April 23, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
05/07/12 UPDATE: According to Chastain herself, she is too busy and will be unable to take on this role. The search continues…
Now that she’s proven her acting chops in smaller, more serious roles and landed an Oscar nomination to boot, Jessica Chastain is ready to tackle a tentpole/franchise. And she’s picked a doozy as Deadline reports the actress is in talks to take on a starring role in Marvel’s “Iron Man 3″ opposite Robert Downey, Jr.
Chastain is circling the role of a smart (but, of course, sexy) scientist who goes toe to toe with Tony Stark. The role had been offered to her but it seemed like scheduling conflicts would force her to pass. The studio began meeting with other young actresses including Diane Kruger, Isla Fisher and Gemma Arterton, but when Chastain’s schedule cleared up, she is looking like the one who will ultimately win out after all. Chastain will join Downey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson and fellow newbie Guy Pearce as geneticist Aldrich Killian.
The film is said to be based on Warren Ellis’ “Extremis” storyline from the Marvel comics, and it seems to reason that Chastain will be playing Maya Hansen, a colleague of Killian’s with whom she develops the Extremis virus, which forces the human brain to rewire itself into something stronger. The scientists hope to send it to the US military, but it falls into the hands of terrorists instead and Hansen teams up with Stark to stop it.
Chastain starred in an unbelievable six films in 2011, including Cannes Palme D’Or winner “The Tree of Life”, Jeff Nichols’ Sundance hit “Take Shelter” and Civil Rights era drama “The Help”, which ultimately won her her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She is currently filming Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden military thriller “Zero Dark Thirty” and will then reunite with co-star Joel Edgerton on “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His and Hers.”