Don Cheadle Replaces Terrence Howard In Iron Man 2

For me (and many other people) Iron Man was the biggest pleasant surprise movie of the year so far. The movie was so much better than I originally thought it was going to be when I first heard that they were making it, and one of the ingredients to that success was Terrance Howard, who although played a small role, played it well.

Well, apparently Terrance Howard wanted something of a raise to return for Iron Man 2 to reprise his role… and the studios said “no”. And as a result, a guy I just put on my Top 10 Best Actors Working Today list, Don Cheadle is stepping in to take his place to play the role. The folks over at Coming Soon give us this:

In the first film, Howard played Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes, Tony Stark/Iron Man’s best friend and future armor-clad hero War Machine. The trade says Marvel had no comment, but sources close to the deal said negotiations with Howard fell through over financial differences, among other reasons. Marvel, which had wanted to work with Cheadle, then decided to take the role in another direction and approached the actor, who is shooting Antoine Fuqua’s Brooklyn’s Finest.

I always say that all actors are replaceable (granted, some more than others), and as good of an actor Terrance Howard is, he’s no Don Cheadle, and it’s never a mistake to upgrade your talent roster in any film or franchise. And since all indications are that War Machine is going to be playing a bigger part in Iron Man 2, this is actually fantastic news. Cheadle just rules.

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65 thoughts on “Don Cheadle Replaces Terrence Howard In Iron Man 2

  1. you guys must be crazy to get rid of terrence howard for iron man2.don is good really good but that does not mean he can be war machine.let don play another super hero.

  2. I like Howard and Cheadle. I, however, think the actors are different. Howard played Rhoades extremely well in the first movie. I am going to be disappointed by the replacement because Cheadle is a different type of actor and I already have Howard in my head as Rhoades.

    If the disagreement was over money, the Studio should probably be ashamed because the movie made over 300 million the first time around. Surely, the issue could be resolved. There was only a handful of people who had to be paid the big bucks.

    I will see the move, but I will not pay to see it in the theatre because of this switch.

  3. Marvel has no one but to blame but themselves. They pay the man, give him a minute role in the first movie, then try to backdoor him when they feel they are paying him too much. Here is a an article supporting my point:

    “November 03, 2008. told you last week that Terrence Howard would NOT be in the new Iron Man movie. We also told you that the reason for Terrence getting cut – was that he was asking for too much gwop.(money)

    Well now Entertainment Weekly is shedding some more light onto the drama. Here’s what they had to say about it:

    Howard was the first actor signed to the original Iron Man and, on top of that, was the highest-paid. That’s right: more than Gwyneth Paltrow. More than Jeff Bridges. More than Robert Downey Jr. And once the project fully came together, it was too late to renegotiate his deal.

    It didn’t help that, according to one source, Favreau and his producers were ultimately unhappy with Howard’s performance, and spent a lot of time cutting and reshooting his scenes. (Favreau could not be reached for comment, while Howard’s publicist says: ”Terrence had a tremendous experience working on Iron Man.”)

    As such, when Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux went to map out the sequel they found themselves minimizing Howard’s story line. Once Marvel learned that Favreau was thinking of curtailing the role, the studio went to the actor’s agents with a new and drastically reduced offer — a number that’s similar to what supporting cast members were paid for the first movie. The agents, according to sources, were so taken aback by this new figure — estimated at somewhere between a 50 and 80 percent pay cut — that they questioned it. Why did they blanch? Multiple sources say that Marvel execs never told Howard’s reps that they had issues with the star’s on-set conduct.”

  4. They’re both great actors, doesn’t make much of a difference, only in Terrance Howard being a greedy bastard (he’s probably kicking himself in the balls now).
    Katie Holmes sucks, anyone can replace her, they could put Britney Spears in her place and nobody would notice, that’s how much she sucks, what’s she doing acting anyway?
    I hope Iron Man 2 has more action, the first had to much bla-bla-bla then at the end they start throwing punchs.

  5. Terrance Howard, I thought played an awesome Iron Man. I thought he was funny and fit the attitude of the Iron suit very well, if the makes any sense. I really do not know if Iron Man 2 will be any good.

  6. It’s all about consistency! Don is a better actor, but Terrence to me was a better fit, he should have kept his mouth shut, time are HARD now a days. I was really looking forward to him being War Machine, but if you don’t know how to be a team player…than..O..well

  7. Howard Shocked At Iron Man Sequel Snub
    by Jay Cochran in Marvel at 10:24 AM on 2008.10.20

    TERRENCE HOWARD has slammed reports he pulled out of a planned sequel to superhero blockbuster IRON MAN over a pay row – insisting he was snubbed by movie bosses.

    U.S. reports suggest Robert Downey Jr. will return as Iron Man/Tony Stark and Gwyneth Paltrow will be back as Pepper Potts, but Howard will sit out the project.

    The part was rumoured to have been offered to Ocean’s Eleven star Don Cheadle after Howard demanded too much money to reprise his role as Iron Man’s best pal Jim Rhodes in the 2010 sequel. But the star insists the news came as a shock to him – because he was mid-negotiations when the role was taken away from him.

    He tells America’s NPR radio, “It was the surprise of a lifetime. There was no explanation. (The contract) just… up and vanished. “I read something in the trade (publications) implicating that it was about money or something, but apparently the contracts that we write and sign aren’t worth the paper that they’re printed on, sometimes.”

    He adds, “Promises aren’t kept, and good faith negotiations aren’t always held up.”

  8. LOS ANGELES — Terrence Howard says was surprised to learn that Don Cheadle would replace him in “Iron Man 2.”

    “It was the surprise of a lifetime,” the actor and musician told National Public Radio on Tuesday. “There was no explanation, (the contract) just up and vanished.”

    Howard said he read news reports that money was the issue, saying the contracts he signs apparently “aren’t worth the paper that they’re printed on sometimes.”

    Cheadle assumes the role of James Rhodes, a character that becomes Iron Man’s sidekick War Machine in the comics, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his role as weapons mogul Tony Stark.

    Howard, who also starred in “Hustle & Flow,” is promoting his new album “Shine Through It.”

  9. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T DO IT! This is from a woman’s point of view. Love Don, but Terence has that supa super hero swagger the character needs.

  10. Howard is claiming to be in the dark as to why he was let go. The first he heard of it was on the Internet. Money was not the issue.


  11. and don cheadle looks nothing like howard. that’s like getting will ferrell to play ethan hunt in “Mission Impossible:4”

  12. two words – Fucked, Up.

    you can’t just go around replacing actors in sequels, especially a superhero film. as soon as an actor plays a superhero in a film, they are from that point known as for example “hey that’s hugh jackman, he’s wolverine” or Tobey Maguire, that’s spiderman. it was bad enough when they replaced eric bana with edward norton but it turned out okay in the end after “THE INCREDIBLE hulk” was a success. this is 40 times worse than replacing tom jane with ray stevenson for the next punisher and replacing katie holmes with maggie gyllenhall for the dark knight.

  13. I think overall it was probably a good decision. I love Terrance Howard, but in this world it’s all business. If the studio wasn’t willing to compromise with him, then that’s their choice. They need to find someone else. What are they gonna do, not make the movie? That would be an even bigger mistake. They are not crazy, it was a business decision. And judging by the fact that they picked Don Cheadle for this role means that they probably weren’t looking for him for any other role. The studio’s generally know what they’re doing and I’m happy to see Don Cheadle in this movie.

  14. This just takes away Cheadles chance of being another Marvel universe character in the future. I am not too keen about this. They should just meet half way with Howard. When he looks at the Mk2 suit in the movie I was going nuts. “Next time baby”. What are they crazy down at Marvel!!!!

  15. Totally disagree, first Howard kicks Cheadle’s ass in acting talent IMO. It must be the “crazy eyes”

    Second I hate when they do this, it sucked when they Katie Holmes in Batman.

  16. Sorry, guys, but I never bought Howard in the role to begin with. A colonel? Are you kidding me? Whoever said he sounded like Michael Jackon was right on the money. When I saw the movie for the first time, I thought, “Wait a minute….Rhodes wasn’t gay in the comics!” Sorry, but the girly little voice Howard used in Iron Man was WRONG for the character.

  17. I don’t think it’s a bad move. Nobody, I repeat nobody, is going to not buy a ticket because Howard isn’t in it.

    Am I disappointed? Yes, very much so. As much as I love Cheadle, I think Howard fit the part a lot better. He’s bigger, and his chemistry with Downey was amazing.

    Do I think it’s reasonable for Howard to ask for more money? Of course. With a bigger role, it makes so much sense to ask for more money. However, as pointed out by Film School Rejects, something weird seems up. Howard has no projects coming up, and it seems odd to turn down a high-profile role because of money when you have nothing else in the works. However, if this is the reason he’s not coming back (I’m not convinced), I still think he did the right thing by asking for more money. You get a bump in your job in which you’ll have to work more hours, you better believe you’re expecting more money.

    But it also makes sense for Marvel to want to go with the cheaper actor if it won’t lose any money, which it won’t. Business-wise, it’s smart, but I’m terribly disappointed.

  18. I’m mixed though optimistic.

    In terms of pure acting ability I do believe that Cheadle is more talented than Howard, and I do believe that when making a film you always want the most talent at your disposal, so in that I do consider Cheadle to be an upgrade. (And for the record, I believe Howard is an exceptional actor, though I believe Cheadle is better.)

    Now will Cheadle be a better Rhodey, that’s yet to be determined. Howard was great as Rhodey and I was looking forward to how the character would evolve in the future, but Cheadle is an exceptionally talented actor, and I believe that he will deliver a great performance.

    It’s a downer to see Howard go, but Don Cheadle is an exceptional choice.

  19. Terrible fucking news. Replacing Holmes was the worst part of TDK, and now they replace Howard with this scrawny guy? I’m even a FAN of cheadle but I can’t get behind this.

    1. I AGREE WITH KRISTINA.Howard is a great actor, but acted very gay in the movie, WAR MACHINE IS A TOUGH GUY, and HOWARD didnt played him like a sissy. Ton-AY! just watch that part when he runs into the house to check on STARK. you tell me that didnt sound awfully gay.

  20. Don Cheadle is always a reliable actor but I can’t see how he would capture a more youthful vibrance that Terrence Howard had. My biggest complaints is one of appearences, they look NOTHING alike. At least when they recast Katie Holmes in The Dark Knight they picked an actress who was reasonably similar in appearance. The switch in actors is going to be incredibly obvious for these visual reasons.

  21. wow, i was hoping this was a “what if” post, i really hope that these are just rumors & that howard comes back for part 2…

    ….just cant see don as war machine…

  22. It’s sad that Terrence won’t be returning but he is not the reason I laid down $10.00 to see this film. The only person un-replaceable as a character is Robert Downey Junior. Everyone else sorry to say so what, I thought Howard’s performance was very good as Rhodey, but I wouldn’t say it was great. To be honest, he is not what I pictured as Rhodey and I say that as I am just being honest. I could care less if Howard has one so many awards blah, blah, blah. In the end I never pictured Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark either, but now I couldn’t picture anyone else in that role period! Downey just nailed it, and Howard did not!

    So yes, Howard is replaceable.

  23. @VID:

    Dude. I totally agree. Before Iron Man Id heard of him, but I’d never seen Terrence Howard act before. My only knowledge of him was as a pimp in that movie that Three Six Mafia won the “best song” oscar for. As a result, I expected a kinda tough-talking take-no-shit kinda guy.

    Motherfucker came off like Michael Jackson. For Real.

  24. This is unbelievable. What terrible news. I cannot believe that Marvel would do this. Terrence did such a great job in the first movie, and he would have been incredible as War Machine. Why would Marvel risk messing with an enormously successful franchise in Iron Man for Don Cheadle? I mean, the first movie almost made $600 million worldwide and Terrence got great reviews for his performance and fans seem to really be happy with Terrence. This is extremely disappointing news. Terrible move by Marvel

  25. Well I agree with everyone else that it’s so much nicer in a film series like this to have continuity of actors (like i hated how Kirstie Alley as Saavik got replaced in Star Trek III – she asked for too much money as well) but i’m sure we’ll get over it quickly enough.

    The important thing is that Favs is back.

  26. For some reason I found that Howard’s voice sounded odd in Iron Man…almost feminine, higher-pitched, girlish even? I’ve seen him in other films and his voice didn’t sound anything like that.

    Still, I would’ve preferred they kept Howard just for continuity since he didn’t do a bad job. At the same time, recasting with Cheadle if it had to be done, I am fine with because he’s a good actor too. The character was peripheral at best in the first movie.

  27. Well, Howard didn’t really have a chance to do anything in the Iron Man. I still am a bit dissapointed to hear this, though they are both fine actors I would have liked to have seen what Terrence could have done.

  28. While many may not agree, I happen to be on your wave length and feel that Cheadle is an upgrade. This guy is a GREAT actor. He did a 4 episode guest stint on ER a few years back playing a DR. with MS that was a terrific piece of television. It was some of his finest work. It’s interesting to see Howard leaving a franchise property as most actors in Hollywood a clamering to get involved in one!

  29. wow its funny the comments people leave about howard…..IMO i think he is a awesome actor…..i would say i put him in the top 20 male actors and in the top 5 of african american actors.

    crash was a awesome movie and the parts he was in were just perfect.
    Hustle and Flow to me is his best performance….i loved it and to this day i can say ive seen the movie around 40 times cause its taht good.

    cheadle is awesome and i like lots of things he has been in…..hotel rwanda was brilliant….but i dont see him as warmachine at all.

  30. I really like Don Cheadle and think he would have been best to have casted originaly but I can’t stand when they replace an actor or actress in a serise. I would have rather they kept Homes in for Dark Knight not that she is better but it is a huge distraction the when you watch it.

  31. I’d like to add, how fucking stupid is Terrance Howard? He was about to have major face time in a huge block buster and get to fly around in his own suit blowing stuff up. For that kind of bump in his career he should have been paying them.

  32. This is great news. Terrance Howard looked lost and confused. Every moment he spent on screen was the weakest part of the movie. Now they are bringing in someone kick ass.

  33. @Calviin

    In Cheadle’s defense, I wouldn’t have thought of Robert Downey Jr as an action hero prior to Iron Man, either. He may well pull it off, but I just prefer continuity in franchises like this.

  34. I’m not liking this at all, Rhodes is supposed to be an airforce captain, does Cheadle have the military looking type? Absolutely not. Howard was very charismatic in teh first film, something Cheadle isn’t, he always seems dramatic and sad in his performances, something that seems inapropiate.

  35. WTF, terrence? yes he would have a bigger role, so? if i was a actor i would trill to get roles in good movies let alone in ironman and like john said a easily the biggest suprise of the year, maybe RDjr is getting more money i dont know, but wait until iron man 2 is release and ask a % if the movie makes more thatn part 1.

  36. imo they shouldn’t recast him. This is supposed to be a true sequel and his character is coming from the first movie to the next. It would be weird if this character would change to a totally different looking person but with the same name.

  37. @Mr. Darren J Seeley…

    Sir, my head is “most Def. not up my ass”. There is no need for you to revert to such a caveman type mentality here. You are correct, “no one is 100% irreplaceable”, but it does fuck with the continuity. Yes, even the Rachel Dawes incident fucked up continuity, but that isn’t relevant to this conversation. Katie Holmes is a shit actress (not opinion… fact… not debatable), Terrence Howard is a very good actor (debatable if better or worse than Don Cheadle).

    Second point, no one said that Don Cheadle won’t be able to pull off the part of the character… they said that he is smaller and in their opinions doesn’t fit the role as well. They didn’t even mention him in the WAR MACHINE gear. They are stating that outside of the gear he doesn’t come across as a formidable foe. That’s all.

    You are not the only one allowed an opinion on the whole planet, Sir. So please, check your statements before banning everyone else’s.

  38. it’s hit or miss with me when it comes to Terrace Howard. he screwed up royally with this one. sometimes you just gotta be a team player and put the money issues aside. his loss. By the way, John, a couple of typos this morning I’m seeing :)

  39. I dont like this at all i will say that Cheadle is a good actor but i liked how Howard played Rhodes in the movie and really hope this is all a rumer or something because i do not see Cheadle in the role of Rhodes/War Machine i just dont

  40. If Howard indeed didn’t come back because they wouldn’t pay his demanded salary, he is an idiot.
    IRON MAN was very good and (more importantly) a hit, the sequel will be eagerly awaited and successful I’m sure.
    This could have been Howard’s chance to shine in a big blockbuster, even though it’s not the lead role.
    Cheadle is good though, so I don’t complain.

  41. For starters, no one is 100% irreplaceable.

    Next, if it is a case of $, I think unless it was an outrageous price tag that’s really lame to cut Howard loose . It would not be the first time an actor held out for a slightly bigger check than the first film, it will not be the last. In fact, I think Cheadle’s price would be slightly higher than Howard’s, being a bigger name. Also, one of the primary reasons Howard signed on for Iron Man was for the chance to play War Machine in future sequels. So this makes so sense to me.

    However, forget about the overblown thing about “$” bullshit. I go with “other differences”. Is it coincidence Howard’s “Crash” co-star is named as the replacement? Here’s what I think: availability, Howard can’t do it because he’s wrapped up in other films or dealing with unrelated issues. They ask him, who you think would make a good replacement? He says Don Cheadle.

    As for Cheadle’s casting, I’m going to make more enemies here than friends when I say the following statement:

    Int’l friends get your head out of your ass.

    “not macho enough”
    “destroying the continuity of the franchise”
    “Don HAS to build muscles”

    Please. .

    Cheadle has done action films and physically demanding roles before. His previous film, Traitor no less. Katie Holmes was mentioned above; did recasting the Racheal Dawes role in the new Batman films suddenly ruin that ‘continuity of the franchise’? No, it didn’t. As for working out, Cheadle is in good shape (again, his previous film) and I find myself…pissed.

    Pissed because it doesn’t freaking matter how tall or short an actor is, if he looks like a skinny runt or MMA fighter Brock Lensar; it is an actor in a movie…and this *important*

    A character who dons a suit of hi tech armor which increases his height by several inches and bulks him up by several inches. In effect, said character is flying a machine.

    The “fans” still don’t get it?
    Now that I find hard to believe, but there it is.

  42. I’m not upset in the least. When I thought about it, I couldn’t picture Howard as War Machine anyway, but I can definitely see Cheadle in the costume. Cheadle has that kick ass thing about ‘im.

  43. Don is the better actor IMO,
    BUT i am all about consistency in the superhero genre. I even hate to see one actor appear as two different characters in the universe. So this is rather weak.

  44. obviously terrence knows that war machine is playing a digger role and wanted more money

    but for me this is a miss cast, i like cheadle but not for this role, maybe they picked someone who wouldn out-macho RDJr.

    i know i shouldn but i dislike recasts, katie holmes is the exception though i just pretend she got older n uglier.

    i also consider the new hulk a sequel, it pretty much picks up where the last left off really

  45. too bad actually.. im not saying Don cant make a good job, he will probablly be a better ‘Rhodey’, but i would love to see the same characters has the trilogy goes on..

  46. I agree with PADTHAI… this fucks up continuity. I like the way Howard played Rhodes and I am dissappointed. Will I still be there to watch the movie, yes. So the Studio is making the best money desicion for themselves, but it is still bad news.

    I love Cheadle, but I feel that it is kinda whack that he is taking a role that Howard turned down because of “personal” reasons. I am probably one of the only people looking at this and saying, Howard is in the right to ask for more money this time around. He will have a much bigger role, the franchise has already proved a huge money machine, and he deserves to get some of that pay if he is going to be part of the whole thing.

    No one is saying that Downey and Favreau are “greedy” for getting a bigger payday on IM2. Why shouldn’t Howard get his too?

    Sorry, but this is fowl in my book.

  47. Don HAS to build muscles, he MUST be a bigger dude for that role. Other than that I don’t mind the change. Such a good actor!
    Terence Howard still needs recognition for what he is capable of, the guy is solid on every role.

  48. I don’t want to be guilty of doing the “hip” thing by bashing an actor for being greedy when we don’t REALLY know what went on behind closed doors, but it’s so awesome that they got an even more talented actor. If it is truly a case of Howard being greedy, then he’s got to be looking at the situation and thinking, “Damn. Now that they got a replacement THAT good, I’m gonna have to take a pay cut to steal my role back from him.”

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