May 9, 2012 was a great day for Andy Lau. That was the day 50-year-old Chinese star of Infernal Affairs and the upcoming Iron Man 3 brought his first child into the world. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bittersweet day for Marvel Studios: the glorious event has reportedly forced Lau to pull out of his supporting role in Shane Black's anticipated threequel.
Lau was set to play a character whose daughter was kidnapped, leading Iron Man to travel across the Pacific pond to help save the day. Yes, it's a little ironic that the birth of his actual daughter is preventing him from playing the role of a father. According to Latino Review (via Want China Times), Marvel is looking to replace Lau with "a male actor over the age of 40 with strong English skills." We assume they mean "English language" skills, and not the ability to play cricket.
To frontrunners have apparently emerged for Lau's suddenly vacant role in Iron Man 3, which is already in production: Chen Daoming and Wu Xiubo, neither of whom have Lau's visibility in the United States. Chen Daoming's best known role in America was as the King of Qin in Zhang Yimou's popular and star-studded Hero. Wu Xiubo has yet to star in a major international release, but he does star on the Chinese television series "Before the Dawn." No offense to either actor, but we really hope somebody's on the phone with Tony Leung, because come on… How cool would that be?
Andy Lau's departure marks the second significant casting change in Iron Man 3, after The Town's Rebecca Hall came on board to replace recent Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain.
CraveOnline will be back with more Iron Man 3 news after we stock up on Black Sabbath t-shirts.