Casting for villain in ‘Iron Man 3’ has begun

We’re at a point with ‘The Avengers’ with the bombardment of promotional material that it’s time to see the damn movie, we’re sold.

Our mindset has moved to the production of ‘Iron Man 3’ the first Marvel studio’s film post ‘Avengers’ that’s set to begins shooting next month.

Very little is known about the plot but director/writer Shane Black has picked a villain and the casting process has begun.

Because of potential spoilers, hit the jump to check out who is circling the bad guy role.

Variety is reporting that Sir Ben Kingsley is in final negotiations to play the baddie.

Based on Kinsgley’s look it’s easy to assume that he’ll be playing a major Iron Man comic book villain The Mandarin.

For non-comic book fans, The Mandarin a classic villain from the Iron Man comics who used ten alien-forged rings of power as weapons against his foes. He’s also an expert in martial arts and is one of the world’s greatest scientific minds.

If you’ve been paying close attention in the first two ‘Iron Man’ films you would have noticed that director John Favreau hinted at the Mandarin via an organisation known as ‘The Ten Rings’ that’s represented in ‘Iron Man’ as the terrorist organistation that kidnaps Tony Stark (images below).

In ‘Iron Man 2’ the Asian man who gives Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) his documents to travel to Monte Carlo is an operative of The Ten Rings that is confirmed in the special features of the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the film (image below).

Personally, I hope Kingsley is not playing the Mandarin and I’d really like to see Shaun Toub (pictured below) from ‘Iron Man’ return to the franchise and reveal himself as the Mandarin. It would be a great way to bring the story full circle and link the Mandarin to Tony Stark as his savior turned nemesis.

Insiders have told Variety that Kingsley will not be playing The Mandarin but they could just be throwing people off the scent.

We’ll wait for the casting to be confirmed before we speculate more but hopefully we’ll learn more plot details soon, just remember what happened when Kingsley last played a similar character to The Mandarin in ‘Thunderbirds’.

Production on the film is set to get underway in May in North Carolina, with Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Scarlett Johansson all reprising their roles from the previous films.

‘Iron Man 3’ is released 3 May 2013