With The Avengers hitting theaters next month, Marvel has turned its attention to Iron Man 3. The latest sequel in the superhero franchise will mark the return of Robert Downey Jr. as the title character, while welcoming newcomer Guy Pearce.
Variety is reporting that Pearce has signed on for an integral role in the film. He's set to play a geneticist called Aldrich Killian.
Iron Man 3 will be loosely based on Warren Ellis' Iron Man: Extremis story arc, which appeared in the comic books.
The Killian character "co-created the Extremis technology that Iron Man adopts after Killian sells it to terrorists."
The film will supposedly focus on "the spread of a virus through nanotechnology."
Pearce is the film's second major casting behind Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley. Kinglsey is playing Iron Man's mysterious nemesis, whose identity is being kept under wraps. Aside from Downey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson with also reprise their roles as Virginia "Pepper" Potts, James Rhodes (War Machine) and Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow).
Pearce is taking the sci-fi fantasy genre by storm. After his award-winning turn in HBO's Mildred Pierce, he headlined this month's action flick Lockout and in June, he'll appear in Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, Prometheus.
Production on Iron Man 3 begins this May in North Carolina.
Iron Man 3 will be directed by Shane Black and opens in theaters May 3, 2013.
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