Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau is in negotiations to join the cast of Disney/Marvel’s superhero sequel Iron Man 3, being directed by Shane Black. Lau is best known to U.S. audiences for playing Inspector Lau Kin Ming in the Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs (2002), which inspired Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (2006).
According to the website Neon Punch, Lau’s character will be an old friend of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark that represents China’s technology sector – and will use China’s armored heroes to help Iron Man defeat the central villain The Mandarin.
In addition, Deadline reports that Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help, The Tree of Life) is in talks to play a scientist, said to be the intellectual equal of Tony Stark.
Andy Lau and Jessica Chastain will join returning cast members Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle with new editions Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce. The Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures production will be co-produced in China. Iron Man 3 is slated for a May 3, 2013 release date.
Update: Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain will not join the cast of Disney/Marvel’s superhero sequel Iron Man 3 after all. The Help star was in talks to play a scientist but dropped out of the upcoming project due to scheduling conflicts. Chastain revealed the news on her official Facebook page.