No sooner do I get home from being impressed by Mickey Rourke’s performance at a screening of The Wrestler than I find the news that he has beenin talks to star in Iron Man 2 opposite Robert Downey Jr. as one of the film’s villains. Exactly which villain is not exactly clear, though. Variety is reporting that Rourke will be playing Whiplash, while the Hollywood Reporter is stating that he will be the Crimson Dynamo. Both outlets are reporting that the character will be a Russian arms merchant similar to Downey’s Tony Stark/Iron Man, who dons his own superpowered suit of armor. Either way, he’ll be helped in his villainy by Sam Rockwell, who is in talks for a role in the film as Justin Hammer, an industrialist rival of Stark’s.
After watching Rourke this evening and having been a long time fan of Rockwell’s, my anticipation for this film has just shot even higher. I don’t think either of them at this point in their career would take a part simply for the paycheck, so their participation strikes me as a very good omen. My only caveat is that I would hate for the second film to be a rehash of the first film’s “two guys in armored suits beat the crap out of each other” storyline.
Currently, director Jon Favreau is working with Tropic Thunder writer Justin Theroux to get the sequel’s script into shape for a spring production start. Iron Man 2 is scheduled to hit screens on May 7, 2010.