The buzz for the first "Iron Man" film began at Comic-Con, director Jon Favreau said, so he thanked fans for their support by showing an exclusive clip from next summer's sequel.
"Nobody cared before you guys did," Favreau told a capacity crowd inside the San Diego Convention Center's largest assembly hall Saturday. Then he rolled the clip, which introduced the film's anticipated new characters.
It showed an eye-patch-wearing Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, and a redheaded Scarlett Johansson throwing down as martial-arts master Black Widow. It introduced Sam Rockwell as weapons guru Justin Hammer; a fearsome-looking, heavily tattooed Mickey Rourke as the villain Ivan Vanko, who becomes Whiplash; and Don Cheadle as Col. James Rhodes, who becomes War Machine.
Terrence Howard played Rhodes in the first "Iron Man" film. Cheadle's character addresses the change in a few quick lines to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
"It's me. I'm here. Deal with it. Let's move on," Cheadle's Rhodes says.
Fans got a quick glimpse of War Machine's super-powered, weapon-filled suit and Whiplash's first attempt at a wearable apparatus that features two electrically charged whips.
Downey, Cheadle, Johansson and Rockwell joined Favreau at Comic-Con to present the footage.
"You guys saw it before we even saw it," Cheadle told the crowd.
"That trailer blew my mind, actually," Rockwell said.
Johansson said she trained in mixed martial arts so she could perform her own stunts. And Rourke visited a Russian prison to add authenticity to his character, Favreau said.
"I thought I was eccentric," Downey quipped. "He's something else."
"Iron Man 2" is set to hit theaters in May 2010. Comic-Con continues through Sunday.