Iron Man 2 doesn't hit theaters for another five weeks, but there is already speculation that the film includes a surprise cameo by another Marvel Comics hero: the Asgardian god Thor, whose big-screen debut is currently being filmed by Kenneth Branagh for 2011.
According to ComicBookMovie.com, a French featurette on Iron Man 2 shows Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) walking past a jail cell in Monaco, in which you get a glimpse of a bearded, burly young man being photographed. Considering Marvel Studios' fondness for dropping superheroic "Easter eggs" in its movies - including Captain America's shield in Stark's workshop in the first Iron Man film and Downey's appearance as Stark at the end of The Incredible Hulk - some fans wondered if that was Chris Hemsworth, who plays the Thunder God in Branagh's movie. Branding consultant Gregory Littley asserted to ComicBookMovie.com that it was indeed Hemsworth.
If so, it's a smooth publicity move by Marvel, since belief is growing that some of the first publicity/on-set photos from Thor (which began filming in January) will hit the press right around the time that Iron Man 2 blasts off.
In other Marvel news, the New York Daily News yesterday reported that there was turmoil on the set of Thor. According to the rumor, Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, who plays Thor's father, Odin, has been critiquing the acting ability of his far less experienced co-star Hemsworth, and even been getting into verbal tussles with Branagh himself. However, GossipCop.com contacted a Marvel spokesperson, who claimed that the Daily News story was "100% false."
What's the real story? As Stan Lee might say, Face Front, True Believer! The truth will come out!
Iron Man 2 hits the multiplexes on May 7. Thor is scheduled for a May 2011 release, to be followed by a Captain America film and the much-anticipated Avengers.