While her name appears on the casting calls of "Iron Man 3", Scarlett Johansson has made it clear that she will not return to the third armored hero movie. The Black Widow depicter confirmed her departure to Screen Rant by claiming that she would not reprise her role as Black Widow in the next "Iron Man" film.
Though she will not join Robert Downey Jr.'s adventure as Tony Stark in his third movie, Johansson did admit that she hopes there will be a standalone movie for Black Widow. The 27-year-old actress revealed that she has pitched the idea of a Jason Bourne-esque superhero movie about the gun-wielding female agent.
As Johansson confirmed she will not return to "Iron Man 3", another news came out that Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau is in talks to join the anticipated movie. As quoted by Twitch, Hong Kong's Popular tech and style site NeonPunch reported that Lau is in final negotiation to play a scientist friend of Stark.
The site claimed that Lau's character will be "a Chinese scientist who comes to the aid of his old buddy Tony Stark by providing him with some new tech that will help him battle Ben Kingsley's villain, but more importantly Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and his Extremis biotechnology."
The casting rumor aside, director Shane Black recently spilled some tidbits about "Iron Man 3" when attending the 2012 CinemaCon. The filmmaker said that the upcoming movie will be more of a "technological thriller" and a "crisis movie." The story will take place in the world of "international war, arms and terror" and it will "put Tony Stark through the wringer."
As for the villain, while it has been long speculated that The Mandarin will appear as the major supervillain, Shane remained tight lipped about which bad guy Iron Man will face in the next film. He, however, noted that whoever the villain is, the character will be one that would "frighten in today's world."
"Iron Man 3" reportedly will be loosely based on Warren Ellis' six-issue "Extremis" comic book series, which presents a new origin story that focuses on nanotechnology. The movie is scheduled to begin filming in North Carolina this May, before continuing in China in late summer.
Walt Disney Pictures will release "Iron Man 3" in the U.S. on May 3, 2013.