Near the end of the first Iron Man film, Lt. James Rhodes (then played by Terrence Howard) stopped briefly in Tony Stark’s personal lab, stared wistfully at the silver Iron Man prototype suit, and gave a half shout-out to the audience with his line, “Next time, baby.”

Well, Iron Man 2 is due out in less than three weeks and will give Rhodes (now played by Don Cheadle) his chance to shine as War Machine — a classic character in the Iron Man universe and one that director Jon Favreau is more than a little excited to see realized on the big screen.

Warning, Mild Iron Man 2 Spoilers –

War Machine is the nickname for the new metal suit devised by Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) — one which is then stolen by the U.S. government and supplied with an excessive collection of firepower by sleazeball military contractor, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell).

Lt. Rhodes, however, eventually decides against betraying his superhero friend and instead uses the War Machine suit himself to aid Tony in his battle against Hammer’s new legion of robotic Iron Man warriors and the villainous Whiplash/Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke).

– End Spoilers –

That said, Rhodey has been a character in the Iron Man comic books since 1979 (War Machine since 1992) — one who Favreau is pumped to see in action.  As the director told the LA Times in regards to Iron Man 2:

“The conversation was ‘How do you expand what’s there, how do you make the sequel bigger and better?’ and one is way is, in essence, doubling up on Iron Man.  War Machine lets you do that.”

Favreau went on, talking up War Machine’s arsenal of weaponry and firepower as well:

“The fun part is the ridiculousness of it — just how many guns can you put on this thing? That’s the fun part of this character.  With the movie, we make this effort to make everything emotionally correct but you also really want to cut loose and have fun in the places where it seems consistent to the story we’re telling.  And with the design and fighting style of War Machine we really went to town.  He’s packed with firepower and we let the [effects team] at ILM off the leash with the intensity of the destruction. The result is…high caliber.”

Expect a fireworks show when War Machine gets in on the action in Iron Man 2.

So, who else thinks that May 7 REALLY can’t get here fast enough now? ;)

Look for Iron Man 2 to start off the 2010 Summer Blockbuster Season with a bang when it finally hits theaters in just two and a half weeks.

Source: LA Times