Mickey Rourke Confirmed For Iron Man 2

He'll play Russian villain, Whiplash

Well, it took a while, but at long, long, long (long, long) last, Mickey Rourke has signed on to play Whiplash, the bad guy in Iron Man 2.

Rourke’s involvement with the Jon ‘Favs’ Favreau-directed sequel was first mooted back in January, but with rumours circulating about an initial low offer from Marvel, he never actually signed on the dotted line. Until, Trailer Man intones, now.

That offer had been put at a mere $250,000, the sort of money that Empire wouldn’t get out of bed for, quite frankly, and so we can’t blame Rourke for holding out for some extra moolah. After all, the man is now an Oscar-nominated actor – although you can bet that, had he won the Oscar for The Wrestler, his price would have gone through the roof.

However, it seems that Rourke’s commitment was never really in doubt – he had been tapped up repeatedly on the Oscar circuit by Downey Jr., and he had also been meeting with Favreau and the film’s writer, Justin Theroux to give input into his character.

And that character is interesting. When we first heard that Rourke was set to play a Russian arms dealer who becomes a thorn in Tony Stark’s increasingly boozy side, we presumed that he would be the Crimson Dynamo, an armoured foe who had, at one stage, been set to be the villain in the first Iron Man.

Turns out, though, that Rourke’s Whiplash will incorporate elements of the Crimson Dynamo’s backstory and appearance, along with elements of the comic book Whiplash, a former Stark employee who builds a costume that allows him to wield cybernetically controlled and electrically charged whips that can cause some serious damage to the Iron Man armour. Think Indiana Jones plugged into the mains and you’re on the right path.

We have to say, we’re intrigued to see where Favs is going to take this sequel, given that the first was one of the most purely enjoyable comic book movies in ages. And we’d be lying if we said that we weren’t excited about the prospect of watching Rourke and Downey – two former Hollywood bad boys turned good – duking it out on the big screen.

Filming on Iron Man 2 starts in April, with a release date set for next May.