As Marvel gets set to premiere its biggest film yet this week in Hollywood (yes we're talking about The Avengers), Variety reports they're close to snagging Ben Kingsley for the role of villain in Iron Man 3. Word has it the film, which starts shooting next month, will be based in part on Warren Ellis' six-issue Extremis plotline, which revolved around nanotechnology and the spreading of a virus through nanobots.
The "virus" is sort of like a super-soldier solution in that it could allow someone to possess "high-level super strength, super-speed, a high level of invulnerability, and the abilities to breathe fire and project electric arcs from his hands," according to Wikipedia. We imagine Kingsley will play a large role in perfecting this "virus" before using it against Tony Stark.
Some have suggested that the third Iron Man would feature Tony Stark's archnemesis Mandarin, though Kingsley is said to not be playing him. That doesn't mean Mandarin won't be involved, as in a later Iron Man story Mandarin attempts to release this same virus on a large scale as part of his plan to "reshape" the human race. So perhaps Kingsley is only the first piece of this Iron Man 3 puzzle with the long-awaited Mandarin (or a similar character who's not Mandarin since writer-director Shane Black has called him a "racist caricature" in the past) casting due next? What do you think?
Apart from those details, we know that Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Don Cheadle (Lt. Col. James 'Rhodey" Rhodes) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) will all be back, with the film due in theaters on May 3rd, 2013.