Mickey Rourke And Sam Rockwell Cast In Iron Man 2

Mickey Rourke is on a roll as of late. His highly praised performance in Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler has given the actor's career a jump-start. Last night it was revealed that Rourke has been added to Sly Stallone's action hero team-up film The Expendables, and today Variety reports that Mickey is in talks to join the cast of Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2 as the potential villain.

Ivan is described as "Tony Stark's Russian alter ego, a heavily tattooed bruiser who is in the arms trade and battles Iron Man in his own nuclear-powered armored suit." Variety initially hinted that Rourke's character would be Crimson Dynamo (pictured above), but THR says that Ivan becomes Whiplash, a man "with deadly, technologically enhanced coils."So I'm unsure which report is correct.

In the comic books, Whiplash is Mark Scarlotti, brilliant engineer and weapons designer who becomes the head of research for Stark International Cincinnati. Scarlotti is lured into developing weapons for an international crime syndicate and then for himself. According to Marvel's case files, "Whiplash designed two cybernetically controlled whips that could be converted into nunchakus or vaulting poles. The whips could be spun so fast that they could even blow Spider-Man's webbing away from Scarlotti preventing him from being ensnared. As both Whiplash and Blacklash, Scarlotti used a necro-lash which could be electrically charged by his gauntlets, released from its handle to deliver a concussion charge, or he could turn up the electric charge to its maximum which caused anything it hit, including Iron Man's armor, to become brittle. He also used anti-gravity bolas, heavy gravity bolas, and various other devices also of his own design. When Mark returned to his original alias of Whiplash, he also upgraded his armaments with a kinetic whip, a cat-o-nine-tails, and a whip made of super conductive filament in order to channel lightning as an offensive weapon."

Crimson Dynamo is a power armor-wearing Russian agent who first appeared in Tales of Suspense #46. Created by Stan Lee and artist Don Heck, there have been twelve versions of Dynamo over the last 45 years. According to Wikipedia, The Crimson Dynamo wears "an armored battle-suit that serves as an exoskeleton, providing the wearer with superhuman strength and durability. The suit's outer layer was composed of a carborundum matrix alloy, and is equipped with: hand-blasters that can fire high-frequency electrical bolts; small missiles contained in the back shoulder area of the battle-suit; computers and radio transmitter and receiver; boot jets that allow flight."

Sam Rockwell is also in talks to play Justin Hammer, a multibillionaire businessman and a rival of industrialist Tony Stark. Hammer first appeared in Iron Man #120 in 1978, and has since remained a frequent adversary of Iron Man. Hammer has a  genius-level intellect and has access to various forms of advanced technology designed by his technicians. He finances criminals, asking for fifty percent of the illegal profits in exchange for any bail costs and weaponry and equipment replacement. Hammer also invented a device called the hypersonic scan transmitter, which allowed him to take control of Iron Man's armor, causing him to kill the Carnelian ambassador, and set an army of superhuman criminals against Iron Man.

Marvel is still searching for someone to play Stark's assistant Natasha. Iron Man 2 is scheduled to begin shooting in April 2009 for a May 7th 2010 release.

Discuss: What do you think of Rourke's Iron Man 2 casting?