Marvel Confirms Don Cheadle Signed For Iron Man 2 and Avengers

Last week it was announced that Don Cheadle was replacing Terance Howard as Rhodey (aka War Machine) in the upcoming Iron Man 2. Today Marvel put out a press release announcing that they also have plans for Rhodey in the Avengers movie as well.

I was THRILLED when I heard that Cheadle was taking over the role of Rhodey. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the job Howard did in Iron Man and wouldn’t have minded seeing him return… but when you can get an even better actor, you do it. And let’s face it, Howard’s role in the first movie was small to say the least. Switching actors in that role won’t be a problem whatsoever (and for those that claim it does… are you saying The Dark Knight was ruined because the changed actresses for Rachel? Yeah… I didn’t think so).

It was also made clear that Marvel have a bigger role planned for War Machine than in the first film when they said:

“We are very excited about working with the extraordinarily talented Don Cheadle as we expand the role of Rhodey in Iron Man 2. It has already become apparent as we prep the movie for production, that the dynamic between Robert and Don will take Iron Man 2 to new heights,” said Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios.

I’m guessing this increased role probably had SOMETHING to do with the switch. Well… that an money (money always does). I think this is great news and bodes very well for the Marvel universe on screen.

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24 thoughts on “Marvel Confirms Don Cheadle Signed For Iron Man 2 and Avengers

  1. @ HAZMATDWARFSTALLPEOPLE: You mean Raza? I thought at first that he could be him, but since it was never confirmed, I never thought of him as the Mandarin, despite being the leader of the Ten Rings. I don’t doubt I could be wrong, though…

    @ Those in support of Terrance Howard: Not that it will sway Marvel, but there’s a petition where you can make your peace about him being traded:

    Not that I want to doubt the power of a petition, but I can already see more people not caring about this change (or not knowing about it until a trailer comes out) to make a difference in Marvel’s eyes. Unless this changes overnight, we all will have to get used to Cheadle as “War Machine” really soon.

  2. It’s too bad because I like Howard but I thought his performance in Ironman was weak and I don’t think he was right for the part. Cheadle however is going to rock it, he always does. I think he’s the better choice and that’s why Marvel switched actors. I don’t think it was about the money. If anything, Cheadle’s more expensive.

    On a side note, when Rhodey looked at the War Machine armor and said “next time baby” I was pretty pumped about seeing him as War Machine. When Cheadle inevitably dons the armor it’s going to have less of a dramatic impact for me now, but that’s really no big deal. Just how I see it.

  3. they already have an actor for the mandarin

    the terrorist with the square glasses that gets half his face peeled off that…bald guy with a ring

    hes the leader of a group called “10 rings” and he never dies in the movie…

  4. How about casting Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury?

    Oh, wait, a minute! That would never happen…

    Seriously, though, the reason I said that is when it comes to casting the Mandarin, racial depiction has been a big issue. It’s suspected that is one of the reasons we didn’t see him in the first movie, but don’t quote me on that.

    When the character was created originally it was the mid 60’s when writers created characters based off of blatant racial stereotypes like The Mandarin, or Dr. Zin on Jonny Quest, even. When they cast for the character in today’s more culturally sensitive climate, they’re either going to cast him with an Asian actor but totally against the depiction in the comic books or cast an actor from another nationality that has an affinity for Asian culture.

    If they did the latter, I would put Don Cheadle as him in a hot second. Remember the character he played in Rush Hour 2 (sorry to bring that movie up, John)? Plus on top of that, the actor himself is a high level player in the ancient Chinese game of Go – which, honestly, is more coincidental, if anything, but still cool. Just out of curiosity, who would you cast as the Mandarin, since it’s so taboo to play outside the trappings of race (i.e. Jackson –> Fury)?

    But what the hell do I know? Now if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to smokin’ these rocks?

  5. cheadle as mandarin? wtf are you on crack…you right all that good jibba jabba but started it with that? name one role cheadle has ever been that he even remotely potraid what qualities the mandarin has…..seriously u wrote all that and started it with that…now i uderstand we all have are own opinions but really mandarin? ….how bout cheadle just play capt america …..

  6. I still think Cheadle would make a more interesting Mandarin than War Machine. As little a role as Howard played in “Iron Man”, was that really his fault?

    This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen, and I’d be guilty if I didn’t cheer the actress swap Nolan pulled in the “The Dark Night” by subbing out Katie for Maggie. However, in this case, it just doesn’t seem right or for the right reasons.

    – Cheadle is an accomplished actor and if they had to replace Howard, it was a damn fine choice.

    – Howard was entertaining for what little role he had in “Iron Man”, but never had much of a chance to shine. However the chance of him being “War Machine” in a possible sequel would at least introduce his character to audiences and to lay the groundwork for him to play a more pivotal role in Part 2.

    – Since we have to start over with Cheadle, the investment in character Howard and squares like me were hoping to seem him as “War Machine” feel cheated. It’ll always feel like a last minute substitution, like replacing the pitcher in the season winning game, when there’s nothing wrong with him and his team has a commanding lead in the last inning. The change just seems no unnecessary, and you might as well let the man finish the game and enjoy the glory afterwards.

    – I agree with you, John, about actors. Technically, they are replaceable. However, dynamics between paring of actors are not. The dynamic between Downey & Howard was great in this movie, and although I’m sure the camaraderie between Downey & Cheadle could be just as goo (or better) we don’t know that for sure. In this case, I’d rather go for what we know works and not chance altering great chemistry.

    – When it comes to sequels, no matter how good or bad the actors are, you go to them first to reprise their roles. Continuity is one of the most important factors when you do a sequel, otherwise you can risk the chance of wrecking the illusion behind the movie. Despite Katie being gone, I couldn’t help but be reminded that Rachel Dawes was being played by someone else in TDK, something I couldn’t shake through that entire picture.

    – Although Bond is a good example, he also has a history of films behind him. I’m not a fan of all the Bonds (Timothy Dalton, anyone?) has been replaced so many times we’ve come to expect it eventually (either due to age, box office performance, etc). However, if “Quantum of Solace”, a direct continuation of “Casino Royale” didn’t have Craig in it that would have been an absolute waste, even if they found a better actor. The continuity would have been shot, and the interest Craig helped me fostered for the Bond he portrayed would have been all for nothing.

    – Actors play roles differently, even when substituted. Replace one with another, and the character may come off completely different. For example, can you name any actor to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in the history of the franchise (Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney, Bale even West & Conroy) to ever play him exactly the same so that we didn’t compare one to another? One might have outperformed the other, but there had to be times that you wished a previous actor had returned to play a character than the one currently playing him.

    – Dumbledore, of course, was replace due to Richard Harris’s untimely passing, but the cat currently playing him seems like a lesser imitation of Harris’s performance in the first two movies. I know this is partially meant as an homage to the actor, but it only reminds me of how much better Harris would have been if he were still around. This, however, is a reality we cannot change.

    – Finally (Jesus, this has gone on forever), there was no reason Marvel could give me, or has offered any of us for swapping out Howard for Cheadle. Yeah, Cheadle is outstanding, but to say he’s better than Howard is unfair since their methods are absolutely different. I’m sure if they opted Howard out for Will Smith (which Marvel will probably do when they screw Don out of a “War Machine” spin-off flick, j/k) , the same sentiments would be shared about placing a “better actor” in the role, but it would be no less as screwed up. Howard did a great job as Rhodey and there was only one reason they replaced him.

    Money. Which is why we haven’t got a straight answer from Marvel Studios about the matter. After all, they gave Favreau grief when he asked for more money but they eventually realized that they couldn’t do it without him – and rightfully so. They weren’t stupid enough to botch thing with Downey’s pay raise, but they decided to cut corners and make adjustments to the budget by axing Howard since he’d be returning as well and also looking for a pay increase.

    And who wouldn’t? If you were a part of the one fo the most successful comic book movies-of-all-time and KNEW you would be playing a more active role in the sequel, wouldn’t you chance asking for more movie. I’m certain Terrance wasn’t dumb enough to ask for more than the lead, but asking for 2x to 3x more wouldn’t be too out of the ordinary. An if Jon Favreau only got $4 mil (+ back-end), I’m certain supporting players like Howard & Paltrow recieved considerably less. For a movie that grossed over $400 mil in the the box office alone, is shattering the ceiling of Home Video marketplace, and with a sequel that could potentially break records, of course you would.

    Instead, they didn’t even sit the man down and negotiate with him. They looked at his asking price, scoffed, and went down their list of affordable black actors and saw they could get Cheadle for something less than what Howard was asking. That was the main reason for the swap, and despite the opinion of Don being the better actor, the cause of the switch-out was far less noble.

    I can’t blame Marvel for doing it. To the accounting department, I’m sure it made perfect sense, and to get another “higher profile” African-American actor for cheaper must have had those greedy producers behind the sequel losing their minds. I got no beef with Cheadle, though – if I were him and were offered to be in the sequel of a blockbuster as an established character, it would be hard to pass up – and I wouldn’t expect him to. I just wish it wasn’t under these shitty (and speculated) circumstances.

    What’s really sad was that I had just finished watching all the extras on my Iron Man DVD set and was pumped for the sequel when this news hit.

    Now I’m not nearly as psyched for Part 2. I hope Marvel Studios – in all their “infinite wisdom” – proves me wrong.

  7. I’m not a huge fan of recastings. I see the nessicity with James Bond and Racheal Dawes, but I’m not sure what I think of this particular switch. I have nothing against Cheadle, I just feel that maybe Howard got jypped. I dunno, we’ll see how it plays out. If the sequal sucks (please God lets hope not), then I’ll just blame it on this switch and call it a day.

  8. I love Cheadle but I hate when they recast a character. Terrance Howard is an awesome actor too. It isn’t like they had a horrible actor in the role like Andre Braugher.

  9. Hey John, if you’re going to correct me, you might want to get it straight yourself. I explicitly stated that it won’t turn anyone away from the box office. And when I said “any actor”, I was putting emphasis on “any”, as if to say “not every actor is replaceable, but some are”. I also gave plenty of reasons to support my opinion, but in case you didn’t actually read it, the tone was not at all that I would not see it, merely that I was disappointed that Howard would not be getting his deserved breakthrough.

  10. WOW….cant believe u compared the role of Rhodes to that of Rachel in Dark Knight….first off Rachel was created for the movies…no one invested in her character…Rhodes is an Iron Man staple he’s frickin War Machine….first off the had to change Dumbledore the original actor died….with that said i have no problem with Cheadle in the role….but it isnt the same as replacing Rachel Dawes…maybe the same as Dr.Doom in

  11. look out tdk.
    there is so much hype and buildup and lead in stuff already for the avengers, its already guaranteed to make a ton of $$$$$$$.

  12. It will feel a little weird for the first scene or two, but then I’ll be over it, heck I might barely notice cause I think Cheadle is that good. :)

  13. its just they make him seem so nice in the book and he never gets angry and this one seems out of character sometimes

    oh yeah the change didnt impact whatsoever…aanndd no the new guy isnt bad…i just really liked the old one…i mean compared to the new one this one sucks…

    so yeah it didnt hurt the movie at all..i was talking about myself liking it.
    my bad.

  14. Hey Hazmat,

    No there is no problem with Dumbledore… at all. You may have LIKED one guy over the other… but it didn’t hurt the movie whatsoever. The point is that change, in and of itself, didn’t hurt the franchise.

  15. oh the new dumbledore SUCKS. so YES problem

    and was it me..or did this rachael feel NOTHING liek the old one? in batman begins rachel never smiles and is always a hard-ass..and in TDK gylenhal is always gittery and happy…and even when she was supposed ot be badass in the scene where she interrogates the japanese guy..shes always grinning

    but i actually like the war machine change. dons a better actor! who wouldnt want this!?

    and dude hes a pilot hes not supposed to be buff

  16. I’m all for it. I’ve loved Terrance Howard ever since I first saw in Dead Presidents. Don Cheadle though has also proven to be a great actor. Whatever happened to make this switch work? I dont know…but I think it’s unfair to use the Holmes/Gyllenhal comparison to this. Gyllenahl was a much better actress and added more to character over Holmes in my opinion.

  17. Hey Josh,

    I’m not sure I follow you. On one hand you say no actor is replaceable… and then you admit Holmes WAS replaceable. You’re contradicting yourself.

    Howard was nothing special in Iron Man. He did nothing wrong… but his role was small enough that once Iron Man 2 starts, no one will blink after 30 seconds.

    They changed Dumbledore in the Potter movies no problem
    They change Bond all the time… no problem
    They changed Rachel in Batman… no problem

    This change will have ZERO negative effect on the movie, and despite what anyone says, no will will not go see Iron Man 2 because of this (unless they’re related to Howard… but even his own mother would probably sneak out to see it anyway and just not tell him)

  18. Yeah, but it was an improvement because Katie Holmes did a shitty job. Howard did not, and it seems stupid to change actors when you will upset far more people than you will please. No, you won’t turn anyone away from the box office, and I assume Cheadle was ready to go for cheaper. My only problem is that I picture Rhodey as a bigger guy (obviously he’ll be in a suit for WM, but I mean when out of the suit). I’m not saying Cheadle isn’t buff, I just mean bigger as in… bigger.

    Also, I don’t think any actor is replaceable, because in something like this, it’s nice to have some continuity. I get why they dropped Holmes, because she was a cancer on the series, but Howard didn’t really have to chance to expand himself. I think it could have been a big breakthrough that Howard deserves, and it’s disappointing to see him go.

  19. hey does that mean that war machine will be in the avengers? like he will..but will he be war machine and FIGHT?

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