China is pretty big these days. Well, okay, it's always been pretty big both physically and in terms of cultural impact on the world, but until recently it's been mostly ignored by Hollywood due to the fact that China's censors wouldn't allow many American films to screen there. With those old restrictions gone, though, Hollywood is chasing after Chinese money like a dog after a frisbee made out of ham.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying that Marvel has just added Chinese star Wang Xueqi to the cast of "Iron Man 3" to play Dr. Wu (or Lu?).
So who is Wang Xeuqi? Well, he's a very respected actor in China, having won several awards for roles in more than two dozen major films. This, however, is his first role in an American production.
Just who Wang will be playing is also still a bit of a mystery — according to Deadline it will be a new character named Dr. Wu, though rumors have been swirling that it will instead be Dr. Lu, better known to comic fans as the super powered scientist called The Radioactive Man — but it's almost more interesting to note who he won't be playing: The Mandarin. That role, of course, is being filled by British star Ben Kinglsey, as Marvel didn't want to alienate the Chinese market by having the major villain be played by a Chinese actor, even if that villain is, in fact, Chinese.
"Iron Man 3" is currently filming on location in China as well, which makes the addition of Wang even more of a no-brainer for Marvel. And with more and more Hollywood studios courting the Chinese market, chances are we won't be saying "Wu who?" for much longer.