First Look: Mickey Rourke as Whiplash

From Marv, to the Wrestler, to Whiplash. It’s been quite a year for Mickey Rourke, who has seen his Hollywood stock skyrocket as he’s nabbed roles for both The Expendables and the sequel to Iron Man.

In Iron Man 2, Rourke will play Whiplash, a villainous character who has a few toys in his arsenal, much like Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). In this photo you see he’s sporting a power pack on his chest, similar to the chest plate in Iron Man’s suit.


“The technologies are definitely related,” says director Jon Favreau. “That’s part of the core theme of the film.”

The villain’s alter ego, Ivan Vanko, is a Russian who “has constructed his own version of a suit,” Favreau says. Among the creative innovations: a pair of whips, powered by the suit’s glowing chest piece, that are expected to keep Iron Man cracking.

This first image of the character shows Whiplash making an appearance at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. Favreau as usual is tight-lipped about plot points and declines to discuss whether the big-screen Whiplash is, as in the Marvel Comics, a weapons designer who works for Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a competitor of Tony Stark/Iron Man.

Rourke’s performances in Sin City and The Wrestler helped convince the director that the actor was the best candidate to face Downey in his sequel to last spring’s blockbuster that grossed $318.4 million.

“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.”

Source: USA Today

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