Don Cheadle Replaces Terrence Howard as War Machine in Iron Man 2

Looks like there’s a pretty big casting change on the way for Iron Man 2, although it remains to be seen how much of a difference it will make in the grand scheme of things. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Don Cheadle has been hired to replace Terrence Howard as Tony Stark’s best friend Jim Rhodes, who in the comics goes on to don his own armoured suit as War Machine. The decision is believed to have been primarily a financial one.

Although Marvel has not made an official statement, sources say that Terrence Howard was asking for a big raise for his part in the sequel (which may have been justified since the role is expected to be a larger one). Since Marvel had already wanted to work with Cheadle anyway, they decided to offer the role to him instead. I’m not a big fan of studios changing characters part way through a franchise, although sometimes it’s unavoidable (ie. when Richard Harris died, Michael Gambon was brought in to play Dumbledore). In this case, I find it hard to believe that Don Cheadle was asking less than Howard, and we all know Iron Man made a boatload of cash to begin with. Obviously Cheadle is an amazing actor, I just feel like Howard is getting screwed here. In the end, we’ve got yet another Academy Award-nominated actor being drawn into the world of comic book movies, which more than anything, seems to be a sign of the times. Do you agree with Marvel’s decision?

  • Avenger

    Hell No! Terrence Howard rocks! Hes sooo much fun to watch. I hate it when the change actors bettwen sequles. God dammit.

  • ShenEvil44

    If there’s one thing I REALLY, REALLY HATE, it’s replacing actors in sequels.

  • Derek


  • Goon

    I love Cheadle but must agree that Howard is much better suited

  • Matt

    No big deal. I’d much rather see Cheadle in the role anyway.

  • Ian

    Yeah. I like both of the actors but I really liked Howard and felt him and Downey Jr. had a great repour in the first. I hope this isn’t right but if it is so it goes.

  • Captain N

    It seems almost pointless. Didnt down grade or anything. I am actually kind of disappointed.

  • Jen

    It seems like a stupid decision to me.

  • If Marvel really had a choice in the matter, and who knows what really went down, then, yes, this seems like a silly decision. I hate when they replace actors in sequels; it just bugs you when you watch the movie.

    However, the upside is that Terrence Howard’s role in Iron Man was pretty minimal. So maybe it won’t bother me that much.

  • Don

    Marvel PURPOSEFULLY is not bringing Terrence back and it wasn’t because of money. Howard had a contract, why would he need to negotiate. The director and Downey both prefer to work with Terrence.  Frankly it doesn’t pass the laugh test.  Terrence or his team would never allow “alleged” negotiations (albeit of an existing agreement) stop them from being the first black superhero.  And if Marvel truly said it was financing, why are they hiding under anonymity?  One statement “leaked” to The Hollywood Reporter and every news agency is taking it as gospel.  How GOSSIP travels.

  • I like Cheadle but it’s too soon to start replacing members of the Iron Man casts.

  • It always fucks with me when actors/actresses change (except for when Katie Holmes didn’t come back for The Dark Knight…she was the only weak link cast-wise in the first film). I really don’t believe this reported situation…Terrance Howard seemed so excited about being War Machine in interviews and they have boat loads of cash!

  • @Don,

    First black superhero? Are you forgetting the epic that was Shaquille O’Neil as Steel?

  • lol – there’s also Michael Jai White as Spawn

  • Don

    Sign the Petition to let Marvel know Fans have a voice.

  • Digitalrise1369

    I can not stand it when actors are changed in the middle of the story to play the same part it always turns to crap i mean just look at terminator….it was ruined because of it I call this a bad move on marvels part if don cant pull off the smooth attitude that howard does
    it could drop this movie down next to “star ship troopers” Lets prey the movie gods know what their doing