He opposed Robert Redford's gang in "Sneakers." He gave Ray Winstone fits in "Sexy Beast." Now, one of cinema's great purveyors of evil menace is about to take on Iron Man.
Ben Kingsley is in talks to play an unnamed villain in "Iron Man 3." In its announcement, Marvel confirms rumors that the story would be based on the Warren Ellis "Extremis" storyline, which involved nanobots taking over Tony Stark's DNA, and that Kingsley "would play a role that revolves around the spread of a virus through nanobots." This suggests he'll play the character named "Mallen" who is responsible for spreading the nanobot virus in the storyline, but since elements of the six-part series were already adapted for the first "Iron Man" film, we could be looking at a whole new incarnation of the story.
While Marvel is tight-lipped about this film, they do state that Kingsley is not playing the Mandarin. While Jon Favreau had been excited about the chance to use the Mandarin when he was working on parts one and two, director Shane Black has gone on record calling the character, a Chinese industrialist with magical powers, a "racist caricature." Black begins production on the film this May in North Carolina, with returning cast members Robert Downey Jr., Gwenyth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson.
"Iron Man 3" is slated for release May 3rd, 2013. [Variety]