Guy Pearce is being lined up for a leading role in Iron Man 3.
The Australian actor is close to signing a deal to star in Robert Downey Jr‘s third solo outing as Marvel’s hero Tony Stark, according to Variety.
Pearce is set to play geneticist Aldrich Killian in the story, that borrows heavily from Warren Ellis‘ six-issue series Iron Man: Extremis, that focuses on the spread of a virus through nanotechnology. Killian develops the Extremis technology, that Stark then adopts after the scientist sells it to terrorists. Ellis’ take on the hero has already been a major influence on the first two Iron Man movies.
The film is being directed by Guy Black, and Ben Kingsley has already been cast as the main villain. Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson and Don Cheadle will all reprise their roles. Pearce can next be seen as entrepreneur Peter Weyland in Ridley Scott‘s Alien prequel Prometheus.
Iron Man 3 is set for release in May 2013. Watch Downey Jr and Johansson in action as Iron Man and Black Widow in Marvel Avengers Assemble, below.