Iron Man 2’s Sam Rockwell Reveals Desire to Return in the MCU’s Armor Wars: ‘Listen, I’m in’

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Summary

  • Sam Rockwell will reprise his role as Justin Hammer in the MCU if offered the job.
  • Rockwell’s portrayal of Hammer in Iron Man 2 was captivating and hilarious.
  • Rockwell drew inspiration from the likes of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor when creating the character.


How great would it be to see Sam Rockwell dancing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe again as only he can? Well, if Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige calls the actor and offers him the chance to return as Iron Man 2 villain Justin Hammer in the MCU, Rockwell is taking the gig. The star of 2024’s Argylle revealed his intentions while appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Rockwell said during the interview:

Listen, I’m in, dude. Let’s go.

While appearing on the talk show to promote Argylle, Rockwell listened as Fallon revelaed that there are rumors Justin Hammer could return and that the character might appear in the feature film Armor Wars. Rockwell insisted that he hasn’t received the phone call to return yet, but if Feige invites him back to the MCU… he is reprisig the role.

While Mickey Rourke took up the arc reactor-powered mantle of Iron Man 2’s primary baddie, Ivan Vanko, aka Whiplash, Rockwell’s captivating and hilarious take on arms dealer Justin Hammer stole the show. But other than showing up in Marvel One-Shots’ All Hail the King and an animated appearance in the second season of the Disney+ series, What If… ?, Hammer has been noticeably absent from the MCU for over 15 years.

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Lex Luthor Inspired Justin Hammer

Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor in Superman
Warner Bros.

While promoting Argylle on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon insisted that the fans want to see Justin Hammer return to the MCU, and it seems like he could show up in Armor Wars. And Sam Rockwell’s mesmerizing performance as Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) nemesis in Iron Man 2 has a lot to do with that.

iron man 2
Iron Man 2

Release Date
April 28, 2010

Runtime
125

Studio
Paramount Pictures, Marvel Studios

Tagline
Experience it in IMAX for a limited time.

Franchise
Marvel

However, what some Marvel diehards might not know is that another Silver Screen super-villain inspired what Justin Hammer became. During a 2009 Comic-Con appearance in San Diego, the actor revealed Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor, along with a number of other cinematic characters, ultimately influenced Mr. Hammer. Rockwell said (per Comic Book Resources):

“I watched a lot of different stuff. I watched Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, George C. Scott in ‘The Hustler,’ I watched Bill Murray in ‘Kingpin.’ I was trying to get a lot of different things to incorporate. I did some research on the guns. I learned how to handle and talk about the guns. That was really all I had to work on. I worked on it the way I work on everything, with an acting coach. I would get certain scenes and we would work on it, do some homework and then those scenes would change.”

Armor Wars originally began as a Disney+ series, but it became a feature film project back in 2022. And while Rockwell’s involvement isn’t a slam dunk, Don Cheadle’s return as Rhodey in the movie has been confirmed.

At the time of this writing, an official release date hasn’t been set for Armor Wars. And be sure to check out Rockwell’s latest appearance on The Tonight Show in its entirety below:

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