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Having seemingly come out of nowhere to take the cinematic world by storm, Jessica Chastain (THE DEBT, TAKE SHELTER) is moving onto even bigger, blockbusting things – including Tony Stark’s scientific equal in the upcoming IRON MAN 3.

Chastain will potentially be joining a star-studded cast that includes not only Robert Downey Jr, who will return for the titular role, but such big names as Sir Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce. She’s set to play a ‘sexy scientist’ who’s ‘every bit as smart as Tony Stark’, and considering the rumours surrounding the Shane Black-directed project’s focus on the Extremis storyline of recent Marvel comics, the smart money’s on the character being Maya Hansen.

While IRON MAN 3 won’t be a straight adaptation of the Extremis storyline, the comics can give us a few details of what Chastain might be getting up to in the threequel. If you don’t want Extremis spoiled, or for some reason hate speculating on character roles, look away now!

Hansen is the co-developer, alongside Guy Pearce’s character Aldrich Killian, of a genetic technology intended to create a super-soldier (Captain America, anyone?). This is where things get really spoilery – you have been warned. In the comics, Hansen sells the tech to terrorists, but in a conflict of interests, is also a love interest of Tony Stark, having known him since college. So maybe we’ll be seeing a love triangle between Hansen, Stark and Pepper Potts?

Chastain was originally lined up for the part but had to drop out after scheduling conflicts – her four films of 2011 (TAKE SHELTER, THE DEBT, THE HELP and THE TREE OF LIFE) apparently weren’t enough to satiate her, as she’s also lined up for Kathryn Bigelow’s still untitled Bin Laden film as well as THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY. Luckily for Chastain – but unluckily for the other actresses in talks to replace her, including Gemma Arterton, Isla Fisher and Diane Kruger – it looks like she’ll play the role after all, with the latter project being pushed back.

Should Chastain be confirmed, it seems Black – who takes over from IRON MAN and IRON MAN 2 director Jon Favreau – has secured himself quite the cast. Let’s hope he can get the series back on track after the dismal IRON MAN 2…

IRON MAN 3 is set for release on May 3rd, 2013, but if you can’t wait that long, make sure to catch Marvel’s AVENGERS ASSEMBLE this Thursday for a quicker fix of the titanium alloy-clad superhero.

Source: First Showing