Update: Andy Lau has passed on Iron Man 3. Scroll down for details. 

Marvel Studios is looking to add some international flair to the cast of Iron Man 3. Reports are coming in that Infernal Affairs and House of Flying Daggers star Andy Lau is now in talks to join the stellar cast of the film as a scientist.

It seems fitting that the Asian star join the cast of Iron Man 3, seeing that China is just one of the filming locations that will appear in the third installment of the superhero franchise and the film has the support of Chinese backers. According to Twitch, Walt Disney China and DMG Entertainment, are keen to get a big Chinese name attached to the project.

Instead of making Lau a villain – like The Mandarin – he will instead reportedly play a good guy scientist that helps create the new technology Tony Stark will use in his fight against an advanced tech system used by terrorists.

Slowly the connections between the characters are being revealed, providing evidence that the central plot of Shane Black and Drew Pearce’s screenplay is following Warren Ellis’ “Extremis” storyline. Yesterday’s report of Jessica Chastain’s name being offered a role as a “sexy scientist” led many to believe that she would be playing Maya Hansen – friend to Stark and the scientist who helps invent the Extremis technology.

We already know that Guy Pierce will play as Aldrich Killain,a geneticist who also helps create the Extremis technology, but uses it for more nefarious purposes. Ben Kingsley will play as a villain who helps spread the deadly nanobot technology virus. So as you can see, it looks as though all the major roles have been filled.

Not only would Lau be an excellent addition to the cast, but his name would also make Iron Man 3 more viable in the Chinese market. Schedules would have to be worked out, but should talks be successful, Lau will play a significant part in the battle of good and evil. With principle photography set to begin next month, we could be hearing of Lau being cast (or not) very soon.

UPDATE: Lau has now dropped out of Iron Man 3, according to Latino Review, which got hold of a report from Want China Times citing the following reason for Lau’s departure:

Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau has pulled out of a potential role in Iron Man 3 to spend more time with his newborn daughter, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily… Chinese media now report that Lau has pulled out of possible involvement due to the birth of his first child with wife Carol Chu on May 9. The Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported that the producers of the film had contacted Lau but were turned down.

What can you say? Having a baby changes things.

If you missed our report on the characters and potential surprises of Iron Man 3, the character Lau was intended to play may turn out to be a version of Dr. Chen Lu – best known by the name of his (sometimes) villainous alter-ego, Radioactive Man. This would make the role one of much future potential in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and reports are that Marvel is now looking to cast a (presumably) asian “male actor over the age of 40 with strong English skills.”

Iron Man 3 is scheduled for a May 3, 2013 release.

Source: Twitch (via Neonpunch)