The Wrestler star Mickey Rourke is reportedly in talks to play a villain in the upcoming Iron Man sequel.

Director Jon Favreau begins shooting the sequel to the Marvel box office smash this spring and has reportedly earmarked Rourke as an ideal foe for Robert Downey Jr's superhero.

According to Variety, the Sin City actor is in negotiations to play the heavily-tattooed Crimson Dynamo character.

Also involved in the arms trade, the Russian is seen as the evil equivalent to Tony Stark - Iron Man's alter-ego - and he too wears an armoured suit, though it is nuclear-powered.

Landing a role in Iron Man 2 would continue Rourke's remarkable career renaissance, which commenced with his iconic turn in 2005's Sin City and could be capped with a Golden Globe for his starring role in The Wrestler.

There are conflicting reports from Tinseltown concerning Rourke's likely role in Iron Man 2, with the Hollywood Reporter claiming the character is not an arms dealer, but a thug who has "deadly, technologically enhanced coils" and becomes Whiplash.

However, the Whiplash character has never been Russian in the Iron Man comic, so it is believed Sam Rockwell - the other actor linked with the sequel - is more likely to Take That role, with Rourke playing Crimson Dynamo.

Rockwell, recently seen in Golden Globe nominee Frost/Nixon, is in talks to play Justin Hammer, an evil genius and rival industrialist to Stark, it is believed.

Iron Man 2 is due for release in May 2010, with Favreau returning as director and shooting a Justin Theroux script.

08/01/2009 09:40:09