Although Shane Black has succeeded him as director for Marvel’s Iron Man 3, Jon Favreau will return to the blockbuster franchise, reprising his role as Tony Stark’s friend and bodyguard Happy Hogan. According to Heat Vision, it’s unknown just how big Favreau’s part will be; he appeared in cameo in Iron Man, and more extensively in Iron Man 2.
Confirmation of his involvement arrives even as Variety reports Ashley Hamilton is in talks to play the minor villain Firepower in Iron Man 3. Introduced in 1988’s Iron Man #230, the character was the pilot of an experimental armored suit created as part of the U.S. government’s secret Project: Firepower program. The son of George Hamilton, Ashley Hamilton is a friend of Robert Downey Jr. who’s best known for his appearances on the ninth season of Dancing With the Stars, and his subsequent gig as a correspondent for Extra.
Directed by Black from a script he co-wrote with Drew Pearce (No Heroics), Iron Man 3 is loosely based on the 2005-2006 “Extremis” story arc by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov in which a criminal is injected with a nanotechnological drug created by the U.S. military in an attempt to replicate the Super-Soldier Serum, triggering a mutation that grants him superhuman abilities.
The film began shooting Wednesday in North Carolina, and will move to China later this summer. Iron Man 3 opens May 3, 2013.