Don Cheadle Replacing Terrence Howard as Rhodey in Iron Man 2!
by Alex Billington
October 14, 2008
Very interesting bit of news today! Terrence Howard, who played Col. James Rhodes in Iron Man earlier this summer, has decided not to reprise the role for the sequel. Don Cheadle will step in to replace him in the upcoming Iron Man 2 which is currently in pre-production. Apparently Howard decided not to return due to "financial differences, among other reasons." Marvel then decided to take the role in another direction and approached Don Cheadle. Might that other direction eventually be a War Machine spin-off? Rhodes is expected to play a larger part in the sequel, which is rumored to "go beyond high-tech villains." Huh? There are some rather intriguing statements being made about Iron Man 2 tonight.
This sounds similar to what happened with Rachel Dawes' replacement in The Dark Knight. Except Cheadle doesn't seem like as smooth as a transition, especially when I was a huge fan of Howard and couldn't wait to see his version of War Machine. Interesting observation, however, is that Howard has never actually had a major leading role in any film (give or take Hustle & Flow). But Cheadle on the other hand definitely has, although I don't think that necessarily makes him any more qualified. This might just mean they're leaning towards the idea of the War Machine spin-off down the line. Either way, I'm not that excited for this change, especially because I really loved Terrence Howard as Rhodes in Iron Man.
Fans will certainly remember that scene near the end when Rhodes looks at the Mark II armor in Tony Stark's lab and mutters "next time." Interestingly, Howard made a revealing statement back in May regarding War Machine: "The question is whether we will take the time to put on the Iron Man suit first and then have to fight with Iron Man to take it off me and then ultimately build a new suit for Rhodey or whether they go right into the second one of them building the suit. I would prefer to wait for the third one. I'd prefer to let it grow a little bit and then after the third one, they could go into its own franchise of War Machine later on. I don't want to introduce War Machine too early for my own monetary benefits."
All I can say right now is that I'm very weary of this switch. What do you think of this? Will Don Cheadle be able to fill Terrence Howard's shoes and eventually lead a War Machine spin-off?