First things first: Jon Favreau tweeted the following picture today.
Seems like he's on location with Iron Man 3, which started filming this week.
And now the main event. Another character has been added to the Iron Man 3 roster, and it's someone who has been an antagonist to Shellhead in the past - Firepower!
Yeah, I had to look him up. Firepower is another dude in a suit. At least one version of him. As is the case with characters like this (ie, characters nobody really cares about), there are a bunch of versions of him. There are two main Marvel versions, an Ultimate version and even a version from the Iron Man 2 video game. It's unclear whether Shane Black is beholden to the Iron Man 2 video game continuity, but I do hope not.
The rundowns of the different Firepowers!
Firepower I: A guy in a fucking HUGE suit who fights Iron Man during the Armor Wars story. The gist of Armor Wars is that Tony Stark decides he's sick of villains in suits using stolen Stark Industries tech, so he goes to hunt them all down. It turns out some government operatives also use Stark tech, and he goes after them too. This leads the government to turn to businessman Edwin Cord to make a suit of armor to take out Iron Man.
The guy in that suit is named Jack Taggert. He later gets another suit from the Mandarin and joins a team trying to take Iron Man down.
Firepower II: Another government agent. More streamlined, not terribly interesting.
Ultimate Firepower: In the Ultimate Armor Wars storyline Firepower is the name of the British police riot squad division that wears power armor based on stolen Stark tech.
Iron Man 2 game: Firepower here is a mercenary working with AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics), and he fights War Machine.
All of our reports on Iron Man 3 have the story being based on Extremis, from Warren Ellis, but Firepower is mostly an Armor Wars character (he even showed up in the cartoon versions of Armor Wars). I wonder if the movie is melding these storylines; I certainly find Armor Wars a more interesting story, and at least it comments on the fact that all of Iron Man's villains are just guys in suits again and again.
The actor playing the role is Ashley Hamilton, probably best known as the guy who married Shannon Doherty after knowing her for two weeks (the marriage lasted five months). I'm sort of guessing Hamilton is a friend of Shane Black. I'm not sure how else he got cast.
He'll be joining James Badge Dale as another villain you never heard of, Coldblood.