Jessica Chastain Turns Down Starring Role in Iron Man 3

Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, who appeared in seven films last year alone, has passed on a starring role in Marvel’s Iron Man 3.

“Sorry to say that Iron Man 3 isn’t going to work out. My schedule is jammed packed and I can’t fit anything else in,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “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.”

Chastain had been considered to play a character described as “a sexy scientist every bit as smart as Tony Stark,” suggesting Maya Hansen, an old flame who in the 2005-2006 “Extremis” comic-book arc tips off Iron Man to a stolen nanotechnological drug that grants users superhuman abilities.

Deadline reported two weeks ago that the actress previously had been offered the role but was unable to accept because of scheduling conflicts, leading Marvel to line up meetings with the likes of Diane Kruger, Gemma Arterton and Isla Fisher. Perhaps the studio will turn to them once again.

Directed by Shane Black from a script by Black and Drew Pearce (No Heroics), Iron Man 3 stars returning cast members Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle, joined by newcomers Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce. It begins filming later this month in North Carolina before moving to China in late summer. Iron Man 3 opens May 3, 2013.

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