It's not official yet, but Mickey Rourke's on-again, off-again "Iron Man 2" casting could be reaching an endpoint, and the Oscar-nominated actor might be just a few signatures away from sealing a deal with Marvel Studios. [UPDATE: Mickey Rourke's casting has now been confirmed by various trade media outlets.]
According to Deadline Hollywood Daily (a fairly reliable source when it comes to this type of news), the actor and his agent were able to significantly raise Marvel's initial, low-ball offer -- rumors pegged the original offer at around $250,000 -- enough to ink a deal for the highly anticipated Jon Favreau film.
"But don't expect Marvel to confirm any of this: they won't until all the i's are dotted and t's crossed on the contracts," wrote DHD's Nikki Finke.
If the report proves true and Rourke does sign a deal for "Iron Man 2," it's still unknown what role he'll play -- other than him being a "Russian villain." It was previously reported that Rourke would play either the armored Russian villain Crimson Dynamo or the tendril-wielding assassin Whiplash. However, "Iron Man 2" star Robert Downey Jr. denied that Rourke would play Crimson Dynamo in an interview with MTV News.
As Finke mentions (and if the deal does indeed go through), Rourke's likely to begin researching his "Iron Man" role right away, as he's in Russia right now promoting his celebrated film "The Wrestler."
The report also claims that Rourke was up for the villain role in another much-anticipated Marvel movie: the fourth film in the "Spider-Man" franchise.
"I can also tell you that Sony was considering hiring Mickey to play the villain in Spider-Man 4," wrote Finke.
While none of this is official -- and might not be for a the near future -- it does provide a light at the end of the tunnel for comics fans eager to see things get rolling with "Iron Man 2." Keep an eye here on Splash Page for more as this story develops.
What do you think of the news? Want rourke to join the "Iron Man 2" team? Think there was someone better out there? Let us know!