Two weeks ago, it looked as if Marvel Studios had landed another promising star to join the growing cast of Iron Man 3, but we found out yesterday that Oscar-nomintated Jessica Chastain simply couldn’t take the gig due to scheduling conflicts.

Chastain had reportedly beat out Diane Kruger, Gemma Arterton and Isla Fisher for the part, but it’s none of these names who Marvel Studios is in talks with now for the role. As we mentioned yesterday, director Shane Black needed to find a replacement quick with Iron Man 3 gearing up for production in the coming weeks, and they have, with Rebecca Hall.

Variety is reporting that Disney and Marvel Studios are in talks with the British actress take on the role described as a “sexy” and “smart” scientist. Hall had a starring role in Ben Affleck’s The Town two years ago and in last year’s The Awakening, but has made appearances in a large variety of high profile films including Frost/Nixon and The Prestige. She also co-stars alongside Bruce Willis in the comedy, Lay The Favorite, which played a the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

By all accounts, the story of Iron Man 3 is drawing heavily from that of Warren Ellis’ “Extremis” storyline from the comics, and the potential casting of Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin (or some variation of the character) and Guy Pearce as geneticist Aldrich Killian, lead us to believe that the female role up for grabs is for the character of Maya Hansen. Hansen is the scientist behind the Extremis tech who in the books, allies and helps out Tony Stark and eventually joins S.H.I.E.L.D..

She’s also a potential love interest for Tony Stark which will create some friction between Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). We’ll find out more soon, but the inclusion of Hansen could lead to some interesting relationships and ties to SHIELD in future movies. Hall is a great selection and she can pull off drama, emotion and intensity as we saw demonstrated intensely with The Town.

Iron Man 3 begins principal photography in May and is scheduled to hit theaters on May 3, 2013. Thor 2 comes later that fall and Captain America 2 the following spring.

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Source: Variety