley is set to play a villainous role which revolves around the spread of a virus through nanobots. The arc didn't actually feature a villain who matches Kingsley, so whether his character will be a new creation or based on another character from the Marvel Universe remains to be seen. Depending on just how much they end up taking from the popular storyline, the actor could be either a very different version of "Mallen" (the main villain of the arc) or a modified version of "Dr. Aldrich Killian" (who commits suicide after releasing the virus and has only a very minor role in the first issue).
UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Kingsley, however, will not be the primary villain...Insiders say there is a chance Kingsley will play the Mandarin but at the same time say since the script is still being written, the character may be reconfigured for silver screen presentation." So, it sounds as if Kingsley might just play the Mandarin (or at least a version of him) after all! Stay tuned for details.
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