Mickey Rourke sells out to The Expendables — and Iron Man 2?!

rourkeFresh off a stunning (and award-winning) performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke is lining up an interesting slate of films for his follow-ups. He’s currently filming 13, a remake of the French thriller 13 (Tzameti) starring Jason Statham and Ray Winstone, and he’s just signed onto Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables — also with Jason Statham, as well as Jet Li, Randy Couture, and Dolph Lundgren — and starring Sylvester Stallone, of course. Forest Whitaker and Ben Kingsley are “circling the project,” meaning they’re in negotiations, I guess?

Rourke will play “an unscrupulous arms dealer who becomes the go-to guy for a group of mercenaries (the Expendables, duh) planning to topple a South American dictator.” The film begins shooting in March.

AICN recently ran a script review of the film and called it “a keeper.” Of course, action movies don’t really need great scripts as much as they need great action — and if you liked Rambo as much as I did, then you’ll agree that Sly can deliver that just fine.

UPDATE (1/7/09): The Hollywood Reporter has broken the almost-news that Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell (Frost/Nixon) are in “in talks” to star in Iron Man 2 — as the villains. Rourke will play either a “tattooed Russian heavy named Ivan… a man with deadly, technologically enhanced coils”), whom THR refers to as Whiplash, while Variety says he’s The Crimson Dynamo. Apparently neither Whiplash nor any of the Crimson Dynamos from the comics are named “Ivan,” so I don’t know.

Rockwell would be billionaire Stark Industries rival Justin Hammer. Whether or not these two actually sign onto the Marvel sequel, it’s a good bet that these are the villain’s we’ll be seeing when the film hits theaters in May, 2010.

The film is targeting a “spring” start, which probably won’t conflict with The Expendables’ March start, because (I’m guessing here) Rourke’s role in that film will be relatively small.

Related Posts: Trailer Watch: Mickey Rourke is The Wrestler; Jet Li, Jason Statham and Sly Stallone are Expendables (updated); What does RDJ think about Iron Man 2?

Posted on January 7, 2009 at 11:14 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
In: News

9 Responses

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  1. Written by MaskedVigilante
    on 2009-01-08 at 06:44
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    Rourke will play “an unscrupulous arms dealer who becomes the go-to guy for a group of mercenaries

    So… pretty much the role he played opposite Jennifer Love Hewitt in the Enrique Iglesias video for “Hero”.

  2. Written by Genevieve
    on 2009-01-08 at 11:19
    Permalink

    Sounds like “Omega Red” to me?? He’s got the metal tentacles bit. I don’t know if his name is/was Ivan, but I know he is/was very Russian. And it’s a hardcore nerdy obscure character, much like Iron Man himself was; if you’re a Marvel comics nerd at all, you’ve heard of them, but the average person on the street has no idea what you’re talking about.

    Only thing is, I think that’s traditionally a Wolverine villain, although if they go “New Avengers” route for the movie-verse, they may well have him cross over.

  3. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2009-01-08 at 18:36
    Permalink

    Whiplash has two whips (sorta like tentacles?), too, which is why I think THR might be right. But that’s assuming they’re sticking closely to the comics.

    As for Wolverine, nothing is set in stone yet because they don’t even have a script, but last I read, they’re using the original Avengers line-up or something close to it (Hulk, Iron Man, Cap, Thor, and probably Ant Man), so no Wolverine. The fact that Twentieth Century Fox has the X-Men rights while Marvel Studios has all the original Avengers makes a cross-over between the X and Avengers franchises pretty unlikely.

  4. Written by Jacob Moore
    on 2009-01-09 at 18:35
    Permalink

    According to The Marvel Encyclopedia, Omega Red’s first name is Arkady, while Whiplash (later named Blacklash, just to make things more confusing) bears the name Mark Scarlotti/Scott, which isn’t QUITE Russian.

    Omega Red, while indeed very tentacled and very Russian, is typically a Wolverine villain. While it’s certainly possible that they might use him for IM, it’s also possible that Fox has the rights for him; I don’t know for sure. Whiplash, I think, is much more likely, as he was a classic IM villain and, with the exception of not being Russian, fits the description given for Rourke’s character.

    Personally, I’d prefer Crimson Dynamo, fantastic villain. But, oddly enough…apparently there have been 6 different Crimson Dynamos, all of whom were Russian…but NONE of them were named Ivan.

    I guess the studio just pulled that name out of their ass?

  5. Written by Jacob Moore
    on 2009-01-09 at 18:37
    Permalink

    Aaaaaand it says here that Whiplash “became a costume operative for Justin Hammer”, which would be Rockwell’s (potential) character. So I think we have a winner. Why they’ve apparently decided to make him Russian is beyond me. Perhaps they’re combining the 2 characters?

    Still doesn’t explain where the name Ivan came from, though…

  6. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2009-01-10 at 01:48
    Permalink

    There have been TWELVE Crimson Dynamos according to Wikipedia. And none of them were named Ivan — but I had a hunch they’re combining the characters, too, Jacob. Obviously I have no solid information to go on with that, though. You’ll know as soon as I do!

    One point I didn’t include in this article was that a character named “Natasha” — an assistant of Tony Stark’s — had yet to be cast. The name, of course, invites speculation that it might be the Black Widow, which would be pretty cool, provided she’s not a major character. (Perhaps she’s working for Hammer?)

    Her Wikipedia page notes that the Black Widow “attempts to seduce American defense contractor Tony Stark and inevitably confronts his superhero alter ego, Iron Man. Later, Romanova defected to the United States and eventually joins the super-team the Avengers as a costumed superhero,” so it could fit.

  7. Written by Jacob Moore
    on 2009-01-12 at 14:42
    Permalink

    I think Black Widow would be fantastic, provided they do an appropriate casting job (Mila Jovovich, perhaps? She’d look the part, at least, and knows her way around an action sequence). I’m a bit concerned, though, 3 villains can make a superhero movie a bit crowded, even in the hands of a good director (a la Spider-Man 3). But she’s a good character with ties to both IM and SHIELD, which we know will figure prominently in the Avengers movie, so if they started her as a minor player and expanded her role along with the Marvel Film Universe, it could work out pretty well.

  8. Written by il_bicho
    on 2009-01-14 at 01:01
    Permalink

    well here are my two cents to this story:

    i think they’re naming the character “Ivan”, since they feel it might be the most popular name in Russia or the name that people tend to think of Russians int he same way a lot of people think German when they hear “Hans’ or Mexican when they hear “Jose”.

    now the kind of story they’re using for the movies both spiderman’s and avengers seems to be mostly the ultimate, sot hey can go around and screw with the characters as they please, so why not name the crimson dynamo Ivan.

    now for natasha, i have the feeling than rather tha a villain, she’s going to be more like Kato to her Green Hornet, and she’ll tie to the avengers more easily.

    unless they want to use the original story and make her bad, so if they do, they better cast a good character for hawkeye.

    so after feeling a lot like the Simpsons Comic book guy after this post.
    “good night and Good luck”

  9. Written by coffee maker
    on 2009-03-22 at 11:00
    Permalink

    Roarke was right to hold out for more money; it’s Iron Man 2 — they can afford more than 250k

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