If there’s one thing that productions including Spider-Man: The Last Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and She-Hulk Attorney at Law have taught us, it’s that there’s no way to know which character Marvel Studios is going to return for a subsequent project. As She-Hulk recently released Tim Roth back as Emil Blonsky/The Abomination, who hasn’t been within the MCU since the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, there’s speculation about the return of a character from a popular but not very well-loved Marvel film. Sam Rockwell isn’t copping to the idea, but there’s a possibility that he might take on the role of Justin Hammer in the not-so-distant future.
In a recently conducted interview, CinemaBlend, the Moon star was directly asked about his return to Marvel the same way that Tim Roth had returned to She-Hulk. Sam Rockwell responded in a manner that appeared to be quite determined to alter the subject:
“Did you say Tim Roth? … Is that the Hulk villain? Holy shit, that’s great. I love it. He’s on the She-Hulk one? Oh, that’s great. I gotta watch that. I don’t know. Nothing as of yet. We’ll see. I see you have a Marvel poster in your backdrop. … I’m ready, I’m ready.”
Sam Rockwell first played weapons dealer and Tony Stark wannabe Justin Hammer in the 2010 film Iron Man 2 and briefly reprised the role in Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King, which was a tribute to the character of Trevor Slattery, played by Ben Kingsley. The fake Mandarin appears in the last film of the year, Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings, but there was a report that suggested Kingsley’s Slattery in the upcoming Disney+ Wonder Man series. If a character who was revealed to be an actor who was abusing different substances keeps appearing in Marvel Why, not a character who was a real, genuine villain?
There’s another reason to believe Sam Rockwell is destined for a Marvel comeback: the forthcoming mini-series Armor Wars, which will be directed by Don Cheadle as James Rhodes (aka War Machine). The show’s name comes from the late 1980s Iron Man comic storyline that follows Tony Stark as he discovers a number of villains and heroes (e.g., Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man, The Controller) are using technology that he invented, as well as Justin Hammer, who is integral to the storyline. Although we’re not sure how closely the show will be able to follow the source material—certainly not as closely since Stark has died in the official synopsis also states that it will be about Rhodes confronting “what happens when Tony Stark’s tech falls into the wrong hands.”
There’s no law that requires Armor Wars The show can’t make Justin Hammer an important part of the plot, however, his inclusion in the show would make total sense. Hammer was able to access stolen Stark technology long before Iron Man’s demise in the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame. In the film Iron Man 2, after an assault on Stark-Rhodes, Hammer Iron Man is able to deliver the first suit Tony made in the United States to the military, who hands it over to him. It’s possible that Sam Rockwell’s character and his crew have had enough time with the suit to reverse engineer more than we’ve ever seen.
We don’t have any information yet regarding the release date of Armor Wars, but it’s possible to see Sam Rockwell in Marvel before the film’s release. Because The Ant-Man films are often centered around technological spying, Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania could be another possible landing spot for Rockwell. Maybe even the forthcoming Disney+ series Ironheart could be the perfect setting for him to make an appearance. Did you remember how many people thought Tom Cruise would play a character akin to Iron Man in Doctor Strange 2 due to the fact that he declined the role in reality? As noted by MovieWeb, Rockwell did actually audition for the role of Stark. You never know.