Mickey Rourke AND Sam Rockwell playing villains in IRON MAN 2?

This seems legit, a trade announcement from both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter that Jon Favreau has once again out done himself with his casting for the IRON MAN franchise. Putting in doubt what AICN call a "premature casting announcement" for Stallone's THE EXPENDABLES, Mickey Rourke is in talks to play a tattooed Russian heavy named Ivan who becomes a man with deadly, technologically enhanced coilsplay. He goes by the name Crimson Dynamo. crimsondynamogennady1

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. Subsequent versions of the battle-suit have featured upgrades of various kinds, by the Gremlin and other Russian scientists.
Both IRON MAN 2 and THE EXPENDABLES will be shooting at roughly the same time, it's probably going to be one or the other for Rourke. The sensible career choice of course would be to go for IRON MAN, which probably will also have the big money attached to it but he is good pals with Stallone and again, owes him a favour for his career resurrection at the turn of the century. But isn't it great to see Rourke being fought over by big profile projects? Sam Rockwell, who in another world probably could have played Tony Stark himself, is in talks to play billionaire and rival industrialist Justin Hammer who in the comics was the cash-cow for super villains and their weaponry. Presumably in the film he will fund Crymson Dynamo and will look a lot younger than this and will be American rather than English (his character was born in Surrey)... An interesting snippet of the character's history from his WIKI page which could be an interesting plot threadline to explore...
Hammer invented a device called the hypersonic scan transmitter, which allowed him to take control of Iron Man's armor. He tested this remote control, affecting Iron Man's unibeam, sealing plates, and boot jets. Angered that he had lost a lucrative bid to Stark International, Hammer took control of Iron Man's armor and forced him to kill the Carnelian ambassador, and set an army of superhuman criminals against Iron Man. Stark cleared his name and destroyed the control device, but had found a new enemy in Hammer.
Love Sam Rockwell and this role sounds like his kind of thing. Rockwell and Rourke? What a combination and I think Favreau is very smart that even though he is using two villains, one is a supervillian and one is merely a human with money and power. That kind of dynamic use to work on Saturday morning cartoons, can't see why it wouldn't work here. This is the best news we've heard in 2009 so far! Jon Favreau begins filming the sequel this Spring based on Justin Theroux's (TROPIC THUNDER) script. Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow both return, with Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard for the role of Jim Rhodes. The movie will be out on May 7th, 2010.

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.