That didn’t take too long at all. Earlier this week, actress Jessica Chastain took to her Facebook page to announce that scheduling conflicts would keep her from her rumored role in Shane Black‘s Iron Man 3, leaving room for Rebecca Hall to step in for the reportedly crucial role. Variety reports (via /Film) that the actress is currently in talks for the part, which has been somewhat dismissively referred to as a “sexy female scientist,” but is actually one of the most important roles in the film.

Hall’s potential role is explained as “a scientist who plays a pivotal role in the creation of a nanotechnology, know as Extremis, that winds up being sold to terrorists.” That means the role is almost assuredly that of Dr. Maya Hansen, as has been long rumored. And, in no-duh news, the film’s plot will reportedly “borrow elements from Warren Ellis’ six-issue ‘Iron Man: Extremis,’ that also heavily influenced the first Iron Man pic, and focuses on the spread of a virus through nanotechnology.”

Most notably, the origin story for Iron Man that was presented in “Extremis” was the one used in the first Iron Man film, so the influence of Ellis’ story is indeed quite heavy. Also of note, in the “Extremis” series, Extremis the nanotechnology serum is – shock! – part of another military attempt to recreate that damn Super-Solider Serum. Seriously, guys, is it really that hard?

Much like Chastain, Hall has built herself a tidy little resume of work (including roles in The Town, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and The Prestige), and a big role in Iron Man 3 would signal a massive change for the actress and the type of work she’s capable of doing and getting.

Marvel, Disney, and Hall better get to it quick – the film is set to start filming later this month in North Carolina and China. Iron Man 3 will open on May 3, 2013.


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