Even with The Avengers generating record amounts of first-week revenue and reaping the rewards of a fantastic promotional campaign, a terrific movie and strong reviews and word-of-mouth, Robert Downey, Jr. has lost a teammate as Jessica Chastain has passed on a role in Iron Man 3.
Chastain, who appeared in The Help alongside Ashley Johnson (who had a small role in The Avengers), announced via her Facebook page that she just coulnd' tmake scheduling work to appear in the Marvel sequel.
"Sorry to say that Iron Man 3 isn't going to work out," the actress wrote. "My schedule is jammed packed and I can't fit anything else in. The press announced my possible attachment far too soon. I know many of you wanted me to be involved, and I'm so sorry to disappoint you. Hopefully there'll be another Marvel film in my future. Shane Black and everyone on the IM3 team are really wonderful. I'm very excited to see the film when it comes out."
Scheduling conflicts had led Chastain to drop out of contention for the role--reported to be Maya Hansen--once before but in late April it was reported that a schedule had been worked out which would allow her to take the role. It's difficult to say whether those initial reports were exaggerated or whether the monumental success of The Avengers has put pressure on Marvel to get production rolling faster, possibly to clear Downey's schedule for Avengers 2.
Directed by Shane Black and reportedly based at least in part on Warren Ellis' Extremis story, Iron Man 3 has been a revolving door of sorts, with rumors of Black Widow being absent, then in the film, then out of it again while Marvel has teased the possibility of The Hulk (or at least Bruce Banner) appearing as well. And all this following the exit of Jon Favreau, who directed the first two films.