Update: IESB has retracted their story regarding Oldman's involvement in the film.
It seems that Iron Man 2 has gone and got some good Garys. (Alliteration just rules.) IESB has reported two bits of casting news for the upcoming sequel. First, comedian and star of the innovative, ahead-of-its-time It's Garry Shandling's Show and the groundbreaking and brilliant pseudo-reality show, The Larry Sanders Show, Garry Shandling (that's Gary with TWO "r's") will be joining the cast. Secondly, the former "psycho" type-cast, and these days, a man who seems to have a piece of just about every good franchise, Gary Oldman (that's Gary with ONE "r") will also be a part the film.
IESB describes Shandling's role as such:
"Shandling is a reporter or Senator or some sort that appears in a continuation of the final scene from the first IRON MAN film, you know that famous "I am Iron Man" scene. We start this film from there is what it looks like."
They later learned more details about the character. What comes as a surprise about this casting, is that Shandling will actually play a villain. (Of sort.) His character will be Senator Stern, the character who will use his power to champion the Mutant Registration Act. (I thought that was Senator Kelly, but whatever...) While details are not clear as to exactly what this X-Men-related character is doing in this film, it will nonetheless be interesting to see how (or if) Shandling can pull off a character who is meant to be evil and detestable.
Then there's Gary Oldman, whose character remains a mystery. (All we know, is that as of late, the man can't seem to stay out of huge, epic franchise movies that make tons of money.) However, it is generally being speculated that he will play the role of Howard Stark (Tony's father.) It was reported a while back that Tim Robbins was rumored to be on board the film to play this role. That news, has since been shot down, so the likelihood of this speculation panning out to be true is rather high.
Crazy, "pulled it out of my a** speculation" alert:
You know what? Maybe John Favreau and Marvel are pulling a fast one on us. Maybe it will be Oldman (a known commodity in the "villain" department) who will portray Tony Stark's (aged in the comics) industrialist rival and villain, Justin Hammer. It certainly would be more fitting for the casting and more true to the comics. Perhaps the reports of Sam Rockwell (who doesn't quite have Oldman's villain credentials) getting the role was just a ruse, and he will play someone different.
Also on the "I hope it was just a ruse" front:
- The casting swap from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle in the "Rhodey" role. (Confirmed with set pics, though.)
- The casting of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. (Also too late, but this is a star-making and potentially recurring role. We could have done better than celeb-casting.)
- The casting of Mickey Rourke as "Whiplash/Crimson Dynamo." (Apparently his IM2 contract kept him from wrestling Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 25 in a proper match.* Good guy, great actor, but not right for the film. I'd LOVE to be proven wrong, though.)
- That the Mandarin will not be in the picture. (From what we're hearing about things already, it will be difficult to squeeze him into all of this stuff.)
* Rourke, however did do a brief spot at the end of Jericho's match.