As you can see from the trailer, the Mandarin won’t be the only villain in the upcoming Iron Man 3: along with the terrorist, Tony Stark will face the sneaky and fascinating Aldrich Killian, portrayed by Guy Pearce. Now, it seems that the movie version, who will put up some sort of triangle involving Pepper Potts, will differ largely from the comics’ one. Trust me, there is absolutely nothing fascinating about Dr. Killian.
First of all, as you can see from the picture, Aldrich Killian is anything but handsome or elegant. He’s quite the stereotypical scientist, shabby, weird, with some incoming sociopathy. In the Marvel comics, he’s quite a young character, and, so far, he’s only appeared in a couple of issues (and it’s unlikely he’ll appear again): there’s not much to say about him, but we’ve got informations enough to provide a little bit of knowledge for everyone who wants to see the movie knowing who the character is. Dr. Aldrich Killian is a scientific genius, who works with U.S. Army in the Vault, a lab in which they’re trying to recreate Abraham Erskine‘s Super Soldier Serum, the one which gave birth to Captain America. Killian’s original approach to the matter was to use nanotech to recreate the serum. Along with his colleague Maya Hansen, Killian was able to create the Extremis Enhancile, a nanotech-based fluid which more or less replicated the effects of the original Super Serum. Unfortunately, while the Enhancile gave the subjects superhuman abilities similar to Steve Rogers‘ ones, it also increased esponentially their aggressivity and violence.
The project was about to be shut, but Killian and Hansen wanted to prove that Extremis worked. Desperate about their creature, the two scientists decided to sell it to some domestic terrorists, who would have become Extremist-enhanced. The terrorists’ success would have proven the government wrong about the serum, and forced it to grant the scientists federal funding to proceed their research. When one of the terrorists went on rampage, and was stopped only by an Extremis-enhanced Tony Stark, an inquiry was opened on the nanotech’s theft. Al Killian, worried by the consequences of his actions and quite sure he wouldn’t have resisted an interrogatory like his stronger and braver colleague Maya Hansen, decided to kill himself, leaving behind a written confession in which he took every responsibility for the accident.
So, it seems that the character’s version in the movie will differ a lot from the comics’ one. Aldrich Killian was introduced as a weak minded person, often subdued to his research colleague, Dr. Hansen. He surely isn’t the self-confident guy seen in the trailer: let’s see what Shane Black has done with him.