Iron Man 2 is a 2010 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Iron Man (character). Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures, it is the sequel to Iron Man (2008) and the third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Directed by Jon Favreau and written by Justin Theroux, the film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, and Samuel L. Jackson. Six months after Iron Man, Tony Stark resists calls from the United States government to hand over the Iron Man technology, which is causing his declining health. Meanwhile, Russian scientist Ivan Vanko uses his own version of the technology to pursue a vendetta against the Stark family.
Following the successful release of Iron Man in May 2008, Marvel Studios announced and immediately set to work on producing a sequel. In July of that same year Theroux was hired to write the script, and Favreau was signed to return and direct. Downey, Paltrow and Jackson were set to reprise their roles from Iron Man, while Cheadle was brought in to replace Terrence Howard in the role of James Rhodes. In the early months of 2009, Rourke, Rockwell and Johansson filled out the supporting cast, and the film went into production that summer. Like its predecessor the film was shot mostly in California, except for a key sequence in Monaco.
Iron Man 2 premiered in Los Angeles, California on April 26, 2010, and was released in 54 countries between April 28 and 30 before going into general release in the U.S. on May 7, 2010. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing $623.9 million at the worldwide box office. The DVD and Blu-ray were released on September 28, 2010. The third installment of the Iron Man series, Iron Man 3, was released on May 3, 2013.
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the entire movie.
In Russia, the media covers Tony Stark's disclosure of his identity as Iron Man. Ivan Vanko, whose father, Anton Vanko, a former Stark Industries employee, has just died, sees this and begins building a miniature arc reactor similar to Stark's. Six months later, Stark is a superstar and uses his Iron Man suit for peaceful means, resisting government pressure to sell his designs. To continue the legacy of his father Howard, he reinstitutes the Stark Expo in New York City's Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.
Later, Stark learns that the palladium core in the arc reactor that keeps him alive and powers the armor is slowly poisoning him, and he cannot find a substitute. Growing increasingly reckless and despondent about his impending death, and choosing not to tell anyone about his condition, Stark appoints his personal assistant Pepper Potts as CEO of Stark Industries and hires Stark employee Natalie Rushman to replace her as his personal assistant. Stark competes in the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, where he is attacked in the middle of the race by Vanko, who is wielding electrified whips. Stark dons his armor and defeats Vanko, but the suit is severely damaged. Vanko explains that his intention was to prove to the world that Iron Man is not invincible. Impressed by Vanko's performance, Stark's rival, Justin Hammer, fakes Vanko's death while breaking him out of prison and asks him to build a line of armored suits to upstage Stark. During what he believes is his final birthday party, Stark gets drunk while wearing the Iron Man suit. Disgusted, Stark's best friend, U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, dons Stark's prototype armor and tries to restrain him. The fight ends in a stalemate, and Rhodes confiscates the armor for the U.S. Air Force.
Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., approaches Stark, revealing that "Rushman" is Agent Natasha Romanoff and that Howard Stark was a S.H.I.E.L.D. founder whom Fury knew personally. Fury explains that Vanko's father and Stark invented the arc reactor together, but when Anton tried to sell it, Stark had him deported. The Soviets sent Anton to the Gulag. Fury gives Stark some of his father's old material. Tony discovers a hidden message in the diorama of the 1974 Stark Expo; it proves to be a diagram of the atomic structure of a new element. With the aid of his A.I., J.A.R.V.I.S., Stark synthesizes it. When he learns that Vanko is still alive, he places the new element in his arc reactor and ends his palladium dependency.
At the current Expo, Hammer unveils Vanko's armored drones, led by Rhodes in a heavily weaponized version of the prototype armor. Stark arrives to warn Rhodes, but Vanko takes remote control of all the drones and Rhodes' armor and attacks Stark. Hammer soon gets arrested for breaking Vanko out of prison, while Romanoff and Stark's bodyguard Happy Hogan go after Vanko at Hammer's factory. Vanko escapes, but Romanoff returns control of Rhodes' armor to him. Together, Stark and Rhodes defeat Vanko and his drones. Vanko commits suicide by blowing up his suit, along with the defeated drones.
At a debriefing, Fury informs Stark that because of his difficult personality, S.H.I.E.L.D. intends to use him only as a consultant. Stark and Rhodes receive medals for their heroism. In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson reports the discovery of a large hammer at the bottom of a crater in a desert in New Mexico.
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- Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, a billionaire who escaped captivity in Afghanistan with a suit of armor he created, now struggling to keep his technology out of the government's hands.
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia "Pepper" Potts, Stark's closest friend, budding love interest, and business partner; Pepper is promoted to CEO of Stark Industries.
- Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes / War Machine, an officer in the U.S. Air Force and Tony Stark's close personal friend who later operates the War Machine armor. Cheadle replaces Terrence Howard from the first film.
- Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, an undercover spy for S.H.I.E.L.D. posing as Stark's new assistant.
- Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, a rival weapons manufacturer.
- Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko / Whiplash, a Russian physicist and ex-convict who builds a pair of arc reactor-based electric whips to exact vengeance on the Stark family. The character is an amalgamation of Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo.
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The director, Jon Favreau, reprises his role as Harold "Happy" Hogan, Tony Stark's bodyguard and chauffeur, while Clark Gregg and Leslie Bibb reprise their roles as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson and reporter Christine Everhart, respectively. John Slattery appears as Tony's father Howard Stark and Garry Shandling appears as United States Senator Stern, who wants Stark to give Iron Man's armor to the government. Favreau stated that Shandling's character was named after radio personality Howard Stern. Paul Bettany again voices Stark's computer, J.A.R.V.I.S. Olivia Munn originally appeared as an unnamed character who was subsequently cut from the film. Favreau then gave her the role of Chess Roberts, a reporter covering the Stark expo. Yevgeni Lazarev appears as Ivan Vanko's father, Anton Vanko, Kate Mara portrays a process server who summons Tony to the government hearing, and Stan Lee appears as himself (but is mistaken for Larry King).
Additionally, news anchor Christiane Amanpour and political commentator Bill O'Reilly play themselves in newscasts. Adam Goldstein appears as himself and the film is dedicated to his memory. Further cameos include Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison. Favreau's son Max appears as a child wearing an Iron Man mask whom Stark saves from a drone. This was retroactively made as the introduction of a young Peter Parker to the MCU, as confirmed in June 2017 by Feige, eventual Spider-Man actor Tom Holland, and Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts.
Iron Man 2earned $312.4 million in the United States and Canada, as well as $311.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $623.9 million. Since the film was included in a predetermined legacy distribution deal that was signed before The Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel, Paramount Pictures distributed the film and collected 8% of the box office, while the remaining portion went to Disney.
Iron Man 2 earned $51 million on its opening day in the United States and Canada (including $7.5 million from Thursday previews), for a total weekend gross of $128 million, which was the fifth-highest opening weekend ever, at the time, behind The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 3, The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. It also had the highest opening for a 2010 film and Paramount's highest opening weekend. The film yielded an average of $29,252 per theater. IMAX contributed $9.8 million, which was the highest opening weekend for a 2D IMAX film, surpassing Star Trek's previous record of $8.5 million. Iron Man 2 was the third-highest-grossing film of 2010 in the United States and Canada, behind Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland.
The film launched in six European markets with number-one openings on Wednesday, April 28, 2010, for a total $2.2 million. It earned $100.2 million its first five days from 53 foreign markets, for a strong average of $14,814 per site. IMAX Corporation reported grosses of $2.25 million, surpassing the previous record-holder for an IMAX 2D release, 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($2.1 million). It was the seventh-highest-grossing film of 2010 internationally, behind Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Inception, Shrek Forever After, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported a 72% approval rating, with an average score of 6.50/10, based on 301 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot." Metacritic gave the film a weighted average rating of 57 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on a scale of A+ to F, the same score as its predecessor.
After the release of Iron Man 2, Walt Disney Studios agreed to pay Paramount at least $115 million for the worldwide distribution rights to Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. Disney, Marvel, and Paramount announced a May 3, 2013, release date for Iron Man 3. Shane Black directed Iron Man 3 from a screenplay by Drew Pearce. Downey, Paltrow, Cheadle, and Favreau reprised their roles, while Ben Kingsley played Trevor Slattery, Guy Pearce played Aldrich Killian, and Rebecca Hall played Maya Hansen.