Well, it always seemed like a bit of question mark. Back in April, Asian media was reporting that Andy Lau was in final negotiations to take a role in “Iron Man 3” as a friend of Tony Stark’s who works in the tech sector and helps our hero defeat The Mandarin. While the first half of that ties into the already widely known Extremis storyline that is being used for the movie, the second half seemed a bit more dubious considering Marvel went out of there way to say The Mandarin was not the villain in this film (though rumors that he actually is have been cropping up again recently). But in any event, Lau won’t be in the film.
Well, Chinese media is now reporting that the actor has exited the project to spend more time with his 1 1/2 month old daughter with producers now looking for “a male actor over the age of 40 with strong English skills.” Chen Daoming (“Hero“) and Wu Xiubo (Chinese TV drama “Before The Dawn“) are apparently the top contenders to replace Lau, but it seems nothing is final at the moment. It’s a bit of a loss for the film that has amassed a pretty solid ensemble including Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale, William Sadler, Ashley Hamilton, Don Cheadle and Gwenyth Paltrow and likely would’ve been Lau’s biggest North American/worldwide exposure to date.
Guess we’ll find out soon who will hang with Tony Stark when he visits China. Production on the Shane Black written and directed “Iron Man 3” is underway and the movie hits theaters on May 3, 2013. [JoBlo]