Downey reprises his role as Tony Stark in Iron Man 2. After going public about being Iron Man, the government pressures Stark to divulge the secrets of the superhero suit. Meanwhile, a Russian scientist Ivan Vanko, played by Mickey Rourke, plots his revenge on Stark because of a conflict their fathers had as former business partners of Stark Industries. Howard is replaced by Don Cheadle as Lt. Rhodes. Also starring Sam Rockwell, Scarlet Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson. On working with his new castmates:
There’s kind of a certain brother and sisterhood of talent in what’s otherwise kind of a small town. Everybody knows Don, everyone’s seen the incredible work he’s been doing over the years. We were thrilled to get Scarlett and we said you’re not going to be some kind of Marvel spin-off story thing because we want a hot chick kicking ass in this movie, and I think we managed that. And with Sam, he’s just such a gifted guy that to come in … obviously it’s no secret now that he’s essentially filling the space that Tony has evacuated when he says he’s not going to make weapons anymore.