‘Iron Man 3′ Casts James Badge Dale as a Villain

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 23rd, 2013 at 9:50 am,

The next big Marvel movie is Iron Man 3, and production on the threequel is moving at a rapid pace in order to make its scheduled May 2013 release date. In the last month alone, we’ve learned that Sir Ben Kingsley is playing a villain role (speculation is its The Mandarin); Guy Pearce is playing a scientist who unleashes something dangerous upon the world; Chinese star Andy Lau is playing a different scientist who aids Tony Stark; and Rebecca Hall (The Town) is being sought for a lead role as an old colleague/love interest of Tony Stark, who was involved in developing the tech that falls into the wrong hands.

Today we can say the Iron Man 3 cast – and villain roster – has been increased by one: Actor James Badge Dale (Rubicon, 24, The Pacific) has been cast as a character that even Iron Man comic fans might struggle to recognize.

Deadline reports that Dale is set to play “Savin” – a name which would assumedly refer to Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Savin – who became the cyborg known as “Coldblood-7″ in the comics. Savin’s comic book origin involves working as security for a U.S. Army tech project, until he discovers the project is a front for illegal activities. He is injured while investigating the situation and transformed into a cyborg controlled by a computer brain, with all memory of his former life wiped away. Eventually he got his memory back, and started living a mercenary life, having run-ins with several characters from the Marvel Universe.

Obviously, this somewhat obscure character is going to be updated and implemented into the storyline of Iron Man 3 a little differently – but the pieces are all there to make him fit. We know that the threequel will borrow elements of Warren Ellis’ “Extremis” storyline (and later events that were spun directly out of that story), in which a pair of scientists (Pearce and Hall, presumably) create a dangerous nanotechnology virus that transforms people into organic cyborgs. When that virus eventually makes it into the hands of the Mandarin (who is head of a nefarious criminal organization), the virus is used as a terrorist weapon against the innocent masses.

Iron Man Extremis Hardcover 280x170 Iron Man 3 Casts James Badge Dale as a Villain

Iron Man ‘Extremis’

The shadowy corporation, the terrorist plot, and the cyborg-creating tech-weapon all combine to suggest a scenario in which Savin is transformed into a kind of enforcer villain – a physical threat for Iron Man, while the Mandarin remains the intellectual antagonist for Tony Stark. Dale has proven in past performances – he was a standout in The Pacific – that he can bring depth and charisma to any role, even a minor one (see: Shame, The Grey, The Departed). With big upcoming films like World War Z and The Lone Ranger under his belt, Dale is also an actor whose star is quickly rising.

There is always a danger with a film like this to over-bloat the story with excess characters – Spider-Man 3, looking at you – but if there is one person we trust to balance it, it’s surely director (and co-writer) Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang).

Iron Man 3 will be in theaters on May 3, 2013. Stay tuned for more casting announcements, rumors and production updates in the near future.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Iron man 3
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  1. i just hope its full of action and none of the non-sence dialogue. :) i cant wait, oh and pls i want a spiderwoman movie or i want her in the avengers 2 (Wishfull thinking)

    • ….. I’m guessing you went to public school…Lordy.

    • non sence ??????

    • Who???? Savin??? Cold Blood 7???


      • Kryptonic, what are you asking?

        • Ken, it’s just that I’ve never come across this character in any of the IM books I’ve read. I even looked in a few Marvel reference books.

          But I’m not an IM expert. This “Savin” just sounds like a run of the mill cyborg.

          • He’s not an IM villain.

  2. Wow, obscure is right. I have never heard of this character, was this a newer villain? They could have thrown Dethlok in if they just wanted a cyborg….

    • around 1990 if I remember correctly.

      • Hmm, I was never into Iron Man and the only bad guy I vaguely remember is some industrial spy who had some device that made him intangible, but he got killed. I think a a lot of second to third tier villains Iron Man and other Avengers fought got killed during that whole Scourge storyline so people would have forgotten about them.

        • He’s not an Iron Man villain for one thing.

          I kinda like the idea of using some unknown characters in these films. All the characters don’t to be big names for them to be interesting.

          • It’s hit or miss I guess, some people were not to happy with Whiplash in IM2. This seems like it will be a henchmen type character anyway, so it probably doesn’t matter. Problem is when they start throwing too many random characters in the movies they end up feeling like Storm Troopers or Red Shirts.

        • ” bad guy I vaguely remember is some industrial spy who had some device that made him intangible, but he got killed.”
          — I think you’re talking about Ghost there… great villain IMO. Would have been a good choice for the movie.

          • Ghost is alive and part of Thunderbolts now.

    • i would love if they had done that, I am a huge Dethlok fan since the 90’s when I was younger and read comics religiuosly. Just having him in there as a easter egg would be so cool!

    • @Slayer, You already said what I was about to say. Damn. But Yeah I think they just messed up an opportunity to introduce Deathlok, which would have worked better and could have had a connection to Rhodes and Deathlok could probably gotten a spin-off. *sigh* Oh well, I wonder why they didn’t use Ghost and Madame Masque instead.

  3. I really hope Ben Kingsley is not the Mandarin that would suck. Ben is a generic actor and most movies I see him in are just kind of mediocre. The Mandarin should be taller with long black hair and look more chinese. Ben Kinsley doesn’t even look chinese at all.

    • You best be trollin.

      • +1

    • It would be cool to have someone lean and lanky. Young Christopher Lee would be cool, or the bad guy from Aladdin.

    • I’ve already posted why I don’t think Kingsley will be The Mandarin.

      2 things I didn’t mention:

      1; IM 3 will be heavily financed by the Chinese. More so than any other American film production to date. Do you guys really think the Chinese will appreciate a villain that characterizes and manifests every single negative Chinese/Asian stereotype imaginable? Ever heard of Fu Manchu???

      2; Shane Black has categorically stated that he HATES the Mandarin character. For most of the reasons I’ve already cited. I urge you to look up what Black said. Especially, the writer of this article who tends to believe that The Mandarin will most likely be played by Kingsley.


      • Why hasn’t anyone mentioned the villain “MALLEN?”

        Mallen figures HEAVILY in Extremis….

        Shane Black has already made clear that the threats and story of IM 3 will take place in “the real world.”

        If that’s the case, MALLEN would be just the type of character that would fit in naturally in Black’s IM3.

      • Has the thought ever occurred to you that they might change the character’s origin and background?

        I’m 100% sure he’ll play the role of the Mandarin. Maybe the character just won’t be called the “Mandarin”, but he’ll definitively fill that role that the Mandarin plays in the comics: the evil financier pulling the strings (and occasionally talking on Stark in a one-on-one).

        • That’s a no brainer. Kingsley plays a “Mandarin” TYPE of villain, but w/out the ten rings and the mystical powers and the dated Fu Manchu look and all the other racist accoutrements that came with the character. Kingsley will be the big bag guy “boss” who pulls the strings in the shadows ( limited screen time ) who may or may not even be called The Mandarin. HOW ORIGINAL! We’ve NEVER seen anything like that before.

          Like a fat, short and HAIRY woman as Lex Luthor , WHAT’S THE POINT??

          • You know what I can’t wait for…maybe this is the cynical person in me coming out…I’m going to really laugh when someone responds to “the mandarin was a pretty racist character back when they came up with him” with “what is with this politically correct bullshlt? Why do they have to change it?”

            There are lots of people who don’t get that it REALLY WAS racist, so they don’t want to hear about it and don’t want to change it. I like hearing people complain about things they don’t understand.

            Personally I think there are lots of ways of doing the mandarin that aren’t chinese caricatures…I hope they use him in the film.

            • Ken, you’re not being cynical at all. Just sensible.

              The problem is, my argument is if Marvel chooses to use The Mandarin as chief Villain, then the character will be sooo watered down that there would hardly be anything recognizable to reference him as The Mandarin in the first place.

          • *bad

          • I for one wouldn’t mind a watered down version of the Mandarin (even though it MIGHT come across as unoriginal – let’s just keep in mind that we can’t judge that until we’ve seen it). At least we have Sir Ben Kingsley playing the character…
            And it’s not like I wasn’t expecting a watered down version anyway: Black said The Mandarin is a “racist caricature” way back when he was brought on to write/direct the movie, so the chances of us getting the REAL Mandarin was always about 0%.
            But at least we’ll be getting A iteration of the character – it’s better than nothing 😉

            But I’ll tell you, what upsetting to me is that what I’m mostly looking forward to in this movie is in fact the Mandarin – everything else I’ve heard about this project has just sounded even more $*!*y than a watered down Mandarin.

            My expectations for this movie is dwindling very quickly…

  4. I thought war machine will be the villian?

    • WHY would War Machine be the villain? War Machine is James Rhodes, Tonys best friend.

      • Are we assuming War Machine will be in this? I hope they use him but not over use him, he needs to be back up

      • In the comics he gets jealous and turns on tonyand becomes a villian

        • Dude, I don’t know where you get all this info (I recommend you stop going there though), but War Machine is a good guy.

          • I think he’s thinking of Parnell Jacobs, who became a War Machine mercenary.

            • This guy also said that “Disney announced avengers2 will be 2014 or 2015 and avengers 3 2017.” so yeah… I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some of his facts mixed up 😉

    • Why did you think he would be the villain, there was no indicators of this.

  5. Because in the comics he turns bad read iron man sometime

    • He doesn’t turn bad. There are disagreements and parting of ways between Rhodey & Tony, but Rhodey never turns into a villain.

    • Are you thinking of Parnell Jacobs?

  6. I remember Savin, always thought he was kind of a Deathlok ripoff. Still, good actors involved, gotta be happy with that.

    • Why not use Crimson Dynamo? Because you really don’t want IM3 to turn into “another armored villain. Great.” They played those cards 2 movies in a row. Time for some variety.

      • I used Gray Gargoyle and Radioactive Man examples as well… And Ultimo is not (technically) an armored villain, he is a robot.

        I do agree with you about variety, but I would rather have an iconic villain then someone I forgot even existed.

  7. It’d be nice to see a ‘Robocop 2′ type duel of the machines thing going on in IM3. Hoping for a more advanced story than Jon Favreau’s IM2. Also would be cool if they develop ‘The Avengers’ sequel in little ways through these solo films like they did in the past.

    • Funny that you mentioned Robocop…This guy sounds like a military version of our dearly converted, Alex Murphy.

  8. Yay, too many characters again!!!

    • LOL too funny!

      From what I’ve been reading on these IM3 threads, most Screen Ranters seem kind of down on the whole project. Mostly because of the Extremis plot line and now, this Dethlok rip off ( Savic?? )

      • I just looked up a link another poster so generously put up, and this character apparently fought Dethlok at some point. He first appeared in Marvel Comics Presents in 1989, which is why I never heard of him. Nobody ever bought those…..

  9. What about Titanium Man or Kang the Conqueror?

    • Kang would be an Avengers villain more likely then an Iron Man villain.

  10. Man, old age must be killing me. (Where’s my Nano-Injection….?) I have, and have read every IM issue and I don’t remember him either! I must be rusting. All the best guys! – Stark

  11. Sheeshh….I’m…I’m just happy the movies coming together. :)

    • He’s not from the iron man comics. Don’t recall what comics he was in though.

  12. I think its funny that alot of people dont want a cyborg, or armored, or robot villian. But mention Ultron and……………..

    • I think its because Ultron is a different class of villain. He’s not just a guy in a suit or simple mech. The threat he poses is exponentially greater than what IM has ever faced.

  13. “organic cyborgs”

    the definition of a cyborg is part organic and part mechanic.

    redundant, redundant, redundant, redundant, redundant, redundant, redundant, redundant, redundant, redundant, redundant, redundant…

    as for the character… hopefully they use him well. i am of the mind that there maybe too much going on in this one, someone already said it…

    too many characters, and why a love interest, i thought potts took care of that.

    • 1) The robotic components could be made from organic materials.

      2) The” love interest” is likely to be a former girlfriend.

      3) The notion of having “too many characters” or “crowding” these
      movies is nothing more than a narrative that refuses to go away.

      Of course, we won’t know how any of this turns out until we see the (unmade) movie, right?

  14. I would love to see Ultron in the next film along with people like Ant-man as a scientist talking about some things that stark and banner should look at, and wasp who stark kinda flirts with but just a bit since he and pepper are together. I think jarvis downloading his A.I into a suit of armor and something happenes where he become even more Aware of himself as a being createing Ultron who then builds his army.

  15. I think in this movie they need to improve on climax battles like they did with The Avengers. In most of the solo films the climax action sequences, with the exception of maybe Captain America and even that is a stretch, have been relatively weak. With the Avengers the last 30 or so minutes were so epic i left the theater and thats all i could think about. Hopefully IM3 with all these villans can have that same effect

  16. Not as impressed by this guy, but hope he delivers. I do like the Pearce addition however, and hope Kingsley brings his A game that has not been seen in years.

  17. If they’re going off of Extremis then where is Mallen? Why use some character that nobody has ever heard of? The Mandarin should be the primary villain it doesn’t matter if Shane Black likes him or not this movie is for the fans not his own private collection. Oh well hopefully he won’t ruin what could be an epic film

    • I dont think Shane Black is writing the screenplay.

      • According to IMDB he is a writer/director

  18. Dale should play Mallen, and he would be the Mandarin’s henchman.

  19. He’ll always be Chase to me, Jack’s ill fated, one handed partner from season 3.

  20. The cast just gets better and better, but my interest in this movie just gets worse and worse… :(
    First we have Extremis and now Coldblood? – I consider myself quite the “comic-geek”, but I’ve never heard of this villain.
    At this point I’m just crossing fingers and holding thumbs for this one…

    As for Thor 2: that’s looking pretty good so far.

    • “First we have Extremis and now Coldblood?”

      That kinda gives me the impression that you think Extremis was an obscure storyline? It’s pretty widely known in comics circles, given that it was the first issues of Iron Man volume 4, written by Warren Ellis, art by Adi Granov.

      Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you only meant to imply Coldblood was obscure, but to my mind it sounded like you were saying both the Extremis story and the Cloodblood character was obscure.

      • No no, basically my comment (“First we have Extremis and now Coldblood?”) meant that I’m not a fan of the Extremis story line and I’m not that happy about them including that character (which I’ve never heard about).
        I.e. I’m happy about these creative decisions…

        • *Edit: “I’m NOT happy about these creative decisions…”
          (Really don’t know what’s up with all these typos lately ;))

  21. Maybe this is my age talking but I actually remember this character. I dont think it was in IM comics though. Google, I will use you after this post. I am curious why they are using an unpopular storyline (Extremis) and little known Marvel characters. I have faith in Shane Black but Im still not on board with what is being written for him to direct. I will say it again…curious.

    • Extremis is VERY popular amongst comic readers… it’s just not necessarily any good IMO 😉

      • I enjoyed Extremis, not my favorite IM story. I’ve seen a few people claim it was unpopular but that’s not the case. Anything by Warren Ellis is automatically huge, and Adi Granov’s art was perfect for shiny metal armor suits.

  22. PLOT TWIST. JARVIS gets a virus, become self-aware, uploads himself to Savin’s cyborg body and THEN becomes the villain! bah hahaha

    j/k would be cool to actually use Paul Bettany though
    UPLOADED JARVIS = Ultron (origin twist???)

  23. Another obscure IM villain. If they’re so keen on obscure, I’d recommend Muller (anyone remember him? IM villain of times past). But ah well, Savlin it is. Hope Mandarin and his cohort make up for it, cos if this cyborg fella can’t fly and shoot beams, he’s at a great disadvantage.

  24. Their logic on Mandarin so far has been pretty stupid. First of all, most recently, Mandarin’s appearance has been updated. All they have to do is get a very good Asian actor(hopefully of recent Chinese descent) to play as Mandarin. He doesn’t need to nor should he have the Fu Man Chu look!!!! This is 2012!!! Put him in nice two piece suits and make him very eloquent, extremely intelligent and classy. If they are afraid of putting Chinese people in a bad light, then that shouldn’t be the case if you have some good guys in the movie that are Chinese as well as Chinese bad guy/s. There are good and bad people every where, in every race and culture. That was a stupid notion to think that it would be offensive, as long as it’s done with respect, good taste and not racially motivated then there should be no problem. The Mandarin wants to subjugate all mankind , just like Loki wanted to and or The Leader, nothing about it is racially motivated or makes Asians look bad if there’s a balance and respect involved. Some of Iron Man’s enemies have been Russian, does that make all Russians look bad? Or did Russians get mad about Whiplash in Iron Man 2? Iron Man fought against people from Afghanistan(and other areas) in Iron Man 1. Does that mean that all Afghani’s are or should be looked at as bad or terrorists? Give me a break Shane Black and Marvel stop trying be so overly politically correct when your just damaging the characters you created while all you have to do is present Chinese good people and as heroes too and that The Mandarin just so happens to be a classy Chinese genius who has access to some incredible technology. No need to get all political either with Communism and that just show that Chinese are just smart, beautiful and great people like other people in the world and no one should get offended.

  25. What is the release date for Avengers 2 and how many sidekick movies will they come out with before then? Because they will need more than the current avengers cast to defeat Thanos. They will need like 25 other super Beings!!!!

  26. Iron Patriot!!!