Iron Man 2: Terrence Howard Out, Don Cheadle In
Wow. Well it was bound to happen to someone involved with “Iron Man 2”. Marvel has decided that Terrence Howard was not worth the paycheck he wanted to reprise the role of Jim Rhodes, Tony Stark’s best friend from this year’s massive hit, “Iron Man”. Instead the role will go to Don Cheadle (“Oceans Eleven”, “Traitor”), according to sources:
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.
I said it was no surprise because initially it even looked like director Jon Favreau might not return after Marvel was refusing to increase his payout for the sequel. Keep in mind that “Iron Man” has made almost $600 million worldwide, yet Marvel was still pinching the pennies.
Considering Rhodes’ rumored prominence in the sequel as War Machine, a hyped up version of the Iron Man suit, it’s no doubt that Howard wanted more money to play a bigger role. Seems reasonable. Well, apparently not to Marvel.
I really dislike it when films change out lead roles. It’s awkward, bumpy, and just never seems to fit. I’m sorry to see it happen, especially to what will be a big role in the sequel.
The real irony here is that it was Terrance Howard who made the official announcement of the “Iron Man 2” sequel through the US Air Force due to his character’s military role. Looks like they really do still shoot the messenger!
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