Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell set to join 'Iron Man 2'
Possible Black Widow character yet to be cast
Is Mickey Rourke the hottest actor in Hollywood? Last night word leaked that the Oscar-buzzed star of “The Wrestler” was set to rejoin his old friend Sylvester Stallone and a slew of action heroes in the new thriller “Expendables.” Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Rourke is in talks to play a villain in “Iron Man 2.”
Marvel Studios is trying to keep things quiet, but the current incarnation of the screenplay, being written by Justin Theroux, would find Rourke playing a Russian heavy named Ivan who becomes Whiplash, a killer with a deadly and powerful steel coil. In his original comic-book incarnation (where he’s also known as Backlash), Whiplash’s coil was in the form of a whip, it’s unclear how it would appear in the sequel.
Making any sequel is difficult. So often, it seems like the people with the least idea about what made a film work are the people who actually made it. Audiences connect with films for all sorts of reasons, and trying to reproduce that lightning-in-a-bottle can end up an exercise in frustration.
If you were to ask me, though, I think "Iron Man 2" has a shot at being one of those cases where they get everything right and actually improve upon the well-liked original.
Late last year Marvel announced Don Cheadle would be replacing Terrence Howard in the role of Col. James ‘Rhodney’ Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine. Gwyenth Paltrow is set to return as Stark’s assistant, Pepper Potts.
The trader reports one last role, for what appears to be a second Stark assistant, Natasha (or would that be the Black Widow?), has not yet been cast.
Downey, Jr.’s dramatic comeback from substance abuse pinnacled with the release of “Iron Man” last year. There is some irony that another comeback kid, Rourke, came on board the sequel to play his adversary.
Production is expected to begin this spring in Manhattan Beach. Paramount Pictures will distribute the Marvel Studios production on May 7, 2010.
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