Hot on the heels of news that Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce and Ben Kingsley were in talks to co-star in Iron Man 3, we're now hearing that Chinese superstar Andy Lau is also in talks for a pivotal role. Before you think he's going to play The Mandarin, stop. Just stop. With Iron Man 3 co-financed in China there's just no way in hell they'll include a Chinese villain in the mix. Instead, it appears Lau would play an old associate of Tony Stark's who assists in defeating the real bad guy... The Mandarin? That's confusing.
Neon Punch (via Coming Soon) reports that if the deal goes through, Lau will play an as-yet-unnamed scientist who contributes China's own armored heroes in the fight against a terrorist organization called "The Mandarin." That sounds a little fishy to us. After all, the first Iron Man introduced the terrorist organization "The Ten Rings," an obvious Mandarin reference. They were absent from Iron Man 2, but it would be nothing short of bizarre for the third movie to include a suspiciously similar organization referencing the same character but calling themselves something different, especially from a studio priding itself on continuity. We'd all be wise to take this information as rumor until we hear some confirmation from Marvel Studios or someone else directly connected with the production.
Andy Lau is an international superstar and a damned handsome man. His best known films in the United States are most likely Infernal Affairs (the basis for Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning Best Picture The Departed) and House of Flying Daggers, but if you have the chance, we also recommend Running on Karma, a film that stars Lau as a former monk turned bodybuilding stripper who fights to save the woman he loves from paying for the sins of her past life, in which she was a Japanese war criminal. It's as good as it sounds. Strike that... it's even better.
CraveOnline will be back with more Iron Man 3 news after we come up with more Iron Man references.