Ben Kingsley is always game to play a big screen villain. Who can forget his Oscar nominated tough but utterly bonkers hardman Don Logan in the excellent Brit gangster Sexy Beast? Or his gusto portrayals of menacing foes Nizam in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time or The Hood in Thunderbirds, performances which were a thousand times better than the films they lived in? And now in a long overdue move, Sir Ben is close to joining the Marvel Universe's cast of fearsome baddies with Variety reporting that the seasoned these has entered talks to play an unnamed villain in Shane Black's (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) soon to be shooting Iron Man 3. Before your brain gets carried away, the word from insiders is he ain't playing the Mandarin, which is a shame as he would be perfect for the role. Instead Marvel have confirmed that if talks are successful Kingsley would play "a role that revolves around the spread of a virus through nanobots" and in doing so have confirmed the previous rumours that the storyline will be somewhat based on Warren Ellis' six part "Extremis" storyline. This also likely means he will play Mallen, a villain responsible for the nanobots who take over Tony Stark's DNA. He looks like this... Expect Kingsley to officially sign on to the film very soon as shooting on Marvel's next chapter in their multi-film universe kicks off in May in North Carolina, just weeks after The Avengers ensemble film which features Tony Stark at the core opens in theaters. Robert Downey Jr (as Iron Man), Gwenyth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Don Cheadle (Rhodes) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) will reprise their roles from the previous film. Written by Drew Pearce (No Heroics) and Shane Black and to be directed by the latter, Iron Man 3 is due May 3rd, 2013. P.S. - It has been a long journey indeed for Kingsley to portray a Marvel villain. He was once Sam Raimi's choice to portray The Vulture in Spider-Man 3 before Sony forced the director to cut the character out of his plans in exchange for fan favourite Venom. Though curiously when Raimi was prepping the ultimately unrealised Spider-Man 4 he instead attached John Malkovich (incidentally an actor he originally wanted to play Green Goblin in his first Spider-Man movie) to play The Vulture and not Kingsley.