By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 16, 2012 at 2:19PM
The success of "The Avengers" doesn't seem to have made Marvel complacent when it comes to landing top-flight talent for their upcoming projects, even if it's presumably at their usual cut-price rate. The company, flush from their first billion-dollar hit, are gearing up to shoot "Iron Man 3," directed by "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" helmer Shane Black, in the next few weeks, and have assembled an impressive haul of talent to join the returning trio of Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle.
First there was Ben Kingsley as an unnamed villain. Then it was Guy Pearce as scientist Dr. Aldrich Killiam, followed swiftly by Rebecca Hall as another scientist, Maya Hansen (the British actress stepping in after Jessica Chastain dropped out of the project due to scheduling conflicts). And now, another actor who's won justified acclaim in recent years looks to be coming on board, with Variety reporting that James Badge Dale is in talks to join the project as villain Eric Savin.
Dale first came to notice by blowing Leonardo DiCaprio's head off in Martin Scorsese's "The Departed," and followed that up with two high-profile TV projects, playing leads in HBO's "The Pacific" and AMC's "Rubicon." But he's really impressed in the movies recently, playing Michael Fassbender's boss in "Shame" and one of Liam Neeson's fellow wolf-bait survivors in "The Grey." The actor's got Robert Zemeckis' "Flight" on the way later this year, and "Iron Man 3" will complete a blockbuster triple for him next summer: the actor's also playing the title character's brother in "The Lone Ranger" and will also feature in Brad Pitt vehicle "World War Z." How long before he's leading one of these things?
In the comics, Eric Savin was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army who's blown up by a land mine and resurrected as the cyborg mercenary Coldblood. But given that the script by Drew Pearce seems to be drawing heavily on Warren Ellis' "Extremis" storyline, we'd wager that Savin ends up being subjected to the nanotechnology that figures heavily into the plot. Either way, it looks like he'll be the primary physical adversary to Tony Stark in Black's film (unless Ben Kingsley ends up donning a robo-suit). It's another fine addition to a very promising cast. "Iron Man 3" starts shooting very soon and hits theaters on May 3rd, 2013.