Variety bring word that Ben Kingsley is in final negotiations to play the villain in Shane West and Marvel’s ‘Iron Man 3.’ Variety’s sources indicate that Kingsley will not be playing Tony Stark’s archenemy, The Mandarin, but someone tied to nanotechnology: “Kingsley’s character is involved in the spread of a virus through nanobots, given that “Iron Man 3″ is loosely based on Warren Ellis’ six-issue “Extremis” comicbook series first published in 2005. That arc — which also heavily influenced the first “Iron Man” pic — introduced a new origin story and focused heavily on nanotechnology.”

‘Iron Man 3′ starts shooting in May and will film through the summer. If Ben Kingsley does sign on, he would be joining the returning Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Starks/Iron Man, Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes/War Machine, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Pots, and Scarlett Johanssen as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in this superhero sequel. ‘Iron Man 3′ will be directed by Shane Black, who is co-writing the script with Drew Pierce. The first ‘Iron Man’ earned $585 million worldwide, while the sequel generated $624 million – big chee$e!  ‘Iron Man 3′ opens in cinemas May 3rd, 2013.  Iron Man himself will be seen much sooner when ‘The Avengers’ hits cinemas in the next few weeks. Expect further details soon.