As with almost every comic book character that makes it to the big screen, numerous changes have been made to Whiplash. You can read the rather lengthy official bio over at the Marvel Comics website, but essentially he was an American that went to work for Stark Industries (as in Tony Stark’s company), fell in with a bad crowd, became a supper villain… you know how that goes. Well, somehow in the moie he is now Russian, and reportedly just escaped from prison (check the orange outfit on his lower half in the large picture).
When it was first reported that Rourke was playing a Russian villain in the film, the natural conclusions where that he was either playing Titanium Man or The Crimson Dynamo, but instead they have to mess around with another character for no good reason. Luckily I have a lot of trust in Jon Favreau as a director and storyteller, so I won’t totally scratch my head at this one yet, but it does seem like a totally unnecessary change.
If you’re wondering about the lighted piece on his chest looking so much like Iron Man’s, Mr. Favreau said to USA Today that is intentional and somehow figures into the plot of the film. I have my suspicions of how, but I won’t spoil it for those who aren’t familiar with the overall driving forces of the Iron Man series.