It looks like Iron Man will be facing off against a Scarlett Widow, as Miss Johansson has confirmed she has signed on to play the Russian spy Natasha Romanoff in the sequel.

Also confirmed was comeback kid and all-round hard-man Mickey Rourke, who will play Whiplash, after speculation that he could play Crimson Dynamo.

Johansson’s “thrilled” substantiation ends the will-she-won’t-she rumours that Emily Blunt would don the black cat-suit as Iron Man’s anti-heroine, after she was hit with a scheduling clash between this and the upcoming Jack Black funny Gulliver’s Travels. The news also puts paid to whispers that newly brunette Johansson was done with “sexy” – as the black Widow’s wardrobe will no doubt include some eye-popping all-in-ones.

Iron Man 2 – which will star Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and a new Rhodey, in the shape of Don Cheadle – is set for a May 2010 release.