Guy Pearce is in final talks to join Marvel Studios and Disney’s “Iron Man 3” as the geneticist Aldrich Killian.
Shane Black is helming the film, that brings back Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Iron Man, along with Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson also set to return to the franchise. Ben Kingsley is set to play the villain.
Plot will borrow elements from Warren Ellis’ six-issue “Iron Man: Extremis” comicbooks, that also heavily influenced the first “Iron Man” pic, and focuses heavily on the spread of a virus through nanotechnology.
In the books, Killian co-created the Extremis technology that Iron Man adopts after Killian sells it to terrorists.
Production on the film begins in May, with lensing to take place around North Carolina.
Disney has skedded “Iron Man 3” for May 3, 2013.
The first “Iron Man” earned $585 million worldwide, while the sequel generated $624 million around the globe.
Pearce most recently headlined the actioner “Lockout,” distribbed by Open Road, and will next be seen in Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus,” out June 8. He also co-stars alongside Shia LaBeouf in the Weinstein Co’s “Lawless,” that will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
Pearce is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group.