Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau

What a difference a couple of years have made for Iron Man.

"Nobody cared about Iron Man until we came here," director Jon Favreau told a packed house at the San Diego Comic-Con Saturday, reacting to a rowdy welcome much different than the one the first Iron Man film received two years ago. Favreau rewarded the more than 6,000 fans by showing five minutes of footage from next summer's sure-to-be-blockbuster smash.

Check out this summer's must-see movies

The Iron Man 2 clips included plenty of high-flying action, as well as tidbits featuring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Garry Shandling as a senator investigating Tony Stark, according to Entertainment Weekly. But the crowd really went wild for the first look at War Machine, the alter ego of Stark's buddy Jim Rhodes, now played by Don Cheadle. New villain Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) received similar audience responses.

Robert Downey Jr., Cheadle, Johansson and Sam Rockwell, another new addition to the cast, joined Favreau on stage to take questions. Despite the absence of Rourke, the panel had plenty to say about him.

Check out photos of Rourke's wild red carpet style

"And I thought I was eccentric," Downey Jr. said. Favreau noted that Rourke researched the role by visiting a Russian prison. But he also poked a little fun at The Wrestler star. "You know, after Perestroika, the first film to arrive in Russia was 9 1/2 weeks. Mickey's a sex god in Russia."

Iron Man 2
is set to premiere on April 30, 2010.