A number of sites had the opportunity to visit the Iron Man 2 set a few weeks back (no, we didn’t, but we’ve worked all that out with Paramount who are great to deal with) and today they unleashed the details online. Following the Iron Man 2 presentation at Comic-Con, we thought it would be a good time to bring folks up to speed on the latest and greatest with the film.

Unfortunately I missed the Avatar panel at Comic-Con, where they debuted 20 minutes of 3D footage from the film, but based on the audience reaction to Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr (Scarlett Johansson and Don Cheadle were also present), I’d say the Iron Man 2 panel may have been the big hit of the event (Kick-Ass had a heck of a reception as well, though).

The following is based on reports from MTV, JoBlo and Latino Review.

First, you might be interested in meeting Tony Stark’s father, Howard Stark. For a while rumors circulated that Tim Robbins might play the character, but in the end they went with someone who looks more like Gerard Sanders, who appeared in still images in the first film as Tony’s father. Why they didn’t go with that actor I don’t know, but in any case the gentleman below on the right is John Slattery and visually he fits the bill. Check out the previous Howard Stark and the new one below:

And of course we have Scarlett Johansson as The Black Widow:

Mickey Rourke as Whiplash:

Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer:

Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes:

And of course Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man:

And here’s a brand new image from Iron Man 2 showing Tony Stark looking over a scale model of Stark Expo:

On to highlights from the set visit (which you may consider a bit spoilerish as they do reveal some overall plot elements)…

Continue reading ‘Iron Man 2: Set Visit, Story Details & Meet Howard Stark’

Iron Man 2 deals with the consequences of Tony Stark so flippantly revealing to the world that he is Iron Man. Anyone who has seen the previous film knows that he put absolutely no thought into what might follow from his revealing this information so nonchalantly. Here he will have to deal with being in the public eye and under scrutiny even more than when he was just billionare Tony Stark, combined with the additional stresses of being a superhero and trying to revitalize a corporate empire that just stopped manufacturing its number one product: weapons.

The stress will get to him and put strains on his personal relationships in addition to himself directly – while we will not really see much more drinking than in the previous film, we will get a hint of the “Demon in a Bottle” storyline from the comics in which he hits rock bottom in his life. Waiting to step in and take advantage of this will be rival arms manufacturer Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), who will be instrumental in constructing the War Machine armor for Rhodey.

We don’t know at this point if Scarlett Johansson will be a “good guy” or “bad guy,” but I would suspect that she’ll be a little of both – probably sent over from Russia to acquire the Whiplash tech created by Ivan Venko (Mickey Rourke) which runs on what looks like the same sort of power supply as the Iron Man armor.

The tech in Stark’s lab will be more advanced than in the last film, with more of the 3D holographic interface that we saw when he started designing the Mark II armor. There will only be a couple of computer monitors to be seen. Based on reports, there will be more use of Iron Man‘s chest beam this time around as well.

While Howard Stark will have passed away long ago during present time in the film, he will play a pivotal role (in flashbacks, one must assume). There is some sort of secret hidden in the Stark Expo from 1974 that is a key to providing another power supply for the armor and possibly to keep Tony alive.

While they’ll be stepping up the action (which Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige admitting was not the previous film’s strong suit) the important thing here is still that it be a character driven story. Having said that, personally I’d love to see more kick-ass action in the sequel and it seems that War Machine will have more than just a fleeting role in the film. Based on the footage from Comic-Con, War Machine will be fully decked out with munitions-type weaponry just as it is in the comic-book, complete with shoulder mounted gatling gun.

Artwork by Adi Granov – his interpretation of War Machine

Finally, while Tony Stark will be going through some serious struggles in the film, Iron Man 2 will maintain the combination of drama and humor that was done so well in the first movie.

Keep tuned to Screen Rant for the latest news on Iron Man 2, which opens on May 7, 2010.