'Iron Man 3' villain: Is it the Mandarin?

'Iron Man 3' villain rumors swirl, with some saying actor Ben Kingsley is portraying the Mandarin.

Zade Rosenthal/Paramount Pictures/AP
'Iron Man 3' may take place in Miami, Fla., according to some sources.

Marvel’s Iron Man 3 is the first entry in phase 2 of The Avengers movie universe, and after the success of The Avengers, it’s safe to say that Marvel movie mania is at an all-time high. Iron Man 3 casting announcements and plot rumors have been circulating like wildfire on the Blackwater, but as production on the film kicks off in Wilmington, North Carolina, details from the set are being leaked to the Internet.

Read on for some unconfirmed rumors from various “sources” who claim to have knowledge of the Iron Man 3 storyline.

Latino Review is dropping a big exclusive, in which they claim to have some better sources than the “crew members on the set” that other sites are sourcing. Here’s the deal with the Iron Man 3 villain situation, according to LR:

  • Ben Kingsley IS playing The Mandarin. However, Kingsley’s Mandarin is a background mastermind, while Guy Pearce’s scientist character, Aldrich Killian, is the more direct threat.
  • Pearce’s character will invent the Extremis nanotechnology, and use it to transform multiple people into (literal) killing machines.
  • Minor villains Firepower (played by Ashley Hamilton) and Coldblood-7 (played by James Badge Dale) will not be the same as their obscure comic book counterparts, but will rather be generic cyborg types created by Killian’s Extremis technology.
  • Actor William Sadler (Die Hard 2) is in the cast of Iron Man 3 for some yet-to-be-revealed role.

Meanwhile, reports from the actual set conflict with some of LR‘s assessments. As reported by Comicbook.com and CBM:

The film’s security had things pretty well barricaded up so it was impossible to get any photos of the filming inside. Those that did get a glimpse inside reported seeing extras dressed in military uniforms and suits. The extras in suits were described as looking like Secret Service men.

While talking to some Wilmington locals, we had one source involved with the production tell us that Mandarin was definitely the villain. He said Mandarin had a set of twins that did most of his dirty work for him. Another source who had visited EUE/Screen Gems Studios told us that the sets they were building included Chinese storefronts.

Probably, the biggest piece of information we learned, which we reported earlier is that part of the story for Iron Man 3 will be set in Miami, Florida. A source close to the production revealed that he had seen vehicles emblazoned with logos for the city of Miami and Miami Police Department being unloaded on one of the sets.

Specifically, it’s the part about the Mandarin’s “evil twin” henchmen that Latino Review is refuting; they figure somebody unfamiliar with the production is confusing some of the details. We’ll see how it shakes out, and who is correct, soon enough.

All in all, most of the information provided fits in accordance with our assessment that Iron Man 3 will borrow elements the “Extremis” storyline(s). For those unfamiliar: basically, rogue scientists (later backed by the Mandarin) create and unleash a nanotechnological virus that transforms people into organic cyborgs (or something like that). These opponents are faster and stronger than Tony Stark’s Iron Man tech, forcing Tony himself to become a cyborg-type person (even more so than he arguably is) in order to save the day.

In larger scope, the technological arms race kicked off by Extremis, and Tony’s life-altering decisions to use it, had far-reaching effects on the Marvel universe, both terrestrially and cosmically (see: Secret Invasion). It also transformed Iron Man into something more than a guy in a suit of armor (as Captain America famously stated in The Avengers). If Marvel is taking their movie universe down a similar path (as has been speculated), this would be a logical starting point.

We’ll find out more, we’re sure, as Iron Man 3 continues production to make it’s May 3, 2013 release date.

Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.

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