While Marvel's "Iron Man" franchise lost potential female lead star Jessica Chastain recently — she had to pass, she's busy this summer — Robert Downey Jr. and new director Shane Black ("Kiss Kiss Bang Bang") clearly have their eye on some top notch talent. With Scarlett Johansson saying she's going to sit out "Iron Man 3," Tony Stark apparently needs yet another strong female in the cast that's not Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts. It appears Marvel has found their woman: "The Town" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" star Rebecca Hall is in talks to join the cast (presumably she'll add some sexual tension for the female-appreciating Stark).
Production on "Iron Man 3" begins later this month and by the sounds of the description, Hall will play Maya Hansen, a scientist who works with Guy Pearce's Tristian Aldrich character to create Extremis, the virus that's a central part of the 'IM3' storyline. Known for writing the "Lethal Weapon" series, Black co-wrote the script with Drew Pearce and the film will be loosely based on Warren Ellis' six-issue "Iron Man: Extremis" series.
Returning to the "Iron Man" series fold is Don Cheadle with Ben Kingsley, Andy Lau said to be joining the cast (the former is confirmed, the latter is not). According to IMDB, "The Thin Red Line" cinematographer John Toll will be the DOP. "Iron Man 3" is due in theaters May 3, 2013. [Variety]