Iron Man Characters Strike a Pose

Industry mag Entertainment Weekly has your first look at the main four “Iron Man” characters in, well, character as part of their The EW 100 list. Present in the picture are Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr., and Jeff Bridges. Bridges is Stark’s mentor, Obadiah Stane, the film’s eventual villain (he’ll eventually assume the character Iron Monger). Paltrow is Pepper Potts, Stark’s loyal secretary, and love interest. Howard is Jim Rhodes, Stark’s right-hand man (and eventually, one presumes, he’ll become War Machine, a more war-heavy version of Iron Man). And Downey is, of course, Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.

Directed by actor-turned-director Jon Favreau “” and due in theaters next May “” Iron Man boasts a main character who’s a far cry from the usual Marvel Comics mutant teenager or irradiated geek. He’s Tony Stark, a playboy billionaire weapons manufacturer who becomes a born-again do-gooder in high-tech duds after a brush with death forces him to reevaluate his life. The adultness of the hero is what engaged Favreau. ”I just turned 40 years old,” says the Elf director. ”It’s nice to be able to deal with a character “” and cast members “” with whom I can see eye to eye, as opposed to an adolescent fantasy.”

“Iron Man” arrives Summer 2008.