Don Cheadle Replacing Terrence Howard as Rhodey in Iron Man 2!

October 14, 2008

Don Cheadle Replacing Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2!

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?

Find more posts: Casting, Movie News, Opinions



i like Don Cheadle as an actor but i can't see him playing a hero. I thought Terrence Howard fit the part and was excited to see more of him in iron man 2 but hey whatever, just have to wait and see how Cheadle fits the part even though it doesn't seem like the right role for him.

Corey B. on Oct 14, 2008


Terrence Howard had a great performance and leading role in Hustle & Flow

C on Oct 14, 2008


You forgot Hustle and Flow already? Sad news. Howard as War Machine would've been ace.

Rob Boffard on Oct 14, 2008


What a Horriable thing to do? you cant replace a actor in a flim only 2 years apart.. but what can u do? whatever i say!

Max Russian on Oct 14, 2008


Wow. Howard is an idiot. Bring on Cheadle! He's a much better actor than Howard and Howard really had an easily replaceable role. Cheadle would also be a great choice for a lead role if War Machine does have its own spin-off.

Chris @ on Oct 14, 2008


I like Cheadle as an actor, but it would have been better to keep all the same characters. This was a disappointment to me.

Garett on Oct 14, 2008


If you watch the extras on the Iron Man DVD, you'll notice that they cut most of Terence Howard's scenes. He was supposed to play a much more pivotal role in Iron Man than he ended up playing. There are deleted scenes showing him putting aside his career to search for Tony Stark lost in the desert and he even appeared in the final fight scene. I wonder if he was unhappy with the director/studio paring down his role to be so insignificant so he decided not to rejoin. Anyways, I love your blog and read it often! It's my first time commenting here though.

Jess Lee on Oct 14, 2008


"Interesting observation, however, is that Howard has never actually had a major leading role in any film (give or take maybe Pride?)." Does Hustle & Flow not count?

Adam Quigley on Oct 14, 2008


Wow... how the fuck did you forget Hustle and Flow? Could you please hang up your critic hat? That movie was FANTASTIC!

Kent on Oct 14, 2008


I really hope for some reason this is only a Rumor and that TH returns. What is up with actors not being happy and not doing the second movie? WTF!!! Oh well, he is a great actor but to drop out of a KICK ASS movie like this is beside me.

AllmightyKeim on Oct 14, 2008


Great! Actually Terrence Howard was the only thing i dislike about Iron Man. Don Cheadle is a fine choice for Rhodes.

Mario Tenorio on Oct 14, 2008


Eeeeeeh, love the Don but does he not seem a bit old for the role? Granted he's only five years older than Howard buit he has more of an...aged spirit...whatever that means Howard just seemed more youthful and I always thought of Rhodey as being younger than Stark... meh I'm rambling I'm sure it will work out fine. Disappointed though, just for the sake of continuity

mikesta on Oct 14, 2008


maybe he didnt come back because they decided not to have a War-machine spin off.

Joker on Oct 14, 2008


TH didn't really impress me but, as Jess Lee points out, most of his performance was cut so maybe if we saw more of it I'd be more concerned. I'm happy though for Don Cheadle to take over. IMO he seems to have a 'wisdom' about him that I think will be great for the Rhodey character especially if it develops in future movies.

Subi on Oct 14, 2008


NOOOOOOOOOOO i loved terence howard in this he rocked i don't think it will be as good with out him.

Cici on Oct 14, 2008


Wooops... My bad on Hustle & Flow! I knew there was one he starred in - fixed that. I guess it only made $22 million and it wasn't proof that he can really carry a big-budget movie... Which is sad because I actually really think he's an AMAZING actor and should be given major roles. Although #12 actually brings up a good point, too...

Alex Billington on Oct 14, 2008


I REALLY can't see Cheadle playing War Machine... or any other superhero for that matter. WTH dude? This is ridiculous. Major disappointment. Every time I see him I think "Hotel Rwanda," not a guy in a robot suit flying around and shooting missiles from his shoulder.

Alfredo on Oct 14, 2008


Cheadle is a fine actor and I think he will do well, but I was honestly glad for Terrence as Rhody.

james on Oct 14, 2008


Cheadle is hands down a better actor. He'll do great in IM2. Terrence is a dumbass for leaving it.

Art on Oct 14, 2008


Wow I didn't see this coming. I really liked Howard a lot as Rhodey but its kinda hard to complain when someone the caliber of Cheadle is replacing him. I think this will ultimately turn out great because Cheadle is one of the best in the biz. I would have rather Howard stay if nothing more than consistency purposes but if this happens then so be it. Iron Man II will still rock so hard!!

Daas on Oct 14, 2008


I hate when they have to change actors its such a distraction (for me anyways). I'm sure Cheadle will do fine. Terrence didn't really have a huge roll in iron man so it leaves room for a lot of character development which is why I think this casting change won't really hurt anything.

Mr. Wizard on Oct 14, 2008


This sucks, Cheadle just isn't a good Rhodey

Colt on Oct 14, 2008


Cheadle looks more like a villain. With his seriousness. But he's a pretty good actor. ike in Reign over me and Traitor.

Daniel F. on Oct 14, 2008


Noooooooooo damn it WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

werdnafaz on Oct 14, 2008


When film history looks back and says "Terrance Howard WHO?" they'll point to his decision to leave Iron Man II as the biggest mistake of his career.

Tom Brazelton on Oct 14, 2008


Wow. I think Mr. Howard made a bit of a poor business decision here.

John on Oct 14, 2008


Yeah, that was a good performance from Howard, but even so, that was also a little loose. As a support character I believe is great, but when the moment comes to face Robert Downey Jr.(demon in a bottle), I think he totally will darken Terrence. In the other hand, Cheadle is a fantastic actor, with a lot of strength and more in the level of Robert, so when they come face to face, can you imagine that? That'll be awesome

Spideyfan84 on Oct 14, 2008


Nah. Bring on Don! Howard played Rhodey way too soft in the first movie (though that could have been in part to scripting). He didn't carry himself like the best friend of a billionaire badass, nor like a Col. in the Air Force. Cheadle at least has that worn, "I'm not gonna take crap from anybody" type of demeanor.

Nick on Oct 14, 2008


Howard's a fucking idiot!!! As much as i like DOn, he's not quite right for the role. I think Djimon Hounsou would be perfect. The only problem thou is if he could mimic a perfect American accent.

REAL6 on Oct 14, 2008


I agree that Terrence is a frickin' idiot to drop out. I thought he was great and was really looking forward to seeing him in sequels. I hate it when actors pull stupid crap like this. And I super-hate it when key actors are replaced in sequels - it disrupts the whole emotional continuity of the story.

TorontoGuy on Oct 14, 2008


Aquaman 2 sucked without Vinny Chase.

polite Gangsta on Sep 28, 2012



JNYCE on Oct 14, 2008


Ok There comes a time where you put money aside to be in a great franchise. Howard made a dumb move. He has a decent career but nothing huge yet and thats what Iron Man 2 could have done for him. I love cheadle and think they found a great replacement.

bret on Oct 14, 2008


he was becoming war machine. why.

darrin on Oct 14, 2008


Forget both of them. Bring on Mos Def!

chase on Oct 14, 2008


This is ridiculous. I understand why Howard would want more money (the chemistry between him and Downey was near perfect for the Tony/Rhoadie dynamic), but c'mon! Terrance - suck it up and realize that the movie is called Iron Man - NOT War Machine. Take a little less money because you're the second fiddle and give the fans what they want. Also, on an entirely different note - I was really looking forward to seeing Howard become War Machine in Iron Man II because up till now there really hasn't been a well-acted black superhero on film. Well, I guess you could probably put Blade in there somewhere, but c'mon. Having Terrance Howard leave the production is a bad move for both sides.

Peter on Oct 14, 2008


Cough up the money and let Howard take the role back! He was awesome in Iron Man, and its not like they wont have the financing to cough up a little bit more!

Stuart Mellor on Oct 14, 2008


do you know what the word "weary" means?

Pedro on Oct 14, 2008


All I can say is dumb move on Howards part, he was great in that role and fit the character. Cheadle is a great actor but I just don't think he fits the part. But we will see what time brings us maybe Howard will be back or we will be surprised with the second string replacement.

Rory on Oct 14, 2008


Who cares? In the end we'll all go see it.

Marty Martin - IMAGEN Films on Oct 14, 2008


Alex, man... alittle research please! There was this little film he won an Oscar for called "Crash"! He and Ryan Phillip were co leads in it. Yet he won the statue and Phillip didn't because Howard was very good in the role and Phillip was just ok. Sorry if we are being a little harsh but we expect you to know these things.

Bryanmakeup on Oct 14, 2008


In an age were actors would kill to be involved with franchise properties this seems a bit surprising although I think Cheadle is a solid replacement! on Oct 14, 2008


I like TH as this character mostly because he was as cool side guy, Don Cheadle is more of a intense serious guy and I think that makes him less interesting for the role. What I'm hoping is that DC's character dies and there is no War Mahicne, wtf do we need a war machine movie when there's already IRONMAN for one and two, all the Avengers stuff, war machine is a gimmick that I hope never happens.

Richard on Oct 14, 2008


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Good for Cheadle, much MUCH better Actor and he has earned it.

D-9 on Oct 14, 2008


Damn, Howard must've asked for the bank! :O Cheadle seems like a high dollar replacement to me. I like them both, but I would've loved to see Howard return. Bummer. 🙁

tzarinna on Oct 14, 2008


@tzarinna: no doubt!! What the hell universe did THAT seem like a good idea in. Cause Iron Man 2 also comes with a ton of negative press?! Sheesh. Bad move TH.

bozoconnors on Oct 14, 2008


PRIDE, HUSTLE & FLOW - Terence Howard was the lead role in both Great website. Read it everyday. I like Cheadle. He'll ebb and flow better with Downey Jr.

Warren J McCrickard on Oct 14, 2008


This feels like when Vin didn't comeback for XXX 2, so they replaced him with Ice Cube. haha

TCox on Oct 14, 2008


What a way to really screw up a potentially damn good franchise. Terence Howard IS Rhodey, not Cheadle. Why Howard, why??????????????????

Spider on Oct 14, 2008


..or when Cuba Gooding Jr replaced Eddie Murphy in Daddy Day Camp.

TCox on Oct 14, 2008


I agree with #1 I thought Howard was an excellent addition and his portrayl as Stark's best friend was convincing and sincere. Its a shame to see him go. Granted he's going to have more to do this time around, being War machine - more stunts, getting fit, The Suit!. I think Cheadle will deliver though. He's a solid actor and knows how to combine drama/action together well. It just makes it a bit harder to get into the story when you're dealing with a fresh face.

Nick Sears on Oct 14, 2008


Don Cheadle is gonna crash and burn as War'll see. Howard, if you read this, go back and renegotiate man. ***Mos Def sucks---can't believe someone would actually drop his name into this. ***I can't stand Don Cheadle---he's no superhero!! This just better be a publicity stunt!

Blue Silver on Oct 14, 2008


Damn you Howard. Stick with the big franchise. Your big $$$$ will come in the form of another "Iron Man" sequel and your very own 'War Machine' spin-off!! Don't be a fool. Don Cheadle? Ughh!

Pickle on Oct 14, 2008


I gotta agree with #34. Mos Def is probably one of the best rapper turned actors that most people have never heard of. He would have been a great replacement. Good call. I like Don Cheadle, but he seems a little too old for this role, and he's just way too serious of an actor. Maybe he needs this role, to show another side of himself. I don't know. Maybe he's got the right frame to fit into the already built suits. What other African American actors do you think could take on the role or Rhodey/War Machine? Here's a few suggestions: Taye Diggs (sure he's bald, but he'd attract a huge female crowd, and he's a good actor) Tyrese Gibson (already has the military thing going with Transformers 2) Gary Dourdan (he's got a similar complexion to Howard, plus he's not doing much right now since they killed him off CSI) Actually...I think Dourdan is probably the best choice for a replacement. He needs some big-screen time. Hell, they'd save a lot money in the budget by hiring him. I'm sure he's cheaper than Howard, or Cheadle.

TCox on Oct 14, 2008


#51 Why you hatin on Mos Def? You should watch Be Kind Rewind, or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, or 16 Blocks. He's good.

TCox on Oct 14, 2008


Howard is stupid!!! He could get more money down the road.

Michael D Coleman on Oct 14, 2008


everyone said the same thing about heath ledger playing the joker. he was the best thing that could have ever happened to that movie. lets just wait and see shall we...

Ck on Oct 14, 2008


War Machine spinoff is such a stupid idea.

dac_fan on Oct 14, 2008


#57 - A War Machine spinoff may not be the best idea, but it's likely to be better than Elektra or Catwoman. Hopefully the Wolverine spinoff is good.

TCox on Oct 14, 2008


What kind of stupid idiot had the idea to cast Don Cheadle for this role?? All his roles were the whining scared black guy getting beaten up. Just look at his face, he looks like he's gonna cry at any moment. Big fuck up marvel, thank you.

adilator on Oct 14, 2008


@54 Mos Def has a thin, whiny voice that is highly unsuitable for a superhero. Needless to say, that was the single most annoying aspect of "16 Blocks". I enjoyed the movie but his extended whiny monologues drove me nuts and gave me a headache, therefore, I don't care for Mos Def's movies at all. I'd really hate to see a whiny Rhodey in 'Iron Man 2'. What Marvel needs to do is renegotiate with Howard. And Howard, don't be stupid, this role could continue to do wonders for your career. @58 Agree with you about 'War Machine' AND thank goodness Hugh Jackman wasn't replaced.

Blue Silver on Oct 14, 2008


#59 Couldn't said it better myself!

Pickle on Oct 14, 2008


Whats next? Replacing Gwyneth Paltrow with Sarah Silverman? This movie series has gone straight down the crapper............

Wiseman on Oct 14, 2008


I literally had to check my calender to make sure it wasn't April 1st... Geez, I thought Howard was perfect for the role. Not that I have anything against Cheadle whom I think is an amazing actor in his own right but I really appreciated the apparent chemistry between Downey Jr. and Howard. They were believable as best friends. Ughhhhhh... I really hope they renegotiate with him.

Frame on Oct 14, 2008


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.

SlashBeast on Oct 14, 2008


ok.....warmachine in iron-man 2 is no surprise, its a given, but the character change left speechless

theori on Oct 14, 2008


hate when they change actors between films but howard didnt have all that much screen time anyway, cheadles def a better actor my only gripe is he always seems too laid back in his films to pull off this role

harrison on Oct 14, 2008


Howard would be a great WarMachine

Joker on Oct 14, 2008


Though I'm disappointed that Terrence Howard isn't returning, Don Cheadle is more than good enough an actor to pull this off. And a casting change like this shouldn't have a serious impact on the quality of the movie (though I'm still surprised that this happened-I mean, who'd see it coming?).

Andrew on Oct 14, 2008


black guys.

Gorignak on Oct 14, 2008


I like the change....I DISLIKE ANY change of a major character in a franchise (ie the replacement of Tank from the Matrix franchise), but truth be told, I NEVER bought "pretty boy" Terrence Howard as a career military man that Rhodey is supposed to be. Cheadle has that kind of edge that would make Rhodey believeable. Tyrese Gibson or even Keith David would have been absolutely PERFECT for the role, but that's me wanting a perfect world.... And #56, I MUST agree!!!

Magnetic on Oct 14, 2008


Seriously disappointing. I'm not of fan of Don Cheadle

slappy on Oct 14, 2008


I can't believe this. Cheadle is a great actor (whenever he isn't murdering the British accent) but I just don't see him in the role. Howard was great, and I was looking forward to seeing him build on his good work in the sequel. The lack of continuity will be jarring; I hope this is just some kind of bullying tactics by the studio to get him to lower his price. I'll still watch Iron Man 2 of course, as I loved the first one... but this is sad news.

Daaaave on Oct 14, 2008


#70, right on. I never bought into TH being a colonel in the Air Force either, especially a fighter jock. He just did not have that "edge" that was needed. I hope this change may fit into moving IM2 a little more to the serious side with more action. I loved the comedy and tone of the first one, but at the same time would also like to see the next one go darker with more action, which may fit better with Don.

SCTA on Oct 14, 2008


CURSES!!! Ah, hell, we all knew something had to give.

vegeta on Oct 14, 2008


Cheadle has a much different acting style than good ol' whats his face. it will be really noticeable. plus Cheadle is perhaps too good an actor for a simple comic book film.

Al on Oct 14, 2008


Pepper was so hot in the movie. What's her real name? hot.

BinYe East on Oct 14, 2008


to #56 and #70....Heath Ledger rocked as the Joker. He did not replace anyone else and don't count Jack Nicholson-this was a reboot. It's like bringing Mathew McConaghey to take his place as the Joker in the next Batman. Bring back Terence Howard!

Wiseman on Oct 14, 2008


Team Cheadle!

avoidz on Oct 14, 2008


My problem is the change in actor and not the actual person. If it was Don or Terrence the WHOLE time I'd have no complaints. Both dudes can act. F*ck it... I just wanna see War Machine.

jmoney on Oct 14, 2008


Bring back Terrence Howard!!! He's already settled in as Rhodey, keep him there. We all loved him in Iron Man and that line (just as Alex mentioned here) "Next time" was sweet! that got me so excited for the future films.... Why do you think they are replacing Howard with Cheadle? money? hmmm

Conrad on Oct 14, 2008


don cheadles the sh*t when it comes to acting. he's played a british dude in the ocean's series, sammy davis jr. for christ's sake!. he's had crap small roles, and huge lead roles.. he can handle war machine, and to be honest, im friggin pumped to see how he does it.. we all know he's gonna show up and play a great character.. he knows that this movie is poised to break records or come close.... he wouldnt have accepted the role if he didnt have a perfect character in mind, dont get me wrong terrence was the man and all, but i feel cheadle will do this role justice.. or better

sorr on Oct 14, 2008


Truly a disappointment for me too. I enjoyed Howard in Iron Man, but it's unfortunate he cites "financial differences" as the reason to hold back from the sequel. I don't like character transitions like this, especially when the film succeeds like Iron Man did.

Austin Bonds on Oct 14, 2008


As an actor, Cheadle is a superhero, compared to Howard's second-string sidekick to a sidekick. So far, Cheadle can play any role and I believe him. Howard, on the other hand, has to work hard just to make me watch him.

Ryand on Oct 14, 2008


I am a huge Don Cheadle fan, although I currently can't really see him a superhero. But really, its not like Batman. His superhero scenes will be all CGI anyway, so why not? I liked Howard in Iron Man, but in no way is he essential for the success of future Iron Man movies. I have no problem with this move, its really just an upgrade in actors as far as i'm concerned. (Not that I think Howard is a bad actor, i just think Cheadle is top tier.)

Butters on Oct 14, 2008


i was iffy when i heard Terrence Howard was going to be Jim Rhodes, but when i saw the film i loved him in it, now he's going to pull this crap! now i'm wanting Howard and getting upset over Cheadle who i actually enjoy as an actor. guess there won't be a "next time".

The Delightful Deviant on Oct 14, 2008


Alex: Who cares. Is Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard really that earth shaking? Iron Man just like the many other comic book movies that are out there is nothing more than cotton candy. It's a disposable film just like the comics. One could wipe their ass with it and it would all feel the same. Don Cheadle and Terrence Howard are working actors and really could care less Col. James Rhodes and War Machine. These types of films don't even deserve a forum. Don't you have more important things to discuss? We the world really stop if Cheadle replaces Howard? Most people don't give a shit. I's amazing at how much time is invested in fantasy. Is that because your own meaningless lives are that boring? The only way I'm going to get excited about Iron Man is if Robert Downey Jr. shares his pay check with me. Is reality really that scary for you all? I guess it's easier to plug back into fantasy land and pass the time computing. If society isn't constantly being entertained, than everyone goes to total melt down. Why fix the problems in your own lives when you can just be lazy and watch Iron Man solve the world's troubles. Again, Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard? It's hard to believe that is news even in Show Biz.

Jack Novelli on Oct 15, 2008


Whoa Novelli, did your mommy not let you read comic books as a kid? Daddy didn't buy you toys on your birthday or at Christmas and now all that repressed anger is coming out? Go somewhere else with your negativity.

Icarus on Oct 15, 2008


Don showed in the ocean's series that he can do light hearted comedy when he has to. I think he'll be able to find a great balance between the conflicted yet likeable nature of Rhodes that Iron Man 2 will need.

insanio on Oct 15, 2008


TH just needs to survive just like everybody else in the industry he is using his mind this time after all, who gets to play this great marvel character with huge potential.. IRON MAN 2 will be huge! Its all business and good acting or portrayals don't come cheap. I say pay TH or give the man some just compensation in one form or another bright project as long as they can negotiate to something near to what he want, just dont lose him. . He is clearly a talented versatile serious actor. he brought to the screen the BEST RHODEY CHARACTER i ever seen. He had many memorable & authentic scenes. . the truth is he can cash in WAR MACHINE/RHODEY again if they push for a spin-off...My girlfriend and all her friends who saw ironman, really love terence it would be a disappointment if they dont see him again...i wish terence all the blessing and sucess.

andre louie reyes on Oct 15, 2008


I love Cheadle as an actor, but he can be a bit boring at times. I really don't see him fronting THIS kind of action roll. Either one of the actors listed below would be a better fit: Chiwetel Ejiofor: Red Belt (2008), Children of Men (2006), Serenity (2005) D'Wayne (The Rock) Johnson: Get Smart (2008), The Game Plan (2007), Walking Tall (2004) Common (?): Wanted (2008), Street Kings (2008), Smokin' Aces (2006) Ving Rhames: Mission: Impossible II (2000), Mission: Impossible III (2006) Wesley Snipes: Blade Series What do you guys think?

Kevin on Oct 15, 2008


Either of them would be fine, but I would rather see my favorite black actor fill the role... Mr. Morgan Freeman.

Dean on Oct 15, 2008


For those saying they can't see Cheadle as a superhero, did any of you see Robert Downey as a superhero when you first heard that news? I'm pretty sure he surpassed everyones expectations. Give the man a chance, he is an amazing actor. He can do the serious, thought-provoking role(Hotel Rwanda, Talk To Me), he can do the comedy sidekick role (Basher in the Ocean's trilogy). I'm pretty sure he can pull this off.

steve on Oct 15, 2008


Clearly the decision comes from a directorial standpoint. All of you complaining about Cheadle being a hero: What would you have said about Robert Downey playing Tony Stark? Downey was able to take a very two dimensional character, and make him breathe, give him a bit more than an ounce of flesh and blood. Think of it this way: Robert Downey acting opposite an actor of Don Cheadle's caliber? AWESOME. War Machine is NOT a hero, at least not in the more developed stories. He's a parable for the military nightmare - a walking weapon of vengeance that exerts its will on foreign nations irregardless of Tony's own code of ethics. He the "Black Ops" Iron Man. I personally did not see Howard embodying much of this potential, and didn't see him expanding or developing Rhodes's character very much. He'd just be another handsome face inside a special effects robotic suit, blowing things up. Don Cheadle doesn't fuck around. He'll make every line of dialogue count, and give us a damn good performance, in ANY character. In case any of you haven't noticed, either, Terrence Howard is too busy building his solo music career right now to accept that he won't be in a "War Machine" franchise. It's the same old Hollywood story: Ego vs. Craft. I'll take craft any damn day.

djo on Oct 15, 2008


#93 War Machine would have rocked with Terence Howard in the suit. We already got a feel for the character in IM-1. This makes it difficult to place someone else in the role. Howard doesn't fuck around either! Did you see "Crash" or "The Brave One" or "Hustle and Flow"? He has great range and the chops to rival Cheadle in every way! The unfortunate thing was that a lot of his scenes were cut to make way for Stark's story to materialize. Rhode's story was to be explored further in the sequel as Favreau has eloquently expressed it! You gotta remember the focus was on Stark Ego vs. craft"----Do you recall the fiasco with Marvel and Favreau a few month's ago???? This may very well be a publicity stunt with Cheadle playing a different character in the sequel. We will soon find out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pickle on Oct 15, 2008


What an ego Howard has. Even if he was getting underpaid, such a hit will DEFINITLEY land him other higher paying offers. Also a potential spin-off?! Anyway, I really like Cheadle and Howard wasn't extraordinary as Rhodey anyway.

Ryan on Oct 15, 2008


93! BRAVO. Well put! Howard was the weakest link in IM. Good riddence. Cheadle will kick ass!

D-9 on Oct 15, 2008


TH is better I love him. Downey and Howard were perfect. Cheadle is alright but I like Howard much more.

Stacey J on Oct 15, 2008


I think people are underestimating Don. I think he will fit right in. He is a great actor.

me on Oct 15, 2008


Honestly, If you read any of the Iron Man comics, Robert Downey was a no brainer casting. Cheadle is a great actor, but I'll be surprised if he pulls of comedic action. Hey, I hope I'm wrong.

Kevin on Oct 15, 2008


Jack Novelli: Dude calm down, whoa! People are on this site to read and talk about movies. Critical analysis is part of the fun with any medium of entertainment (well, almost any (hey, get your minds out of the gutter!)). I mean come on! You're on a movie review site COMPLAINING about people's opinions regarding actors. Sign on to McCain or Obama's sites and help them solve the unimportant issues while we tackle the heavy stuff.

Kevin on Oct 15, 2008


Perfect. Cheadle is the man. The film was obviously fine with Howard in that role, but if you have to replace him with somebody why not Cheadle? He's proved he can play a variety of roles and I'm sure he'll make the transition. 2 is still going to be great fun. The only way it wouldn't is if Robert Downey wasn't in it.

Gooner on Oct 15, 2008


Boy it must suck to have such short supply of well-known male black actors in Hollwood when you have a character to cast that HAS to be black! I suppose Cheadle is the next man, afterall, who else could they go after? What I personally hate with passion is having to settle for another actor playing a role after I've already gotten in my comfort zone watching one actor do it. And this is only after the FIRST film! I'm all about detail and getting the character right. Robert? PERFECT Tony Stark, I don't think they could have found a better actor for the role of "Tony Stark",...Robert IS Tony Stark! Excellent embodiment and performance. Terrence - he looks JUST like the cartoon version of Rhodey without the curly hair and a slightly deeper voice. He was a great Rhodey but I am very unhappy with his decision to not come back. Seeing Katie Holmes replaced by a different actress for Batman TDK was enuff. Now it's getting ridiculous. They don't even know if Norton will come back for the next Hulk installment. I think it's about time directors started hiring their actors more carefully. And if you KNOW that a trilogy is what you're after with a superhero franchise - pick an actor who promises to commit and better yet make them sign a three-film contract. I'm glad we didn't have to see another dude don the Spiderman costume that would've sucked. Toby was the man! Love Cheadle but I hate seeing original talent replaced. Also, Terrence looks more like Rhodey the cartoon/comic character. Anyway I hope the lovely and simple but elegant Gwinneth Paltrow returns to dress her sexy tail up as Pepper Potts cause it would SUCK to have to see Tony pretedning to have that same chemistry with a Pepper Potts replacement matter how hot she is.

Acitone on Oct 16, 2008


he is a great actor....cant wait to see the change

michael on Oct 16, 2008


im usually open minded and positive about things but cheadle playin rhody, i dont see it

Q on Oct 17, 2008


Gotta re-post here I gave it some thought and Cuba Gooding Jr or Will Smith should fill the role. If it was Smith (who'd want Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to much money), it would atleast end the Captn' America debate right now 🙂

jmoney on Oct 17, 2008


Icarus & Kevin I didn't have a mommy,she died when I was three. They didn't have action figures when I was a kid, so we played with wood blocks and sand. I'm not angry and am usually very calm. Perhaps you misunderstood my tone. Critical analysis of entertainers is a waste of your time. In reality, most actors are fractured individuals who always need to be the center of attention and are constantly seeking approval. They basically get paid obscene amounts of money so others will massage their egos. Their contribution to society is the equivalent of a Band-Aid that temporarily diverts the audience's attention from their miserable realities. McCain or Obama can't even save themselves, nor will Iron Man or Cheadle as War Machine save the day. Icarus will continue to fly too close to the sun as he resides in his own ignorance. (I hope he burns his prick) Kevin will tackle the important issues like how he can get Mary Jane and Pepper Potts to notice his intellect. After all, who could resist a guy who makes weekly contributions to a movie review blog. Way to go Roger Ebert! Now why don't you two go lick each other's A-H*@$%*s.

Jack Novelli on Oct 17, 2008


Terrence Howard was on NPR today and said not being in Iron Man was a "complete surprise" to him. It is about 17 minutes in to the interview.

rcr888 on Oct 18, 2008


ahhh, shit.....terrence howard was great in the first IM. it sucks that he might not be involved in the project for the obvious reasons of character continuity and so on and so forth. having said that, i don't think cheadle is a good replacement for howard. unfortunately, i don't think anyone is really a "good" replacement for howard, especially after his and downey jr's chemistry in the roles in IM. anyway, the first one was the first of now a few of the marvel adaptations i didn't find to be horrid. i hope they can move forward and make the right casting calls to pull the second off without a hitch!

vegeta on Oct 18, 2008


Howard Sucked in IM1 .... I am glad to see him replaced. He was way to soft and played the part like he wanted to get in bed with Tony rather than the War machine he should be like the comics. Sorry he just had no back bone. Tucker

Tucker on Oct 20, 2008


I like Howard but he was the weakest link in Iron Man. It felt like he was emberessed to be in a super hero movie. Had Cheadle played that part Iron Man would have been the perfect movie for me. BUT I hate it when actors change from one movie to the next so I think I'd rather Howard continue the roll. I'm torn.

Oh, that guy. on Oct 21, 2008


i think its very sad to see terrence leave, i loved terrence in the first one and i was waiting for him to be war machine on the second. But if i had to pick Don Cheadle is the best choice so far due to his personality matches with terrence's act on the first one. But i wanted Howard to continue ..(OH NO!!!ITS ANOTHER "DARK KNIGHT" RACHEL DAWES UPSET)....BOOOO!

ronald808 on Oct 22, 2008


Hustle and Flow was complete rubbish! I was over hyped to no end. The director, Craig brewer, is a talentless hack... not to mention total douche! I'm not trying to take anything away from Terrence howard, but that movie was just horrible.

Prozac4545 on Oct 22, 2008


I love them both. Cheadle will not dissappoint. Solid actor.

Julie on Oct 22, 2008


Will Smith???

james on Oct 22, 2008


People wont accept Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes... but accept Michael Clarke Duncan as KINGPIN, Samuel L Jackson as NICK FURY????? Dont get me wrong, I enjoy all these actors... but jumping from Howard to Cheadle is NOT that big a jump. Would I have preferred continuity? Of course. But given the chance to cast Cheadle...vs tying up Iron Man 2 production for months or years while Howard holds it hostage? Bring on Cheadle. The other point is that you could put LINSEY WAGNER in the suit and it wouldnt make a lot of difference. Its how they act OUTSIDE the suit that sells the role. Lets all be honest. Who here (that remembers the 80s) REALLY thought ROBERT DOWNEY JUNIOR was gonna be a great Tony Stark??? Anyone? Anyone? Mueller? Mueller? RDJ pulled it off, and quite frankly, I think Cheadles got stronger chops that RDJ. IM2 will be FINE!!! Get over yourselves and let these people work.

DEN on Oct 23, 2008


I heard that Howard was just as suprised as everyone else about being replaced. And that makes the shine of Iron Man dull a bit for me. Personally, I love Terrence Howard equally as much as I love Don Cheadle. Nothing against either actor, but I seriously want a petition started to keep Howard in the role of James Rhodes. I am a firm believer in that if you can't keep the same cast in a franchise, then there should be no franchise (with the major exception of Maggie Gyllenhal replacing Katie Holmes in TDK - she took a character I didn't like to being one I did like in the end) It would be like changing the actor for the character of Han Solo between movies in the SW franchise. Terrance Howard made the role of James Rhodes and I can honestly say it would detract from the movie for me to see a different actor trying to do what he did in the first movie. I love Don Cheadle, I really do, but I would have been equally upset if he'd been replaced in the "Ocean's..." franchise. My full support goes to TH for Iron Man 2... He was my second favorite character. 🙂

MC on Oct 24, 2008


I liked Terrance Howard in the role -- can't see Don Cheadle on the role though I think he is a great actor. Gary Dourdan would get my vote -- sooo sexy hot!!!

Paulette on Oct 24, 2008


Howard was definitely the low point of the first movie. I'm glad to see him replaced.

Bob Loblaw on Oct 25, 2008


Stop making fun of me

Terrence Howard on Oct 27, 2008


i really dont like when that actors get changed out like this but if there was anyone i would have replaced it would have been Mr. Howard he was to blocky and didnt make it his own, he didnt seem to become the character the way everyone else did MR. Cheadle will do fine with it, i would have liked to see Mr. Djimon Hounsou try the role

Joseph on Oct 31, 2008


I like Cheadle, but I'm really disheartened to know that Howard won't be returning in Iron Man 2. One of the scenes I remember the most is when he looks at the suit in the lab and says "Maybe next time." In fact, it's probably my most favorite scene in the movie. Any hints of a sequel in a movie just stick to me till the sequel comes out. So, I'm not quite in accord with this.

Aalaap Ghag on Nov 2, 2008


Don Cheadle is a nice guy but he's too short and ugly to play a leading superhero role. Terrence Howard is tall, much better looking and brings a lot of energy to the role which is a must. Don Cheadle just doesn't have the "electricity" or appeal to produce a good War Machine. Will Smith would be the perfect War Machine, but he wouldn't settle for secondary role (and would cost too much) - Chiwetel Ejiofor (from Serenity) would be the best pick for War Machine if Terrence Howard doesn't reprise the role.

Dean on Nov 11, 2008


You guys might not want to blame Howard so quicky. Other sites and articles I've read express that it wasn't his idea - they actually fired him, not the other way around. They said he caused difficulties on the set and they had to reshoot many scenes because of his mistakes - and they also don't want to pay him as much as they payed him for the first movie, so they got rid of him. He loved the role and wanted to keep it, apparently.

Ukky on Nov 21, 2008


Why not the guy who played SPAWN instead? you know Michael Jai White....? Seems like a much better fit. Or maybe say......SHAQ??? j.k.

Caveman3k on Dec 21, 2009


Yeah see i'm kind of upset with it too. i hate when they change the actor in series its just really annoying and i really liked the first one and i really liked him in the first one. However i do really like Don cheadle and i can see the spin he could make but i feel really bummed about iron mant 2 it just no offense looks like its going to suck in comparison to the first

Liv on Mar 1, 2010


I'm sorry but the word I heard was that Terrence was replaced and SHOCKED when he was notified. He did NOT want to drop out. All this second guessing is crazy for a OVER THE TOP SUCCESFUL film, why change the characters? I think Favreau, as smart as he is, must have some motivation, but I don't think he was forthright with Terrence with what that was!! Don't get me wrong Don is a great actor, but for this role I don't believe he gives more or is more properly cast than Terrence would be. THis is NOT A DRAMATIC SHOWCASE FILM....It's IRONMAN for God's sake...a comic!! PS I heard nothing about him being difficult on set or making huge mistakes on this or any other movie!!

Joe on Mar 6, 2010


Completely agree with 124 (was about to make the post and happened to glance up at Cave's comment). Rhodey is a badass military type. Althought I enjoyed TH's performance, his portrayal of Rhodey was not tough enough by any means and I believe Donny is a step in the wrong direction (Both are great actors but not what's required for this character). Michael Jai White would totally bring a touch of "Imma fuck you up" to the Rhodey persona. He could even play War Machine without needing to wear the suit ffs =)) Chiwetel Ejiofor would be a reasonable choice too although my preference is definitely MJW =)

JT on Apr 20, 2010


The replacement was very disappointing; as many fans have said before Don Cheadle doesn't quite fit the character of Rhodey and as well as War Machine. He just doesn't have the "umpf" as Terrence Howard would have had. All in all though, I quite like the film but still very disappointed to see the replacement.

Disappointing on May 1, 2010


Terrrence Howard is irreplaceble for his role on Iron Man. His chemistry with Robert Downy Jr. on the first movie was perfect. I can't believe the Director missed that. I hope it dosen't cost the movie a whole lot. No disrespect to Don CHeadale but he doesn't fit as a supporting hero to IRON MAN. very unfortunate. I really would've love seing TErrence back. I hope they could do something about it for IRON man 3

Iceman on May 4, 2010


I really think neither Howard nor Cheadle are good selections for Rhodes, as talented as both actors are. I've heard some names kicking around, and there are a few that I would much rather have seen cast for the role. Chiwetel Ejiofor: His roles in both Four Brothers and 2012 are so vastly different, yet both roles are impressive and believable. His appearance is similar enough to Howard, who many say looked the part, and I can see him as the bad-ass military type that Rhodes is supposed to be. Tyrese Gibson: Gibson has convincingly played the bad-ass military type in the Transformers movies, and his performances in 2 Fast 2 Furious and Four Brothers further convince me that he could have been potentially the best possible selection for the part of Rhodes. Gary Dourdan: His appearance is also similar enough to Howard's, and I think he could have pulled off the role, but I'd say he's merely a better option than Howard and Cheadle for this particular role. Of note is the fact that Howard, Ejiofor, and Gibson all had roles in the movie Four Brothers, and all impressed. However, Howard's character did not come off nearly as bad-ass as those played by Ejiofor and Gibson. It may have been due to the script, but I found that all 3 roles were perfectly cast, and for that reason, I believe Howard was, from the start, a terrible selection for the role of Rhodes. I believe Gibson would have been the "best" selection, but I would have preferred to see Ejiofor in the role.

-Al- on May 4, 2010


WTF...Don Cheadle is better as "Captain Planet" than as "War Machine! bring Howard back... T,,T

Rosarin Sirirattana on Mar 31, 2012


I agree that Terrence Howard is the guy. I was very disappointed when he didn't return.

Harr9324 on May 17, 2012

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