Sam Rockwell said in a new interview that he's open to reprising his Iron Man 2 role as Justin Hammer. The actor is currently enjoying an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his compelling performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. But, apparently, Rockwell still has the itch to get back in the MCU despite his last film appearance being eight years ago.
Rockwell portrayed Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2, recruiting Ivan Vanko a.k.a. Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) to build him advanced weapons to compete with Stark after breaking Vanko out of prison. The character didn't reappear in Iron Man 3, but did briefly return in the 2014 short Marvel One-Shot: All Hail The King. Unfortunately, the character has been more-or-less abandoned in recent years. But clearly, Rockwell still has some interest in returning to the MCU at some point.
In an interview with THR about his role in Three Billboards (and his SNL F-bomb), Rockwell was asked about his interest in reprising his role as Justin Hammer. He may not get to work with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark again at this point, but he does name-drop other members of the Avengers who are friends of his.
"Of course! I have some great buddies in that franchise. Jeremy Renner is a good friend of mine, and I am pals with Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo. Robert [Downey Jr.] is always fun. Would love to get me and Clark [Gregg] back in that franchise. That would be a lot of fun."
Hammer was arrested at the end of Iron Man 2. Apparently, things didn't go over well between him and the authorities. And since he was a prisoner when audiences last saw him in the Marvel One-Shot: All Hail The King, sharing a building with Iron Man 3 villain Trevor Slattery/The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), if Justin Hammer is to come back to the MCU in a later phase, he'll likely have to break himself out of prison.
As an MCU villain, Hammer has great potential become a bigger player in the shared universe. He's long been an adversary of not just Iron Man but also Spider-Man and the Avengers in the Marvel Universe outside the movies, frequently developing the technology used by other formidable mercenaries. If the interest between Rockwell and Marvel Studios is mutual, perhaps the character could be worked back in for a future phase of the MCU.
Despite the possibility of Rockwell returning as Iron Man 2's Justin Hammer, it's likely that it would happen as a rival of a different Tony Stark. Downey Jr.'s future in the MCU is very much up in the air, so a new Iron Man movie with Rockwell back as Hammer would look quite different. But major casting changes are hardly unprecedented in the MCU, so a reprisal certainly can't be ruled out.
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