Iron Man 2 (while performing admirably at the box office) is widely considered to be the lesser of the two Iron Man films – in part because the most memorable thing about the villain was his fondness for birds.
The man who played that bird-loving bad guy, Mickey Rourke – who recently spoke to our very own Roth Cornet about his distaste for Iron Man 2 – went into further detail while promoting the forthcoming Greek mythology epic, Immortals.
On his attempt at complexity with Ivan Vanko – courtesy of Crave Online – Rourke said:
"[W]hen I did Ivan Vanko in Iron Man, I fought… You know, I explained to Justin Theroux, to the writer, and to [Jon] Favreau, that I wanted to bring some other layers and colors [to the charater], not just make this Russian a complete murderous revenging bad guy. And they allowed me to do that. Unfortunately, the [people] at Marvel just wanted a one-dimensional bad guy, so most of the performance ended up the floor."
"[It’s] ****ing too bad, but it’s their loss. If they want to make mindless comic book movies, then I don’t want to be a part of that. I don’t want to have to care so much and work so hard, and then fight them for intelligent reasoning, and just because they’re calling the shots they… You know, I didn’t work for three months on the accent and all the adjustments and go to Russia just so I could end up on the floor. Because that can make somebody say at the end of the day, oh **** ‘em, I’m just going to mail it in. But I’m not that kind of guy. I’m never going to mail it in.”
While speaking to MTV Splash Page, Rourke blamed both the studio – for their desire to make mindless comic book movies – and Jon Favreau – for his lack of conviction (or in Rourke’s words, his lack of “nuts”) -- for Vanko's deficiencies:
"If they let you play the bad guy with other dimensions other than one-dimensional. You have to fight for that though, to bring layers to the character. Otherwise, if you're working for the wrong studio or let's say a director that doesn't have any balls, then they're just gonna want it to be the evil bad guy. […] So, if you're working with some good studio guys that got brains and you're working with a director with a set of nuts that'll let you incorporate that then it's fun. Otherwise, you end up with what happened on 'Iron Man.'"
By comparison, The Immortals' director, Tarsem Singh,was significantly more impressive. According to Mickey Rourke:
"Tarsem was great. He's really smart, innovative. He had little things that were all 'Oh wow.' And that's what it's all about - to have somebody working with you that can kind of take your performance further than you maybe think you can or whatever. And he was so enthusiastic that it rubs off on the crew, it rubs off on the other actors. So it's a collaborative, supportive kind of thing, instead of a laborious technical twelve hours. You get through the day and you look forward to going to work the next day, sometimes."
It’s interesting that Mickey Rourke is choosing now to bash Iron Man 2 (repeatedly, and to different outlets), when Marvel has since released two financially successful films and has its biggest – The Avengers – on the way (not to mention Iron Man 3, written and directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)). Perhaps that’s because this is the first major villain Rourke has portrayed since Iron Man 2, and he still has a terrible taste in his mouth about the whole ordeal.
Check out Roth Cornet's interview for more about how unhappy Mickey Rourke is with the Iron Man 2 end product.
Do you agree with Mickey Rourke about Iron Man 2 and its lack of a strong or interesting villain? Let us know in the comments.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.
The Immortals hits theaters this Friday, November 11th, 2011. Iron Man 3, which it is safe to assume won't include the participation of Mickey Rourke, is scheduled to hit theaters May 3rd, 2013.