Iron Man 3 casting has a villain and Black Widow's return
There's been little news about the next Iron Man film, which reportedly starts filming in May, but this latest casting call confirms that Scarlett Johanssen will be back as Black Widow. Interesting, as her appearance in Iron Man 2 didn't fit into the film all that well. Along with Widow, Don Cheadle's Jim Rhodes/War Machine and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts will be back. No confirmation yet as to whether Jon Faverau will return to play Happy Hogan though. Meanwhile, Variety has reported that Ben Kingsley is in final talks to play a villain. No word on who that will be, though writer/director Shane Black has said it would not be the Mandarin. However, recent extras casting possibly contradicts this. [via /Film] The popular rumor is that the film will pick up on the Warren Ellis Extremis storyline. If you aren't familiar with it, you can stream the motion comic on Netflix.
A few months ago, Marvel and Disney announced a series of dates for upcoming film releases. Now they've confirmed that the mystery film scheduled for April 4, 2014 will be Captain America 2. According to the release, the film will pick-up where The Avengers leaves off, with Steve Rogers finding his place in the modern world with S.H.I.E.L.D. Hopefully this will mean Sharon Carter will make an appearance and I'm holding out hope for the Winter Soldier. Marvel currently has a shortlist for the director, and previous Captain America helmer Joe Johnston isn't on the list, though Community directors Anthony and Joseph Russo are on the list. This means that the upcoming films from Marvel and Disney line up like this:
May 4, 2012 – The Avengers
May 3, 2013 – Iron Man 3
November 15, 2013 – Thor 2
April 4, 2014 – Captain America 2
May 16, 2014 – Untitled Marvel Movie
First Class sequel to shoot in January 2013
Of course several Marvel properties are still at other studios, and now that The Hunger Games has turned new Mystique Jennifer Lawrence into a major star, Fox is eager to use her in a sequel to last year's X-Men: First Class. To accommodate the schedule for Catching Fire, Fox has set a January start for filming.