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Marvel actor Mickey Rourke says Law & Order has "real acting" – unlike Marvel

Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Mickey Rourke, who played Whiplash in the Marvel movie Iron Man 2, has criticized acting in Marvel movies compared to Law & Order.

In a lengthy Instagram post, the actor praised the long-running TV show, which he watched for the first time in lockdown. The caption reads in part: "I’ve never seen such terrific acting ever on television! Each show that i seen and I probably seen a 1000 of them by now the producing is terrific, the direction is top class and most of all i am really impressed with this ensembles of highly talented actors."

Rourke finished the post with: "Respect to all of you,the work that you all do is real acting,not like that crap that all on Marvel shit."

Rourke has appeared in only one MCU movie, and judging from his comments, it seems safe to assume he won't be back for more. Law & Order, meanwhile, first aired in 1990 and came to a close in 2010. It ran for a massive 20 seasons.

In Iron Man 2, Rourke's Whiplash was one of the villains, along with Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer. The movie introduced Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff to the MCU, and marked the first time Don Cheadle played Rhodey, AKA War Machine. Like its predecessor Iron Man, Iron Man 2 was directed by The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau.

Though Tony Stark didn't survive Avengers: Endgame, that doesn't mean the end of Iron Man entirely – the upcoming Disney Plus shows Armor Wars, focusing on Rhodey, and Ironheart, with new character Riri Williams at its center, look set to deal with his legacy.

The next Marvel offering to hit our screens will be Loki, which arrives this June 9. It will be followed on the big screen and Disney Plus by the long-awaited Black Widow, which is landing a month later on July 9. These are far from the only Marvel Phase 4 installments on the way, however, with multiple movies and TV shows in the works.

While you wait for more, check out our guide to watching Marvel movies in order to get up to speed on the MCU.

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after I got my BA in English.