It's especially good news that Happy Hogan is back for "Iron Man 3," because it seems like Tony Stark needs all the allies he can get.
Variety has the news that Ashley Hamilton will play Firepower, another villain in the film. It's said to be a small part, though we know from the comics that Firepower ends up working alongside the Mandarin. That seems to confirm that the Mandarin will play a role in "Iron Man 3" one way or another, though it hasn't been confirmed that he is a part of the movie.
Considering the fact "Iron Man 3" will "borrow elements" from Warren Ellis's six-issue "Iron Man: Extremis," we can assume that the Mandarin will at least have a small role. The Variety story says "Iron Man 3" will focus "on the spread of a virus through nanotechnology," which very likely is their way of referring to the Extremis serum.
Based on the casting of Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen and Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, it seems like "Iron Man 3" is sticking pretty close to its "Extremis" source material. But since the movie is headed to China, it will be interesting to see if it deviates from "Extremis" in any significant ways. It's also worth noting that James Badge Dale will play the villain Coldblood, and we still aren't quite sure how he fits into the bigger picture.
"Iron Man 3" marks the return of Robert Downey Jr. (who is a good friend of Hamilton's in real life), Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, with the new addition of Ben Kingsley. Directed by Shane Black, the movie is set to hit theaters on May 3, 2013.
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