An old Iron Man movie villain would love to get another shot at causing trouble in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man 3 star Guy Pearce was recently doing press for his new movie Last Vermeer when he was asked about whether or not he would ever reprise his role as Aldrich Killian, founder of A.I.M. That organization has a much bigger Marvel Comics history, and so there is plenty of room for Killian to get a bigger arc, as well. Well, Guy Pearce says he's open to doing more in the MCU - only problem? Killian was left pretty dead at the end of Iron Man 3!
"I would certainly consider reprising [the role] if they were interested in doing so," Guy Pearce told Screen Rant. "It was fantastic. It was great. I love playing that character. I loved working with Robert, of course, and Shane, our director, and Gwyneth who is adorable. I had a really, really great time. Who knows how we could do that?"
That's really the question at hand, no? How could the MCU bring back Aldrich Killian?
Well, first of all, there's been little to no connective threads between Shane Black's Iron Man 3 and the larger MCU. The film ended with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) deciding he no longer needed the Iron Man armor - but he was right back in it by Avengers: Age of Ultron, with no explanation. Pepper Potts (Gwenyth Paltrow) was transformed by the Extremis process into a killer living machine - and has never mentioned it again, since. Ty Simpkins' Harley Keener showed up at Tony Stark's funeral in Avengers: Endgame, and that's about all the influence Iron Man 3 has had on the franchise.
Bringing back Aldrich Killian as something other than a fake version of The Mandarin may actually be a great redemptive step for that divisive film. And sooner before later, as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is already working on fixing Iron Man 3's Mandarin blunder. As for Guy Pearce's question of how to do it: if Toby Jones' Nazi scientist Arnim Zola could show up in modern times as a retro-computer A.I. (see: Captain America: The Winter Soldier), then there's no reason that a technical maverick like Aldrich Killian (who was also made near-invincible by Extremis) couldn't have a back-up plan that will allow him to cheat death and return to lead a new ear of A.I.M., in a post-Iron Man world.
With War Machine (Don Cheadle) getting his own Armor Wars series, and Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) getting her Ironheart series, the Iron Man Universe will need some good villains to oppose a new generation of armored heroes.