With production on Iron Man 3 ramping up,Variety is reporting that Ben Kingsley is now in negotiations to play the film's villain. Variety's source didn't reveal who Kingsley would be playing exactly, but they did go out of their way to ensure the site that it would not be Iron Man's arch-nemesis, The Mandarin.

Jon Favreau had always planned to use The Mandarin when he was in charge of the series, but now that Shane Black has taken over as director those plans have seemingly been scrapped. But remember, things could always change, and the source could have said that just to throw readers off. However, with the tone that the previous two Iron Man movies have gone for, The Mandarin's more fantasy-based brand of mayhem doesn't exactly fit in with what has come before it.

If Kingsley does wind up taking the role, rampant speculation will begin about just who he will be playing. If anything, we certainly can't see Kingsley matching Iron Man blow-for-blow, so there is a chance that he will be the brains behind a more physical villain, much like Sam Rockwell was in Iron Man 2. 

[Variety via Coming Soon