They'll look to make a dent

Rourke and Rockwell in talks to be the bad guys in 'Iron Man' sequel

Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell are in talks to star as the villains in "Iron Man 2," directed by Jon Favreau.

Marvel has been keeping a tight lid on the script for the sequel, being written by Justin Theroux, but it is known that Rourke would play a tattooed Russian heavy named Ivan who becomes the Crimson Dynamo, a villain in a powered suit of armor.

Rockwell would play Justin Hammer, a multibillionaire businessman and a rival of industrialist Anthony Stark, aka Iron Man, being played by a returning Robert Downey Jr.

Marvel said the talks with Rourke are in very preliminary stages.

Rourke and Rockwell would join a cast that includes the returning Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle, who is replacing Terence Howard, making for one eclectically cast summer tentpole.

Another part, one for Stark's assistant Natasha, remains open.

The project is eyeing an April start in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Paramount has set a release date of May 7, 2010.

Rourke, repped by ICM, is making the best of the accolades he is receiving for his heart-wrenching turn in "The Wrestler." The actor, who next will appear in "The Informers," recently joined the cast of "The Expendables," an action movie starring Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham and Dolph Lundgren.

If Rockwell's deal happens, it would mark a rare studio appearance for the actor, who is best known for his indie dramas. Rockwell, repped by Gersh and Andy Freedman Management, recently starred as a sex-addicted con man in "Choke" and as an estranged husband in "Snow Angels." He now is in the political drama "Frost/Nixon." (partialdiff)
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