What Character is Stephanie Szostak Playing in Iron Man 3?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 28th, 2014 at 12:27 am,

Stephanite Szostak What Character is Stephanie Szostak Playing in Iron Man 3?

When Marvel Studios held an Iron Man 3 presentation at Comic-Con last summer, revealing a new suit of armor, footage from the film and a series of confirmations about key characters including The Mandarin, we wondered what secrets were still being kept hidden away. Then there was the reveal of the Iron Legion, teased in the Iron Man 3 prelude comic and fully revealed in the latest posters and trailer.

Outside of the story twists and turns we expect from Shane Black’s take on the Tony Stark mythos and rumors of post-credits scenes teasing future Phase Two Marvel movies, one of the remaining mysteries surrounds the role Stephanie Szostak plays in Iron Man 3.

We have a rather good idea of what path most of the core roster of characters will follow, from Rhodey (Don Cheadle), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), to Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) himself. But we have little official information to go on about Szostak’s character, listed as “Bethany Cabe” on the reliably unreliable IMDB.

Stephanie Szostak Iron Man 3 Trailer What Character is Stephanie Szostak Playing in Iron Man 3?

Marvel was able to keep Stephanie Szostak mostly under the radar until they released the official Iron Man 3 synopsis where her name was front-listed, giving credence to rumors that she may have larger part to play:

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, “Iron Man 3″ is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce and Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968.

With old rumors hinting at a post-credits sequence potentially introducing Ant-Manand the confirmed involvement of A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) – an organization Ant-Man and Wasp have had multiple run-ins with in Marvel Comics – one of the more common theories is that Szostak could be playing Janet van Dyne AKA Wasp, a character that was originally set to appear in The Avengers. The latest Iron Man 3 trailer even features a brief shot of Szostak’s character undergoing what we can assume is some of sort of super soldier/Extremis treatment.

If she is in fact, Bethany Cabe, than her character arc may simply be just that from Marvel Comics. Cabe in the books was another one of Stark’s love interests who eventually wore an armor suit of her own when teaming up with Rhodey’s War Machine when – get this – he formed his own “Iron Legion” while Stark was away after faking his own death. Sound familiar? She eventually became Stark’s head of security in the books.

Bethany Cabe may be the most likely and believable, given what we know about Iron Man 3, but the latest bit of info discovered by ComicBook.com is throwing a wrench in things. On the official Iron Man 3 website, the production notes state the following (it was taken down from the main site but is still available on the mobile version):

Iron Man 3 Stephanie Szostak Role What Character is Stephanie Szostak Playing in Iron Man 3?

Is this the confirmation that Stephanie Szostak is playing Ellen Brandt or smart misdirection? In Marvel Comics, Brandt fell in love and married a scientist named Ted Sallis, who comic book aficionados will recognize as the character who became Man-Thing, after injecting himself with a serum he was working on for S.H.I.E.L.D. (attempting to replicate the super soldier formula). This connection – although also related to S.H.I.E.L.D.has little to do with Ant-Man but the potential for a Man-Thing reference for something unexpected down the road is very intriguing.

We should note also that the reason Sallis injects himself in the books has to do with A.I.M. (confirmed to be in Iron Man 3) sending an agent to infiltrate the project, an agent who happens to fall in love with Ellen Brandt, resulting in her also enlisting in A.I.M.. It’s her actions that resulted in Sallis becoming Man-Thing.

Man Thing Ted Sallis What Character is Stephanie Szostak Playing in Iron Man 3?

Taking this another step into geek territory, in the comics, after years of living a troubled life as a villainous wreck, Brandt encountered Man-Thing in Florida, opting to place herself between the “monster” and the oncoming bullets from the local Sheriff. She would have died had it not been for Doctor Strange, a character confirmed to get his own film in Phase Three of the Marvel cinematic universe.

As you can see, there are quite a few directions Marvel may be planting seeds here for, and while Stephanie Szostak’s character may only have a limited amount of screen time, her role could pay off in a variety of ways depending on what elements from Marvel Comics Shane Black and co-writer Drew Pearce took for their screenplay. The fact that she does seemingly get injected with the serum A.I.M. is working on, does add a little mystery and confusion to her character. And it could be that, none of these story arcs are being explored in the movie.

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, Stephanie Szostak, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, 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, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015 and Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes and let him know what character you want Szostak to play!

Sources: ComicBook.com, Marvel

Man-Thing art by Greg Land from Man-Thing (2007) #1.

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
TAGS: Iron man 3
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  1. I personally would like to see Szostak as either Brandt or Cabe, and NOT The Wasp. Ant-Man is still 2 years apart, and hinting to that movie feels a bit too early, plus I really want to see Janet becoming Wasp due to the experiment of Hank Pym, instead of the A.I.M serum. It would break my heart if she’s actually Janet, and I have a feeling she will (probably) have connection to that boy that Tony will meet in the movie.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to the movie no matter what haha

    • I wouldn’t mind if it was Janet, the actress seems like a good fit, but I would hope that she still gets her powers with Pym like you’re saying. Maybe something like for some reason Janet is fired up, some wrong she wants to right and is looking for an edge to do that, and maybe she’s trying this Extremis thing to that end. But either Iron Man interferes before she can be injected or it just doesn’t work or some-such. Then in an Ant-man movie, Pym might just be the next stop on her search, and she’d be the catalyst for the action. I heard the original ant-man screenplay involved the ‘to steal an ant-man’ story, but what if it was Janet who stole or otherwise meddled in his research instead? I have to say I like the idea of Pym getting drug along by her for the first half of an adventure.
      Anyhow, my point is I’m still holding out hope that we can have it both ways on her being Janet. ;)

    • Yes, because Nick Fury hinting to the Avengers four years before it’s release was also way too early, right?

  2. I don;t know all that much about Man Thing but if Szostak is in any way leading up to the Man-Thing coming to marvel movies i think it would be a cool thing to see on screen

    • So you want to see a man thing on-screen, do you? Well, I can recommend a few films you might like while you wait for the Marvel one.

  3. Man-Thing is a f**king boss, he is one of my favorite characters and the thing that is interesting about him is that if you fear him, then you are toasted, but please do yourself a favor and skip the straight to dvd movie.

    • Totally agree.

      That horrible Man-Thing movie was on The Horror Channel a few months ago and my god, it was amazingly bad. So bad that it seems Marvel wants to forget it ever existed and who could blame them after watching it?

      It’s also interestingly the only Marvel movie to be rated 18 over here (which is our equivalent to R in US terms I guess although sometimes R rated movies in the US can sometimes be rated 15 here so it’s confusing).

      • Wasn’t that the Swamp Thing movie you’re thinking about. Next thing, you’ll tell me there’s a hidden Dr.Strange movie that was made and swept under the rug too.

        • or a fantastic four movie too…

          • Or a Spiderman movie :-p

        • @Alkhema

          Nope, definitely Man-Thing. I only watched it because of that fact and the Marvel logo at the very start of the movie in the opening credits helped give it away too.

          If I remember correctly, it started with a young couple having sex in a boat then the woman screams (topless) as her boyfriend is killed then the movie begins with a sheriff that just arrived in town.

          Terrible movie anyway. Haven’t seen the Swamp Thing movie since the late 90s. Can’t remember any of that though.

  4. Oh crap, Man-Thing! Marvel is really getting deep into the lore now. They could probably, as mentioned above, introduce Man-Thing in Doctor Strange. I don’t know much about Man-Thing but I always thought it was cool how he can burn people who fear him. But his comic series in the 70s had the most tongue in cheek title: Giant-Sized Man-Thing.

  5. Nice job untangling all that Rob, you gotta love fan speculation & rumors from her being Wasp to Bethany Cabe. Its a similar thing that happened when Kate Mara was cast in Iron Man 2 people assumed she’d be playing Bethany Cabe because she was a red head but she ended up playing a meaningless U.S. Marshall. Stephanie Szostak role might amount to a simple Easter Egg/Nod to the fans or just an Extremis Henchwomen.

  6. I wouldn’t mind if its the Wasp, as long as she is actually Janet, and not an amalgamation of three characters with the power of Wasp. Doing that with the villains (Crimson Dynamo/Whiplash) is one thing, there is no need to do it with heroes.

  7. I was hoping she was The Wasp. Jesus christ Marvel, cast the right people for the right positions. She seems to me the only fit for the Wasp.

    • me too! I still have some hope she could be her

  8. The fact she’d be such a brilliant actress for Janet is the only thing that has me crossing fingers. Janet needs to be someone you fall in love with and Stephanie would do that perfectly.

  9. Stephanie Szostak is 38. The right age for Stark to have a romantic interest, but might she be a bit too old for kicking ass in spandex as the Wasp?

    She does look great. I’d be ok with her as Wasp.

    **Also beware of the 2005 Man-Thing movie. A terrible crapfest.

    NOT so bad it’s good…. you know in a campy, fun way. Man-Thing is soooo bad it’s just bad.

    • Agreed on all fronts – I don’t think she’s the Wasp.

  10. I think it would of been better if she was introduced as Janet van dyne then we would have more introduction of the character then in the film Ant Man she becomes the wasp! Marvel should totally bring Ant Man and Wasp Into the Avengers 2.

  11. She’s almost kinda cutesy, send her over to my place and I’ll cook her dinner!
    In the meantime, I want to see Goliath (Hank Pym), Wasp, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch sooner rather than later.
    And for villains, how about Kang, Ultron, and some Skrulls?

    • Ant-Man isn’t coming until 2015, months after The Avengers 2, promises for a Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch film are far from being a reality.

      I think an Iron Fist/Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, and Black Panther films are more of a reality than those honestly.

  12. ALSO, remember that the lego set shows one of those airboats you only see in the bayou or in the Everglades. This means that the AIM facility is probably set in the Everglades. Even more evidence pointing to this Brandt character being the real deal.

    • Nice catch.

    • Well, no idea what this guy’s talking about…

  13. Mind. Blown.

    Marvel just needs to keep expanding this amazing universe. It’s becoming a comic geeks holy grail!

  14. Oh, I don’t even know which is better. I would be fine if she turned out to be Janet, but if it’s really a hint at Dr Strange and the Man-Thing then holy hell yes! Sounds absolutely mazing to me.

    The only one that is not so “epic” is the Stark’s ex who gets her won armour. That’s the weakest possibility, IMHO.

    Ant-Man comes sooner than Doctor Strange though, but still I would be happy with either :D

  15. I wonder if Tony Stark fakes his own death in IM3, mear the end and then takes off into space and finds the Gaurdians? If Pepper does in fact die, he may be crushed enough to just take off and leave. Then when Avengers 2 comes around, he and the Gaurdians come to earth to join them in the fight. Hmmmmmmm……

  16. Stephanie was originally listed at Janet van Dyne then it was laterd changed to Bethany Cabe

    • Unfortunately, I think any ‘Pro’ user can change it – that’s why IMDB cannot be used as a source for these things.

      • I’m not sure, but I don’t think IMDB is like Wikipedia, in the sense that I don’t think just anyone can edit it. From what I understood, if you want, as a member of the general public, to have something changed on a page, you have to submit it to the people at IMDB, who then validate the veracity of what you want to have changed.

        Personally, I’ve looked several times at the IM3 page on IMDB and never saw a character name associated to Stephanie until they added “Bethany Cabe” to the list.

        So I think it would be a good time to let go of this rumor of the Wasp… With all the evidences and the context of IM3′s storyline, it just doesn’t fit in.

        But… maybe in the mid-credits or after-the-credits scene, with Pym? That would make my day!!!!

  17. Yeah, good job at making the whole Man-Thing connection there. I like Man-Thing and all the old horror comics that Marvel used to put out so this is pretty cool…

  18. Hmmm I am still hoping for a post credits ant-man scene, or even an easter egg, however I figure there are several other better roles she could be in relation to this movie. and Janet’s origin as the Wasp needs to be tied to Pym, its just how it goes. Guess we will have to wait and see…. and I still have my suspicions about MODOK showing up

  19. Alyson hannigan or the pauley perrete from NCIS should play the wasp

  20. On IMDB, it now lists her as Janet Van Dyne. :)

    • Confirmed… is somebody out there playing with our nerves???

    • It still doesn’t make any sense… I’m more confused than ever!

      Seriously, if they mess up the origins of the Wasp, I know a lot of people who will be darn mad at this. Janet Van Dyne has to get her abilities from Henry Pym, to avenge her father’s death. End of story.

      If not, I don’t know… I quit!

      • What next? They’re going to tell us that the blond man in the second IM3 trailer fighting an Armour bare-chested is actually Hank Pym???? :P