The Iron Man 3 casting wheel is now fully a’turnin’ with The Avengers just over the horizon (Xander will have a review up this Friday for the early UK release). She had previously bowed out of negotiations for a role as a yet-unnamed “sexy scientist every bit as smart as Tony Stark” after some scheduling concerns with her commitments to Katheryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden movie, leaving actresses like Diane Kruger, Isla Fisher, and Gemma Arterton up for the role. Now that she’s resolved those problems, she’s the top contender for the role, which makes sense as she’s probably the best actual actress out of the group I listed.
Now, her role is, as I mentioned, unnamed, but we can glean a bit from what we already know. We know that Guy Pearce is joining the film as Dr. Aldritch Killian, a minor but pivotal character in the Extremis storyline by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov, where Tony Stark uses an experimental cocktail of super soldier serum and nanotech to more fully integrate himself into the Iron Man suit. We can assume, then, that the film will either follow the Extremis story or take some storytelling cues from it. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see Chastain playing Dr. Maya Hansen, a co-creator of Extremis and love interest to Tony Stark.
I’ve got one other idea after the jump, so ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out there.[Via Deadline]
I see a second possibility for Jessica Chastain’s casting. Rumors remain persistent that The Mandarin will be showing up in Iron Man 3, even to the point where we have to be specifically told Ben Kingsley won’t be playing him. Let’s assume, for a moment, that this is a smokescreen of sorts, and the Mandarin will be showing up, either played by Kingsley or someone else. The was a recent post-Extremis story in Invincible Iron Man where The Mandarin acquires Extremis with the purpose of spreading it across the globe, killing 97.5% of the population and changing the other 2.5% into superhumans. He did this with the help of Justine Hammer, granddaughter to Justin Hammer. This character could easily be re-jiggered to become a sister of Sam Rockwell’s film version of Justin Hammer, allowing Chastain to play her and open the door for Justin Hammer to return, as he was pretty much the only part of Iron Man 2 really worth watching.
It’s a little less likely than Maya Hansen, I think, but it’d definitely open up the possibility of The Mandarin while still working within the established world of the film universe. What do you guys think?