With one of next year's biggest films now in production, the race was on yesterday to snag the first photos from the set of Iron Man 2. Director Jon Favreau spent a little time on Twitter, offering fans a glimpse of his director's chair and some warning sign, but what folks really wanted was a first look at the cast in character (and costume). Just Jared and SpoilerTV managed to snag some shots, all of which include Robert Downey Jr. (as Tony Stark), Gwyneth Paltrow (as Pepper Potts) and Don Cheadle (who replaced Terrence Howard as Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes). Favreau also left this note on Twitter as day one of production wrapped up: "First day went great. I've never worked on a sequel before. It's like we picked up where we left off."

In addition to these new photos, IESB reports that comedian Garry Shandling (of all people) has not only been cast in the sequel, but he was also on set for the first day of shooting. They claim he's "a reporter or Senator or some sort" who pops up in a continuation of the final scene from the first Iron Man (when Stark proclaims, "I am Iron Man" and all that). Does that mean Iron Man 2 will literally pick up right where the last one left off? Seems so, especially since it looks like Downey Jr. is wearing the same shirt and tie from the final scene of the first film. Check out larger versions of the three images above down below. Iron Man 2 hits theaters on May 7, 2010.

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