A double-whammy of casting news for John Favreau's follow-up to last year's blockbuster Iron Man. First, Scarlett Johansson has signed up, replacing Emily Blunt as Black Widow. Per the story at /Film, Blunt had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict, opening the door for Scar-Jo. If this works out, expect to see the actress reprise the role in several Marvel flicks due over the next few years.
And in a long rumored move, current critical darling Mickey Rourke and Marvel finally came to terms for the actor to play Iron Man 2's Russian villian. (The studio had been low-balling Rourke with a paltry $250,000 offer.) I'm sure Putin is going to love this.
Main man Robert Downey Jr. will also be back, along with a double-shot of Sams (Rockwell and L. Jackson), with Jackson under contract for as many as nine (!!!) Marvel flicks.
Iron Man 2 is set for releasein 2010.