Last week there was a lot of speculation about the villainous roster in Iron Man 2, courtesy a dueling pair of trade reports. One note was that Sam Rockwell might appear as industrialist Justin Hammer, essentially another bad dude along the lines of Obediah Stane. Instead of using tech for his own ends, Hammer sells it to other bad guys; he’s been the source of many a super suit for third-tier villains, and was instrumental in the big Armor Wars storyline. He’s also stolen and sold Iron Man’s gear.
Now Rockwell tells MTV that he will indeed appear as Hammer: “Yeah, he’s a rival. He takes over all the weapons stuff after Tony’s left.” That said, MTV quotes Rockwell hedgingaway from story specifics. “I don’t know if he takes over Stark Industries. I’m not really sure yet. He’s a money dude. That’s about all I can say.”
And while Rockwell said he’d be excited to work with Rourke, rumored to be the Russian villain Crimson Dynamo, he didn’t confirm that casting or character. He did mention that he had a conversation with Jon Favreau about playing Tony Stark in the first film, prior to Robert Downey, Jr’s casting, but that’s hardly call for a headline now.
Rockwell is much younger than most portrayals of Justin Hammer. That’s no problem at all; it’s easy to speculate that Marvel wants someone to be a direct rival for Tony Stark, and casting Hammer with someone RDJ’s age is a fine move.