How Comics Influenced Sam Rockwell's 'Iron Man 2' Character

By now you know that in "Iron Man 2," Sam Rockwell plays Justin Hammer, a rival industrialist out to take down Tony Stark and his company. However, back when he was first announced for the role, comic fans were quick to note that the actor has little resemblance to his comics counterpart, a geriatric, skeletal villain fond of smoking robes, ascots and diabolical machinations.

Longtime readers will remember that Splash Page actually gave Rockwell his first look at the comic book version of Justin Hammer a year ago when we brought an issue of the "Iron Man" comic to an interview with the actor. (And if you were following me on Twitter, you might have played a role in picking out the comic I gave our interviewer for the chat.)

So, what did Rockwell take from comics' version of Hammer?

"I got the flamboyance of him in the comic book — the ascot and the smoking robe," Rockwell told MTV News. "We played around with that in the camera tests, but eventually we just sort of did our own thing."

Still, Rockwell says early camera tests for the role included some experiments with a more comics-inspired look for the character — including one of the early images revealed by director Jon Favreau.

"We did explore the cigarette holder and the ascot and smoking robe," he said, "and who knows, maybe he'll go there someday."

And with "Captain America," "Thor" and "Avengers" on the way, there will certainly be opportunities for Hammer to make another appearance. Heck, maybe Rockwell will get to don that smoking robe when "Iron Man 3" comes around!

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