Iron Man 3's Guy Pearce Would Be 'Very Much Interested' In Coming Back To The MCU

Hey, you know what's a pretty great movie? "Iron Man 3." These days I don't think it's quite as fraught a proposition to be honest with ourselves and admit that, yes, director Shane Black and writer Drew Pearce successfully brought over their uniquely talented sensibilities as uncompromising artists and helped make one of the most entertaining and well-made Marvel movies ever. Much of the film's joys were overshadowed by a certain plot twist and the apparently unforgivable sin of one of these superhero movies packing a genuine surprise that viewers never saw coming, but the threequel still holds up to this day as one of the better action films in the entire MCU.

A big part of that success is rooted in the real villain of the picture: Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian. On the surface, he's seemingly yet another tech-based businessman with a personal grudge against Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). But in terms of posing a serious threat to Iron Man and serving as a potent representation of the themes of the film — the sins of the past coming back to haunt you in the present — Killian easily stands tall as one of the most effective Marvel villains from a narrative point of view. And it definitely helps that Pearce appears to be having the time of his life in the role. Known for his performances in films like "L.A. Confidential," Christopher Nolan's "Memento," and the underrated Australian film "The Rover," Pearce can next be seen in the upcoming Martin Campbell movie, "Memory."

As is usually the case with Marvel veterans, even a completely unrelated project provides ample opportunity to ask if an actor will ever consider returning to the superhero scene. And whether out of genuine interest or the equally as valid opinion of enjoying making money, Pearce was quick to respond that he'd be "very much interested" should the stars align down the road.

'Who knows where he's ended up'

Here's the thing about superhero characters: dead doesn't ever really mean dead ... especially when the whole deal with those aforementioned superhero characters involves regeneration.

"Iron Man 3" borrowed heavily from the Marvel Comics' "Extremis" storyline, folding Aldrich Killian, the plight of wounded soldiers fighting unjust wars, and the traditional Iron Man archenemy of the Mandarin into an overarching plot about a spurned man nursing a decades-long grudge against Tony Stark. Along the way, we received some pretty nifty commentary on the War on Terror, the xenophobic tendency for Americans to immediately gravitate towards blaming a "foreign" boogeyman, and Sir Ben Kingsley hamming it up in glorious fashion. Like I said, pretty great movie!

In any case, we saw the Extremis-laced Killian blow up in the spectacular climactic battle against a similarly super-powered Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). He would seem to be a goner, but this is a comic book movie we're talking about. The only thing preventing us from enjoying even more Guy Pearce antics is the limits of our imagination. In a recent interview with Comic Book while promoting his upcoming performance in "Memory," Pearce remarked on how much he'd enjoy reprising his role in another Marvel movie in the future.

"I'd be very much interested in to see him come back. And I think because of the nature of the character that he is, it's totally conceivable that he could come back. So yes, I would love to see what he is up to, as well. Because he's somebody — obviously as we saw in 'Iron Man 3' — went through a sort of rapid vast change from the beginning of the story. So who knows where he's ended up."

Tony Stark may be dead and gone (until Marvel backs a dump truck full of money to bring Downey, Jr. back for "The Avengers vs the X-Men" or something in Phase 7, at least), but that doesn't mean Killian can't come back. Let's put it this way: if Trevor Slattery could make a hilarious return in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," then nothing is truly off-limits in the MCU anymore. Plus, it'd be cool if supervillains didn't constantly get killed off in Marvel movies after just one live-action appearance. But that's just me!

You can next see Guy Pearce in "Memory," releasing on April 29, 2022.