First Look at Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2

In Iron Man 2, the scarlet and golden-metaled hero must face an adversary with technological upgrades of his own. Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) sports a power pack on his chest that looks similar to the one used by Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). “The technologies are definitely related, and that’s part of the core theme of the film,” says director Jon Favreau. The character’s alter ego, Ivan Vanko, is a Russian who, Favreau says, “has constructed his own version of a suit.” Among the creative alterations: a pair of whips, powered by the suit’s glowing chest piece, expected to keep Iron Man cracking. Whiplash “is going to light them up,” says Rourke. This first image of the character shows the villain making an appearance at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. Favreau as usual is tight-lipped about plot points in the film, due May 7, 2010, declining to discuss whether Whiplash was, as in the Marvel Comics, a weapons designer who works for Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a competitor of Tony Stark/Iron Man. “We like to play into and against the expectations that people might have so, we mixed it up a bit,” Favreau says. Rourke’s performances in Sin City and The Wrestler “made quite an impression on me,” says Favreau. “Robert has a tremendous screen presence. So it was very important that the villain be as compelling as can be. … Once I thought of Mickey in that role, it made me understand how to shape the story.”

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