After director Jon Favreau and his team behind Iron Man 2 showcased exclusive footage to a packed house of eager fans (including our own Vic Holtreman, Screen Rant’s Owner and Editor-In-Chief), attendees were treated to shots of Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Whiplash (Mickey Rourke), Lt. Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), and of course, the War Machine armor.

As we detailed in our article about the Iron Man 2 footage, it opens with a Senate meeting led by a Senator (Gary Shandling) who requests that the Iron Man armor be turned over to the US government – Stark declines in a pure act of showmanship. Later in the footage, the Mark 2 armor (silver) appears to have been confiscated by the US military. Hammer then tells Rhodey and a soldier about how he can outfit the armor with weapons, which Rhodey wants. It’s pretty obvious that Rhodey/War Machine could be seen at odds with Iron Man/Tony Stark, as detailed by MTV Splash Page’s interview with Cheadle:

“We kept asking ourselves: How does that play out with Tony Stark being an independent contractor doing what he wants to do, and Rhodes actually being in the military, there’s a real chain of command he has to follow. What’s the conflict that creates?”

Sounds like a great dynamic between the two best friends. However, this Iron Man/War Machine battle seems to go against early speculation that Iron Man and War Machine would team up to fight Whiplash. In fact, many thought Hammer would upgrade Whiplash’s tech into the Crimson Dynamo armor by the end of the movie (this may happen of course, we’re speculating here).

But with the big reveal that Iron Man could in fact be facing War Machine as an adversary, we could see an epic battle between the two armored heroes that will probably blow the roof off movie theaters next May!

In the comics, Iron Man and War Machine have faced off several times, the first time was when Tony “died” in the comic and Rhodey took over as CEO of Stark Enterprises. When Rhodey found out that Tony was put on ice and “defrosted” after a cure to a cyber-virus that was ravaging his nervous system and had faked his death, Rhodey quit and his long-time friendship with Tony ended. They battled in a classic Len Kaminski/Tom Morgan tale when Rhodey needed the War Machine plans to fix the armor, and Tony wouldn’t let him have it. And don’t worry, but the end of the 1990s, Tony and Rhodey made amends. I recommend checking out Advanced Iron to learn more about these classic Iron Man stories!

Also, some photos of the Iron Man 2 toys were leaked online and a Crimson Dynamo figure showed up. But before everyone jumps to the conclusion that he’s in Iron Man 2, it’s been revealed that it’s part of an Iron Man comic book line. There is even a “Classic Armor” Iron Man figure, seen in the 1970s and part of the 1980s. This particular Dynamo armor was destroyed in the classic David Michelinie/Bob Layton Iron Man arc, Armor Wars, considered the best Iron Man story by many fans. But it recently re-appeared in issues of Invincible Iron Man: World’s Most Wanted.

So what do you all think? Are we in for the ultimate armored battle as Iron Man (potentially) faces off against War Machine? Two best friends duking it out in Los Angeles!

Iron Man 2 opens on May 7, 2010.

Source: MTV Splash Page, Advanced Iron, via Marvelous News

Artwork: Tom Morgan