Could our favorite "genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist" (oh, Tony Stark, you're so modest) be playing a role in the upcoming Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy? If you believe that promotional items can confirm a rumor, then the answer to that is "yes".
Marvel has released a set of limited-edition trading cards in conjunction with the beginning stages of pre-production on Guardians, part of its ambitious "Phase II" plans to hugely expand the Marvel universe, and the snarky man of metal is featured:
These trading cards will coincide with the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy #1" by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Steve McNiven.
It's been rumored that Iron Man will be featured in both the comic books and the movie, and these trading cards potentially confirm it, at least for the comic books. If Iron Man is to appear in the movie, might we be seeing one of Marvel's iconic after-credits scenes featuring as Star-Lord (leader of the Guardians) in Iron Man 3? It's a tactic often used by Marvel to tease future movies, and would be a nice way of introducing audiences to the Guardians.
Along with Pratt, Game of Thrones actor is heavily-favored to land the role of Drax the Destroyer in the upcoming film, while the roles of Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Gamora have yet to be cast.
Writing Iron Man into the Guardians script would also give the movie built-in mainstream audience recognition and fan loyalty, which is a nice security blanket to have for such a risky project. It's certainly a gamble, but then, we also said that about The Avengers, which was a huge leap of faith for studios before record-breaking box office revenue proved that perhaps Hollywood was right to expand its horizons.
In the meantime, check out the comic book cover art below, and click here to see the rest of the trading cards.