Update: It seems my initial guess may have been off the mark, as the more I hear about this the more I think Jeff will in fact be playing Sal Kennedy, who first appeared during the "Extremis" storyline by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov. Personally, the character didn't do much for me, but if that's who Jeff Bridges is playing I'm certain he'll do great with him.
It's been all over the place today that Jeff Bridges has signed on to be in the upcoming Iron Man movie. Is Bridges going to play the character of Happy Hogan, husband (or at the very least, long time boyfriend) of Pepper Potts (who will be played by Gwyneth Paltrow)?
Here is how the role is described in the press release from Marvel:
"He will portray a close business associate of Tony Stark. A confidant and longtime employee at defense contractor Stark Industries, Bridges' character plays a major role in shaping Tony Stark's life."
I think the only role they can be referring to is that of Happy Hogan, Tony Stark's one-time bodyguard and long-time friend. If so, and they stick to the comic book, Bridges and Paltrow will be a couple in the film. What do you think? Are they a fit? I would say (ignoring the age difference, as movies tend to do) that the answer is yes.
In the comic Hogan was always kind of a kind-hearted and tough oaf, a seeming mismatch to Pepper. With his age and current look, I think Bridges could certainly pull off "tough" and he fits the bill for the other characteristics.
Between filming starting in a couple of months and the tone of the announcement, I think Jeff Bridges is probably the last of the "big names" that will be attached to the cast of Iron Man. This is really shaping up to be something and it may end up surprising everyone as one rockin', high quality kick-ass movie.