Sam Rockwell has been talking about his Marvel character Justin Hammer, stating that he’s keen for the super-smart villain to return, maybe as part of the MCU’s Thunderbolts.
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a thing, director Jon Favreau called Sam Rockwell and asked him to audition for the part of Tony Star/Iron Man. But before his screen-test, Robert Downey Jr. tried out, nailed it, and the rest is history.
Favreau didn’t forget Rockwell however, and when it came time to make Iron Man 2, he again called the actor up, and cast him in the role of Justin Hammer.
But while audience response to Hammer was positive, the film itself was less well received, and that was the last we saw of Rockwell as the character.
While speaking to Sam Rockwell about new comedy See How They Run – which revolves around a murder during the production of an Agatha Christie play – The Playlist asked if he’d like to play Justin Hammer again.
“Yeah, definitely,” came the response from Rockwell. “I would be into that. [Thunderbolts] sounds cool…[Hammer’s] fun, he’s a real Lex Luthor.”
The Thunderbolts Sam Rockwell is alluding to is a forthcoming Marvel movie that combines a bunch of villains and anti-heroes, including Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), John Walker (Wyatt Russell), Red Justice (David Harbour), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), and Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen).
The MCU version of Justin Hammer is a military contractor who competes with Tony Stark, and when speaking to The AV Club in 2013, Rockwell said Favreau cast him to be the dark side of that character…
“I think Jon was basically saying, ‘This is your chance to be Tony Stark. This will be your version of Tony Stark.’ We gave him the glasses and kind of sleazed him up a little. But that’s exactly right. It was a chance to do Tony Stark.”
In Iron Man 2, he recruits terrorist Ivan Vanko to replicate Stark’s Arc Reactor technology, but that ultimately backfires, with Vanko double-crossing him, and Justin Hammer ending up in Seagate Prison – which is where we could find him at the start of a Thunderbolts movie…