Guy Pearce describes his role as Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3 as a cameo-type appearance, and while we won’t know until next summer if that’s true, he may not be the only notable character from Marvel Comics popping up on screen in a limited capacity.

A few weeks before Comic-Con we shared rumored details about characters and the post-credits scene of Iron Man 3, rumors that indicated fans would be introduced to two super-powered characters from the books, both of whom would have a larger part to play in Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe. One of those characters was going to be played by Andy Lau who dropped out of the project, but we know who might be replacing him.

Before passing on the blockbuster role to spend time with his newborn daughter, we found out that Lau might have been playing the non-villainous version of Chen Lu (Radioactive Man) from the books, who would be introduced in Iron Man 3 and would (according to rumors) become a reoccurring character in the other upcoming films. Mtime caught Chinese actor Xueqi Wang meeting with Iron Man 3 executive producer Dan Mintz at a Beijing restaurant for tea last week, where they were overheard discussing the Chen Lu character, later confirmed by Wang’s studio.

From our previous discussion on Radioactive Man: In Marvel Comics, Chen Lu is a nuclear physicist for the People’s Republic of China and a villain of Iron Man who works for The Mandarin. His abilities from exposure to radiation give him green-colored skin and the abilities to control radiation in various ways. We don’t expect much of those attributes to show up in Iron Man 3.

In the books, there’s an interesting relationship between Radioactive Man and Ant-Man where they once fought each other and later worked together – and that’s a potential plot thread that could be teased in a post-credits scene for Iron Man 3 should rumors about Edgar Wright shooting that scene as a lead-in to Ant-Man prove true.

The fact that this meeting only took place now, this late in production, lends some credence to at least one detail about the character, in that Chen Lu – should he be the character Wang plays – will only appear very briefly. According to the Chinese trades, the casting will be confirmed soon and Wang would be shooting this month. With the seemingly small part Chen Lu will play in the film, we’re curious as to how the character will be utilized. When Lau was up for the role, the part was described as a “good guy” scientist who helps Tony Stark develop  tech to fight against the Mandarin. Would we see him working for the Mandarin before that? Is he or does he become a scientist for S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Rumor has it Chen Lu won’t be referred to as “Radioactive Man” in the film but that could change down the road in another film.

With each report it’s becoming more clear that Marvel Studios is planning to attain the same level of scope and scale as The Avengers by not only exploring a major character redefining story from the books in Extremis, but by upping the ante on action and characters, potentially laying the groundwork for many stories to come.

Stay tuned into Screen Rant for more on this as develops.

Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black based off of his and Drew Pearce’s screenplay, and stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, Cobie Smulders, William Sadler, James Badge Dale and the voice of Paul Bettany.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014 and The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Mtime (hat tip Smitty)