There are a couple of major rumors online today about Iron Man 3, both dealing with characters who appear in the movie. While we've been hearing lots of stuff about morts like Coldblood and Firepower, it seems the real heavy-hitters haven't yet been announced.
Latino Review says that Ben Kingsley IS playing The Mandarin, no matter what denials Marvel makes. The studio is well known for lying through their teeth anyway, so I wouldn't even worry about that. The site claims that The Mandarin is sort of the overarching villain, and that he's the mastermind behind up-front villain Guy Pearce (playing Aldrich Killian). This really points out how far from the Extremis storyline this movie is straying - Killian is killed off immediately in that story, with another guy being the big baddie.
But wait! There's more! According to Superhero Hype, the Iron Patriot will also be in the movie. This is a newer character who may not be familiar to many of you, so I'll try to explain it all.
After the events of Civil War, and after the death of Captain America (he got better), AND after the Skrull Secret Invasion, SHIELD was shelved. In its place was formed HAMMER which - and you're not going to believe this - was headed by former Green Goblin (and, for the record, former dead guy) Norman Osborne. This always struck me as an incredibly dumb thing, but whatever. In the new HAMMER regime Osborne staffed up a whole new Avengers team, made up of villains wearing the costumes of heroes (who were on the lam in the post-Civil War world). Osborne himself led the team as the Iron Patriot, wearing old confiscated Iron Man armor repainted to 'honor' Captain America.
It's obvious that Osborne won't be in Iron Man 3, thanks to the character being stuck at Sony. So who will be in the armor? Set photos reveal it's James Badge Dale, who is playing former soldier Eric Savin, who was Coldblood in the comics. The big question is how Iron Patriot will figure into the film - everything I can come up with sounds like a retread of Iron Man 2's drone storyline. In Shane Black we place our faith.
(As I was writing this story the picture above appeared on The Superficial)