With filming about to get underway in Beijing, Marvel Studios's Iron Man 3 has officially replaced Andy Lau, who left the production to be with his family after his child was born, with Wang Xuequi.
Deadline is confirming earlier reports that Xuequi will take over the role of "Dr. Wu," identified as a new character created for the film but actually Chen Lu, the man who in the comic books becomes Radioactive Man. Deadline is told that Xuequi, who they call "the Sean Connery of China," will not play a large role in the film.
Marvel reportedly plan to film several scenes in China with an eye toward securing Iron Man 3's status as a Chinese co-production, even though that label has come under increased scrutiny since director Shane Black told an audience at Comic Con that neither he nor any of the principal cast would be headed to China, and suggested that the film crew's trip there would be little more than filming backgrounds into which characters could be digitally inserted later.
“I assume that when the plates crew goes over to China to film the plates while I’m standing by my swimming pool, that it will go really well,” joked Black in response to a question about shooting overseas.
“It’s weird because we’re not going to China,” he told the reporters in attendance. “Basically we’re setting aspects of the film in China but we won’t be filming in China."
Iron Man 3 will be released on May 3, 2013. In addition to Xuequi, the film stars Robert Downey, Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Kingsley.