Jon Favreau searching for his Black Widow

With Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell negotiating to play key villains in “Iron Man 2,” Marvel Entertainment and director Jon Favreau are now looking for the right thesp to play femme fatale Black Widow, another nemesis for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark.

Emily Blunt has emerged as the frontrunner to play Natasha Romanoff in the “Iron Man” sequel. She’s a Soviet superspy who doubles as Black Widow, a beauty in a skintight black costume enhanced by high-tech weaponry.

Blunt, whose credits include “The Devil Wears Prada,” “The Jane Austen Book Club” and “Charlie Wilson’s War,” will get a profile boost when she stars with Benicio Del Toro in the Joe Johnston-directed “The Wolf Man” for Universal.

Marvel would not comment on the Black Widow casting. The Justin Theroux-scripted “Iron Man 2″ will begin production in the spring for release by Paramount in summer 2010.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more