Twitchfilm is reporting that Chinese star Andy Lau is in final negotiations with Marvel and Disney to join Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 3 as a Chinese scientist who comes to the aid of Tony Stark, an old acquaintence. Lau’s character provides Stark some tech that – in theory – would be used to battle the Ben Kingsley villain and geneticist Aldrich Killian’s Extremis biotech.
Disney and Marvel may be motivated to cast Lau given his popularity in China would go hand-in-hand with the fact that Iron Man 3 is co-financed by the Chinese arm of Disney and DMB Entertainment, and will also be shooting some on-location scenes in multiple locations across China. The more appeal Lau’s presence would generate in China and their massive audience base, the better for everyone involved.
Iron Man 3 is written and directed by Shane Black and stars Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Ben Kingsley. Formal announcements for Kingsley, Pearce and Chastain joining the case have not been made, but should be made official shortly considering principal photography gets underway in North Carolina in just a few weeks.
Marvel and Disney will release Iron Man 3, the first post-Avengers film, in theaters on May 3, 2013. Look for news on the sequel to pick up in the weeks ahead.