Guy Pearce is in final negotiations play geneticist Aldrich Killian in Marvel's "Iron Man 3," the Shane Black-directed sequel loosely based on the 2005-2006 "Extremis" story arc, Variety reports.
Pearce, who currently appears in the sci-fi action film "Lockout," will join returning franchise stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson. Oscar winner Ben Kingsley is in talks to play a villain who may or may not be Iron Man archenemy the Mandarin.
In the six-issue "Iron Man: Extremis" comic-book storyline by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov, a criminal is injected with a nanotechnological drug created by the U.S. military in an attempt to replicate the Super-Soldier Serum, triggering a mutation that grants him superhuman abilities. Killian is the co-creator of Extremis who sells the drug to a group of terrorists.
Co-written by Black and Drew Pearce ("No Heroics"), "Iron Man 3" is set to begin filming next month in North Carolina before moving to China in late summer. It opens May 3, 2013.
"Iron Man" grossed $585 million worldwide, surpassed in 2010 by the sequel's $624 million.
Pearce, best known for his roles in films like "L.A. Confidential," "Memento," "Animal Kingdom" and "The King's Speech," will next been seen in Ridley Scott's sci-fi epic "Prometheus."