Movie Chronicles » Iron Man 2

First image of Mickey Rourke as Whiplash! June 10th, 2009

Here’s Mickey Rourke in full Whiplash cos­tume. Click the image for a high res version.

Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) sports a power pack on his chest that looks sim­i­lar to the one that Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) uses.

“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.

“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 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.”

(Thanks Leroy!)