When Robert Downey Jr. was first cast as multi-billionaire military industrialist Tony Stark in "Iron Man," some critics wondered if the aging actor had the proper physique to carry a big-budget action flick on his shoulders. If the first film's staggering box office intake wasn't enough to turn those skeptics, then perhaps Downey's work in the sequel will do the trick.
SuperHeroHype has a photo gallery of Downey training with a stuntman for a hand-to-hand combat sequence in "Iron Man 2." Whether or not the actor was preparing to film a scene later that day in the Jon Favreau-directed picture is unclear, but a certain bruise mark on his face indicates that shooting would be getting underway soon.
In the photographs, you can see a mark near Downey's left eye that looks like a combination of a bruise and a scrape. It's possible that prior stunt work has left the Iron Avenger with that nice shiner, which in and of itself should prove the actor's dedication to the Marvel actioneer. Then again, the bruise could merely be make-up, indicating that Downey was filming his action-heavy scene later in the day.
What we're most interested by, however, is Downey doing combat training himself, rather than having a stuntman assume that role. Downey's willingness to do the physical training certainly speaks to his dedication, but there's more to consider -- as Downey's superhero persona is fully masked, why would he need to perform the actual combat?
If we were betting bloggers, we'd say that Downey is going to have some sort of unmasked altercation in the movie -- which certainly fits given that "Iron Man 2" is reportedly dealing with the fallout of Tony's decision to publicly reveal his secret identity. Will Stark be caught off guard outside of his armor, or will he merely lose his faceplate a la the "Iron Man" finale?
Like all things, time will tell, but we're fairly sure that Downey wouldn't need to go through the combat training if his character was fully armored -- though that would be a very cool signal of Downey's self-immersion into the world of "Iron Man."
Who do you think Tony Stark is gearing up to fight? Give us your feedback in the comments!