‘Iron Man 3′ Targets Jessica Chastain For Starring Role

The reasons to get psyched for “Iron Man 3” are endless. More Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark? Check. Returning players Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson? You bet’cha. Awesome actors new to the franchise such as Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce? That’s an affirmative, people.

Now we can add yet another fantastic player to the mix: Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain. Deadline reports that the “Take Shelter” and “The Tree of Life” star is in talks to join director Shane Black’s “Iron Man 3″ in what’s being touted as “a starring role.”

Chastain was supposedly in contention for this “Iron Man” mystery role some time ago, but was considered unlikely due to scheduling conflicts. (She’s set to shoot a role in “Hurt Locker” director Kathryn Bigelow’s star-studded movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, tentatively titled “Zero Dark Thirty.”) When she was ruled out of the mix, other contenders for her role emerged in Diane Kruger, Gemma Arterton and Isla Fisher.

“But all that has changed as Chastain’s movie has been pushed, the Bin Laden scheduling was worked out, and it looks like she’s going to get the role after all,” Deadline reports. Great news all around!

As for who Chastain’s set to play, mum is the word. Since Black’s “Iron Man” is reportedly based on Warren Ellis’ “Extremis” arc, it’s likely that she’s on for Maya Hansen, one of the scientists responsible for creating the Extremis technology — a character who has ties to The Mandarin, no less. Hmm… makes you think twice about Kingsley’s role, doesn’t it?

What do you think of Chastain’s casting? Tell us in the comments section or on Twitter!