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Iron Man 2 (2010)


Russian television shows Stark Industries CEO Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) revealing his identity as Iron Man to the world. Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), whose father, Anton Vanko (Yevgeni Lazarev), has just died, sees this and begins building a similar weapon.

Six months later, Stark has used his Iron Man armor to help maintain world peace. He re-institutes the Stark Expo in Flushing Meadows to continue his father Howard’s legacy. Senator Stern (Garry Shandling) demands that Stark turn over the Iron Man technology to the government. Stark refuses, claiming that foreign nations and business competitors are decades away from successfully recreating his achievements, and that the armor is in fact his own property.

The palladium core in the arc reactor that keeps Stark alive and powers the armor is slowly poisoning him, and he has failed to find a substitute. Growing increasingly despondent and reckless due to his impending death, and choosing not to tell anyone about his condition, Stark appoints his personal assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) CEO of Stark Industries, and replaces her with Stark employee Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson).

Vanko attacks Stark while racing at the Circuit de Monaco, using an arc reactor of his own powering whip-like energy weapons. Stark defeats Vanko with the aid of his portable briefcase armor. He learns that Vanko is the son of his father’s old partner, Anton Vanko. Anton collaborated with Howard on the first arc reactor, but was deported to his native Soviet Union following his attempts to profit from the technology and died in poverty, explaining Vanko’s desire for revenge on the Stark family. Rival defense contractor Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) fakes Vanko’s death and recruits him to perfect a line of armored combat suits to upstage Stark.

At what he believes is his last birthday party Stark gets drunk while using the Iron Man armor, forcing his friend, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), to intervene. Rhodes dons Stark’s Mark II armor and after battling him, delivers the armor to the military. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of S.H.I.E.L.D., approaches Stark, revealing Rushman as undercover agent Natasha Romanoff and that Howard Stark was a S.H.I.E.L.D. founder that Fury knew personally. Fury gives him some of his father’s old material; a hidden message in the diorama of the 1974 Stark Expo proves to be a diagram of the structure of a new element. With the aid of his computer J.A.R.V.I.S. (voiced by Paul Bettany), Stark synthesizes it. Vanko reveals to Stark that he is still alive and seeking revenge so Stark uses the untested element, removing his dependency on the palladium.

At the Expo, Hammer unveils Vanko’s armored drones, led by Rhodes in a heavily weaponized version of the Mark II armor. Stark arrives in his new armor to warn Rhodes, but Vanko seizes control of both the drones and Rhodes’ armor and attacks Iron Man. Hammer is arrested while Stark’s bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) and Romanoff attempt to capture Vanko. He escapes, but Romanoff returns control of the Mark II armor to Rhodes.

After defeating his drones Stark and Rhodes confront Vanko himself, now in a new, very powerful suit of armor. Neither can match Vanko, but Vanko is ultimately defeated when they fire repulsor rays at each other, causing a large explosion. With his suit too damaged to continue the fight Vanko ignites his suit and his drones’ self-destruct mechanisms, apparently killing himself in the process. Stark saves Potts from the exploding drones’ remains. Potts quits as CEO, but she and Stark kiss.

At a debriefing, while news footage of the Hulk’s rampage plays, Fury informs Stark that while Iron Man is a suitable candidate for the “Avengers Initiative”, he himself is not. Stark agrees to be a consultant if Senator Stern presents himself and Rhodes with medals for bravery.

In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) reports the discovery of a large hammer at the bottom of a crater in a New Mexico desert.


Official Sites:

Marvel [Australia] | Marvel [France] |




English | Russian

Release Date:

30 April 2010 (Indonesia)

Also Known As:

Iron 2 Man

Filming Locations:

85 W State St, Pasadena, California, USA

Box Office


$200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£7,664,732 (UK) (2 May 2010) (521 Screens)


$623,933,331 (Worldwide) (19 August 2010)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios

Technical Specs


124 min

Sound Mix:

DTS  | Dolby Digital  | SDDS

Did You Know?

Al Pacino was considered for the role of Justin Hammer.

In the comics, Tony Stark possesses a suitcase containing a portable suit of armour. This famous “suitcase armour” has been revised for the film: the suitcase converts into a series of plates that slide over a wire framework.

Writer Shane Black recommended that Tony Stark’s characterization be inspired by J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who led the team that developed the atomic bomb. After witnessing his creation’s destructive potential, Oppenheimer defamed himself as “the Destroyer of Worlds” and sank into depression.

Renowned animator Genndy Tartakovsky was hired to storyboard the film’s action sequences.

Emily Blunt was set to star as Black Widow but had to pull out due scheduling conflicts with her movie Gulliver’s Travels.

Robert Downey Jr. recommended screenwriter Justin Theroux, who did Downey’s Tropic Thunder, to Jon Favreau to write the film’s script.

To prepare for his role as Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, Mickey Rourke paid a visit to Butyrka Prison, Moscow: “I tried to incorporate the whole Russian philosophy. It’s a culture of its own and I really enjoyed doing the research and meeting the people and they were very gracious there at the prison.” Rourke also commented that Vanko’s dialogue is in a Slovakian accent.

The character of Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) is a combination of Iron Man’s enemy the Crimson Dynamo (Dr Vanko, who wears weaponry/armour that can control electricity) and the supervillain Whiplash (who possesses a specially-designed razor/acid whip). In addition, the character is portrayed as the son of Anton Vanko, who was the original Crimson Dynamo in the comics, and assumes the identity of B. Turgenev (Boris Turgenev, in the comics the second Crimson Dynamo).

Samuel L. Jackson was promised that Nick Fury would be given more screen time by director Jon Favreau. Jackson almost didn’t return to play Fury, due to problems with contract negotiations, but secured a landmark nine-picture deal to play Nick Fury not only in this film but in many other Marvel Studio productions.

Jon Favreau’s first sequel as a director and as an actor.

Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as Rhodey, due to a falling out between Howard and Marvel Studios. The two actors worked with each other in Crash.

Principal photography took place over 71 days.

Scarlett Johansson dyed her hair red before she even got the part of Black Widow because she wanted the role so badly.

According to Don Cheadle, he tried to make the role of Stark’s right-hand man Rhodes his own, but eventually stole as much as possible from Terrence Howard’s performance in the first film to bring him to life.

To prepare for her role, Scarlett Johansson trained six weeks before the movie started principal photography and the entire six months of shooting the movie.

Sam Rockwell, who was one of the original choices for the role of Tony Stark/Iron Man in Iron Man, plays Stark’s antagonist Justin Hammer in the film.

In the comics, Justin Hammer was a shrewd but elderly businessman. He was re-worked as a younger character in the film to make him a contemporary rival to Tony Stark. The original purpose of the character in the comics was to explain why the various enemies Iron Man fought somehow gained unique and extremely advanced weapons, but usually kept them for themselves to commit violent crimes instead making money by bringing them to market. Iron Man eventually discovers the reason is because Hammer gives the weapons to various criminals as part of their contracts to become his mercenaries with the agreement that they hand over a percentage of the loot from their crimes.

Edward Norton was rumored to reprise his The Incredible Hulk role as Bruce Banner, in a cameo for this film, as a foreshadowing of The Avengers.

Tim Robbins was considered to play Howard Stark, Tony’s father.

This is Scarlett Johansson’s third foray into comic book films; her previous comic-book films were Ghost World, and The Spirit, which had her role working for the Octopus played by Samuel L. Jackson). In this film, Johansson is again working under Jackson (as Nick Fury). Johansson had earlier expressed interest in playing the Marvel supervillain Moonstone.

Inspired by their use on The Dark Knight, director Jon Favreau considered the possibility of shooting some scenes using IMAX cameras, but eventually decided against it as he figured that the film’s visual effects would not look convincing at such high resolution.

Jessica Biel, Gemma Arterton, Natalie Portman, Jessica Alba and Angelina Jolie were considered for the role of the Black Widow. Alba had played Susan Storm in the “Fantastic Four” series, and Portman is to play Jane Foster in Thor.

Composer John Debney recorded the score in only four days.

According to Mickey Rourke, he carried out a lot of research in Russia choosing what tattoos Ivan Vanko should carry on his body. He wanted authentic Russian tattoos, which would represent Vanko’s Russian heritage, prison societies, and special clubs he might be in.

A tattoo on Vanko’s torso shows a Russian schooner, bordered with Russian script reading: “Give me a blond, a bottle and a boat and I’ll sail away…” This particular tattoo is Mickey Rourke’s favorite.

Black Widow’s alias of “Natalie Rushman” is inspired by “Nancy Rushman”, a S.H.I.E.L.D. cover identity she has used in the comics.

In an interview with, Don Cheadle revealed that before Iron Man released, he thought the hero was a robot.

The vintage automobiles seen in Stark’s private collection, the 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe by Ghia, once owned by Rita Hayworth (a present from Prince Aly Khan); a 1949 Mercury “lead sled” customized by Sam Barris (brother of George Barris, was provided by the Petersen Automotive Museum. The 1932 Ford flathead roadster there belonged to Jon Favreau.

According to Jon Favreau, the technology in this film was portrayed as more futuristic: “After the first film (Iron Man), a number of tech companies talked about how uncanny a lot of our depictions of technology had turned out to be, and how many different films and videogames ended up being inspired by the imagery we used. This forced us to go a bit further into the future and try and change the nature of this technology; if we’d just duplicated what happened in the first one we would be behind the curve. So now we’re dealing with holograms, the interface within the suit and the suit being upgraded too.”

To keep various aspects of the production secret, the official fake working title from Marvel Studios was “Rasputin”. Two more fake titles were also used during additional photography: “Murphy’s Law” (named after John Francis Murphy, the recently-deceased father of Susan Murphy) and “The Adventures of Angus McDonald” (named after William Angus McDonald, the great-great-grandfather of Scott Trimble).

The 35mm prints were shipped to US theaters with the code name “Glow”. There were 3 separate cans shipped. Can #3 held reels 1 & 8 and was locked. The combination to the lock was not sent until a few hours before the midnight premieres.

In Stark’s mansion, Alberto Giacometti’s bronze sculpture entitled “L’Homme qui marche I” can be seen. On February 3rd, 2010, the second edition of the cast of the sculpture became one of the most expensive works of art ever sold at auction to Brazilian philanthropist Lily Safra, who paid US$107.3 million for it.

In the scene showing Vanko’s collection of covers and articles about Tony Stark, there is one article about Iron Man stabilizing East and West relations that has the byline attributed to “Rob Down” – an obvious reference to Robert Downey Jr.. The text of the article is actually an obituary for Howard Stark, Tony’s father.

Howard Stark’s (John Slattery) presentation of his idea for a futuristic city is heavily influenced by Walt Disney’s television revelation of his new EPCOT Center and the accompanying Florida Project. The 3D map of the city closely mimics that of EPCOT’s, and the posters behind Stark are from World’s Fairs in which Disney had a great influence, like Stark may also have been. In addition, one of the very few real-life 1964 World’s Fair buildings included in the Stark Expo is a replica of the General Electric pavilion, which famously featured Disney’s Carousel of Progress. Richard M. Sherman contributed the song “Make Way for Tomorrow Today” to the movie, a song similar to “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow,” which Richard and his brother Robert B. Sherman composed for the Carousel of Progress, among many other classic Disney tunes.

Near the end of Tony Stark’s fight with Rhodes, he says “You wanna be a war machine? Then take your shot!” This is a homage to War Machine, Rhodes’s superhero alias in the comics.

Director Jon Favreau stated that the role of Senator Stern was a nod to Howard Stern, as was the casting of Garry Shandling, whom Stern is a big fan of, for the part.

Pepper Potts’ (Gwyneth Paltrow) line “The fundamentals of our company are strong” regarding the Stark Technology stock crash is a parody reference to Sen. John McCain’s comment “The fundamentals of our economy are strong” made after the 2008 stock market crash which is widely believed to have contributed to McCain’s loss of the 2008 United States Presidential Election.

As Justin Hammer is introducing each group of Hammer Drones, the anthem of each respective branch of the military plays in the background: The U.S. Army’s “The Army Goes Rolling Along (The Caisson Song),” the U.S. Navy’s “Anchors Aweigh,” the U.S. Air Force’s “The U.S. Air Force (Into the Wild Blue Yonder),” and the U.S. Marine Corps’s “Marines’ Hymn.”

The post-credits scene was directed by renowned action coordinator Vic Armstrong, who served as Second Unit Director on the film Thor.

Six Formula One cars were provided by the Historic Grand Prix Association.

Stark’s Grand Prix racer was partially based on a 1978 Walter Wolf Formula One car. Of the 19 built, two were running models powered by a 320 bhp, 350ci Chevrolet small-block engine.

Tanner Foust took the role of driving Stark’s racing car.

The action sequence of the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco had to be shot at the parking lot of the Downey Studios in California as though initially allowed to film at the Grand Prix circuit, Bernie Ecclestone retracted permission. By the time permission was retracted, one Rolls-Royce Phantom was sent there where driving sequence on the circuit was filmed.

Two identical Rolls-Royce Phantoms built especially for the film were destroyed during filming.

In one scene Tony Stark refers to the government who wants his suit technology as the ‘Freak Brothers.’ This is a reference to a 1970s underground comic called ‘The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers’, a drug culture comic with three brothers named Phineas, Franklin and Fat Freddy.

The layout and many of the buildings of “Stark Expo 1974” were based on the 1964-65 New York Worlds Fair. In the Expo promo film outtakes shown in the movie, young Tony Stark picks up the Bell System Pavilion.

The Navy Hammer drones are marked “VX-23”. VX-23 is a US Navy Aircraft Test Squadron out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River that conducts research, testing, and evaluation of fixed wing tactical aircraft and UAVs.

When Tony Stark asks Natalie Rushman if she actually speaks Latin, she responds with the phrase “Fallaces sunt rerum species,” a quote from Lucio Anneo Seneca meaning “The appearances of things are deceptive.”

During Stark’s birthday party, partygoers begin throwing items into the air for a drunk Stark (suited up as Iron Man) to blast; one girl throws a watermelon, and Stark comments “Oh, you want the Gallagher.” This is a reference to Gallagher, whose famous Sledge-O-Matic comedy routine splatters produce (usually juicy items, like melons and tomatoes) onto the front rows of the audience.

Numerous news clippings shown in the film show Tony Stark and Ivan Vanko when they were younger men. Most of these are actual photos of Robert Downey Jr. and Mickey Rourke, both of whom came to fame in the 1980s.

According to Jon Favreau, the Asian man who hands Vanko false papers in order to get to Monaco is a member of the Ten Rings, the terrorist organization Stark encountered in the first film. This organization is reportedly headed by Iron Man’s nemesis, the Mandarin.

Five authentic vintage formula one race cars were used in the Monaco race. Among them is a 1976 Lotus type 77 owned by collector Chris Locke. In the starting list of drivers shown on the television, one of the drivers names is Locke while another is Chapman, after Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus and their F1 team manager until his death in 1982.

Tony Stark refers to the suitcase armor as “the football,” a reference to the briefcase with nuclear launch codes that accompanies U.S. President.

The final confrontation takes place in the Oracle dome. The decor resembles a Japanese tea garden, including a Japanese gate (that gets destroyed). Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, has a well-known affinity for all things Japanese, especially landscaping and decor.

When first talking with Senator Stern Tony Stark says he would gladly accept the position of Secretary of Defense. In the comics, Tony Stark actually was appointed the Secretary of Defense.

The Dallas Record newspaper describing Anton Vanko’s defection is dated Wednesday October 16, 1968.

The names seen on the blueprints for the arc reactor that Tony removes from his father’s box are the names of crew members associated with the Iron Man films – William J. Law III, Sharon Davis, and Walt Hadfield. They all worked in the art or construction departments.

The slate on the film of his father that Tony watches lists “Johnny Libatique” as the cameraman. Matthew Libatique is a cinematographer on the Iron Man films.

In regards to Hammer saying “If it were any smarter, it’d write a book, a book that would make ‘Ulysses’ look like it was written in crayon”, the writer James Joyce’s eyesight was failing so bad during the writing of ‘Ulysses’, that he had to write in large letters with a crayon on huge sheets of paper in order to see what he was writing.

Mickey Rourke’s Oscar-nominated performance in The Wrestler was the main reason why the producers wanted him to play Vanko.

Although Mickey Rourke spent several months on treadmill and weight training, he initially was still unable to move around and use the whip prop in the Whiplash outfit test due to its sheer weight. To get around this problem, Rourke would wear heavy vests in subsequent physical training sessions to accustom his body in moving while wearing heavy armor.

Hammer’s factory is really Elon Musk’s SpaceX facility. The people walking in the background are actual employees even though filming there took place at night.

The dance Sam Rockwell does before presenting the drones at the Expo is something he does to help him get into character.

While filming the fight scene in Monaco, Mickey Rourke couldn’t get the hang of the whips so they played Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” loudly for him to get the rhythm.

Though Black Widow is a Russian in the comics she is given an American accent for the film.

The year in which Anton Vanko is said to have defected to the US, 1963, is actually the year in which Vanko first appeared in the comics (as the Crimson Dynamo) and defected.

According to the January 2012 Air And Space magazine, Tony Starks’s character was also inspired by South African born SpaceX (and PayPal co-founder), Elon Musk. A statue of Iron Man, complete with company ID, “stands guard” at SpaceX along with a current version Cylon.

Justin Hammers’ company logo resembles an exterior picture of Thor’s home world, specifically the great hall. This and the company name could be a foreshadowing of Thor’s future involvement.

Stan Lee:  The man wearing suspenders who Stark identifies as Larry King.

Adam Goldstein:  The DJ at Tony’s birthday party is DJ-AM who died after principal photography had wrapped, making this his last film project. During the end credits, the film is dedicated to him.

Larry Ellison:  The CEO of Oracle Corporation (a billionaire playboy, who has often been compared to Tony Stark) is glimpsed briefly at the Stark Expo. As he walks past, Stark says, “It’s the Oracle of Oracle”. Oracle’s brand is prominently placed at several points in the film, including the climactic showdown at a fictional “Oracle Biodome”.

Seth Green:  in the scene while Tony is leaving the Expo and meets Larry King and Larry Ellison. Seth Green featured and provided the voice for Iron Man (including “Little Iron Man”) in several episodes of his TV show Robot Chicken.

The film’s basic storyline (Stark must cope with the government confiscating his armor and a mid-life crisis of depression and alcoholism, with his manipulative rival Justin Hammer scheming to ruin him) is inspired by the Iron Man comic ‘Demon in a Bottle’.

Tony Stark creates a new arc reactor with an item that resembles Captain America’s shield. This shield was earlier seen lying on a desk at Stark’s office in Iron Man. This is an easter egg to reference Captain America who was a founding member of The Avengers along with Iron Man in the comics. In the movie Nick Fury refers to something called “The Avenger Initiative.” Contrary to popular theory, it is not actually the shield of Captain America.

In the comics, Tony Stark would drive on a racetrack and suffer a car crash, from which Happy Hogan rescued him. This event has been replicated in the film, with the minor change being that Whiplash’s attack causes the crash, and Hogan saves Stark by getting to him his suitcase armor.

Scenes in the film explicitly foreshadow The Avengers:

  • When Tony goes through his father’s case an old Captain America comic book can be seen inside; later he uses Captain America’s shield (a prototype) to build a reactor
  • a news report of The Incredible Hulk’s campus battle is seen near the end of the film
  • Stark and Fury discuss Stark’s membership throughout the film
  • and Agent Coulson finds Thor’s hammer in a crater in the post-credits scene.

The medals presented to Rhodey and Stark at the end of the film are actual military medals: Rhodey is awarded a Meritorious Service Medal, and Stark is awarded the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal.

The new element Stark creates comes from the Zeeman effect (a magnetic field) and the Stark effect (static electric fields).

The rooftop where Tony and Pepper kiss at the end of the movie is located on an apartment building overlooking Flushing Meadows where Jon Favreau lived as a child.

The map locations on the monitors in the Shield headquarters at the end of the film correspond to characters and event from the Marvel Comic books. The location in Africa is a reference to Black Panther. Other locations refer to Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and others.



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