Jessica Chastain passes on Iron Man 3

Scheduling conflicts rear their ugly heads

Iron Man 3 has suffered its first casting casualty with the news that Jessica Chastain has been forced to pass on a starring role as a result of scheduling conflicts.

The Take Shelter star had been in line to play a female scientist, thought to be Dr. Maya Hansen, one of the co-creators of the Extremis virus that poses a threat to Tony Stark’s nanotechnology-equipped suit.

Chastain took to her Facebook page to break the bad news, apologising to fans who had been looking forward to her potential casting.

“Sorry to say that Iron Man 3 isn’t going to work out,” said the actress. “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,” she continued. “Shane Black and everyone on the IM3 team are really wonderful. I’m very excited to see the film when it comes out.”

Starring Robert Downey Jr. alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce, Iron Man 3 will open in the UK on 3 May 2013.

Who would you like to see replace Chastain? Suggestions below, please...