Sir Ben Kingsley in Talks to Play IRON MAN 3 Villain; Story Details Revealed

The third installment of Marvel Studios' popular Iron Man film franchise is prepping to begin production and it has been reported that Marvel Studios is zeroing in on the Hugo and Ender's Game star to play the central antagonist.

Iron Man 3 will be directed by Shane Black and based off of a script by Drew Pierce. Robert Downy Jr will once again reprise his role as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (aka Iron Man); Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle are scheduled to return as Pepper Potts and Jim Rhoades (aka War Machine), respectively. It has also been reported, yet not confirmed, that Scarlett Johansson will be reprising her Avengers role as Black Widow.

The latest news about the film revolves around it's villain and the tentative casting of Sir Ben Kingsley in the role, according to Variety. Though the studio has not revealed the name of the character, they have reportedly denied it will be The Mandarin; a megalomanic who secretly runs terrorist organizations around the world and wields ten weaponized rings of advanced alien power.

The character has been hinted at in the past two Iron Man films and was the top choice of director Jon Favreau to close out the trilogy; but earlier reports claimed that new director Shane Black would not include him, citing him as a "racist caricature."

Variety also says that the yet to be revealed villain fits the film's purported plot that "revolves around the spread of a virus through nanobots, given that "Iron Man 3" is loosely based on Warren Ellis' six-issue "Extremis" series that introduced a new origin story for Iron Man and focused heavily on nanotechnology."