Even Terrence Howard Was Shocked About Iron Man 2 Recast

October 18, 2008
Source: NPR

Terrence Howard

When the announcement hit that Don Cheadle was replacing Terrence Howard as Col. James Rhodes in Iron Man 2, the reaction was severe - most people seemed to really like Howard. Not only was it shocking to all of us, but apparently Howard himself didn't even know until he read the news. "Yeah, I found that out, too," he said in an interview with NPR recently. "It was the surprise of a lifetime. There was no explanation. But it was gone… just up and vanished." The night after the news was announced, I was talking with another friend of mine, who firmly believed that Marvel had announced this just as a way to get Howard's attention - and that he might be back eventually. Now I'm not really sure what's going on?

Howard added that, "I read something in the trades 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." If you think that's a brutal way to cut off an actor, just listen to Howard's semi-emotional response. "Promises aren't kept, and good faith negotiations aren't always held up. Even friendships, people you support…" That's quite a sad response and it definitely puts a damper in all the faith that we had in Marvel all along. Not that I'm completely opposed to Don Cheadle, but I truly loved Terrence Howard as Rhodey.

If you've got some time to spare and want to listen to a fantastic interview with Terrence Howard, then head over to NPR. I'm curious whether Marvel really had some sneaky agenda behind the curtains surrounding Howard's involvement. Is there any chance that he could come back after they've already announced Cheadle? I don't know what to think - Hollywood is a bitch sometimes. If they did bring Howard back yet again, I would come to forget all about this because I would be so much happier that he's back. As I said, Cheadle just doesn't fit as well as Howard, in my own opinion. And I think letting Howard lead on as War Machine would've been utter perfection. Did Marvel really screw this one up?

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"Did Marvel really screw this one up?" Yes. Howard was fantastic in the Original as we have all said. If its Marvel's way of trying to entice Howard back into the role, then its just washing your laundry in public and its pathetic. Maybe he is suggesting that in the original contract signings, his part in any sequels were verbally agreed, and thats what's fallen apart. Saying that, i don't think we are getting the full story, or ever will.

Stuart Mellor on Oct 18, 2008


I just hope the fans speak out against this like they did when Marvel was backing out of with Jon..

jp on Oct 18, 2008


This is only a prequel to the mess that the Avengers will be when they recast it ......... Imagine a Tony Stark not Robert Downey Jr.............. its gonna happen i can see it all now !!

Fenris on Oct 18, 2008


Howard screwed himself, that interview he gave talking about it's all for the money and how he wanted to wait on War machine appearing too soon so he can get more $$$ or have a spin-off. Man f#@k Terreance Howard he has a history of being a testy prick on set and off, brotha should have just play in his lane made his Ironman trilogy money, like James Franco in Spider-man and continue to make the smaller quality films that builds a career.

PimpSlapStick on Oct 18, 2008


No clue what #4 is talking about. Yes, Marvel is making a huge mistake. The sequel will be nowhere near as big as the first if they follow through with this cast change.

Viper on Oct 18, 2008


I love Don Cheadle, but Terrance Howard was spectacular in that role and would be a great war machine. Since Marvel decided to produce their own movies a lot of Drama has arisen regarding their films. Studios negotiate to get the lowest price but, some of the things that have made it to the public forum are very unprofessional and unorthodox. Hopefully this will resolve itself, like the Faverau situation. Replacing Katie Holmes in The Dark Knight was a smart move, but continuity is important and hopefully it will remain important.

tyler ford on Oct 18, 2008


Oh no. I was so psyched about seeing the movie when it came out but if Terrence Howard isn't going to be in it I may seriously rethink seeing it! Terrence Howard is one of my favorite actors and I think he did a fabulous job in the first Iron Man. I was really looking forward to him continuing his role.

Bobbi on Oct 18, 2008


I'm sure Howard is as innocent as he's trying to make himself out to be here. There's likely more to the story here.

Daas on Oct 18, 2008


i didnt care for Howard, but this was a terrible thing to do, especially the way they handled it.

Al on Oct 18, 2008


IM(H?)O, Marvel is being stupid. They need to bring back Mr. Terrance Howard. His performance was excellent and he would be perfect for War Machine. Not only that, with all the cross-overs happening in their movies, they need to keep continuity.

R. on Oct 18, 2008


Yikes, this all so very foul.

tzarinna on Oct 18, 2008


It shocks me that continuity is not being taken into account. We must not forget that the image of this character is equally important. You have to severely justify the changing of a character's actor, especially in a Hollywood Blockbuster where a majority of the audience will be confused.

David on Oct 18, 2008


I agree with tyler ford. I like Don Cheedle too, but it was so disappointing to hear that he'll replace Terrence Howard. Hopefully its a hype, but if its not. . .well, I worry about how this change will effect the chemistry in the movie. Cheedle has a presence that is, in my opinion, more like Stark. The reason that Terrance Howard and Robert Downey Jr. worked so well together as friends is because they and their characters have polar opposite personalities. I think casting Cheedle with Downey Jr. will unravel the cast dynamic, and if that happens why would I bother to see it? (sigh)

Nikki on Oct 18, 2008


they absolutely did, cheadle is amazing but not right for this and to just cut howard out like that is wrong.

tyler wilson on Oct 18, 2008


I loved Iron Man! I think its one of the best comic book movie, up there with the new versions of Batman. Robert Downey Jr. absolutely killed the role as Tony Stark/Iron Man, but back to the topic at hand. Re-casting Col. Rhodes is a dumbass move on Marvel's part, and Paramount if their behind it too. Terrence Howard is a good ass actor. Even though his scenes in Iron Man were short, he did the part justice. I would like to see him stick with this franchise as long as its being done. Don't get me wrong, I give Don Cheadle his props on his movies, but if Marvel and Paramount really do this and cast him in place of Howard, they might as well just release the movie straight to DVD, because Downey Jr./Howard made a good team on the first movie, and they would keep it going as long as the scripts keep coming. KEEP TERRENCE HOWARD, DON'T REPLACE HIM!!!

Daniel on Oct 18, 2008


First off, you have to take everything you read on the web with a grain of salt(except,of course, However, after listening to Howard's interview on NPR he does sound pretty genuine in his responses. His earlier comments about a spin-off were misconstrued and that doesn't sound like it would be a viable reason for his departure. I love Cheadle but who doesn't? The guy has an amazing filmography so please don't hate. That being said Howard is no slouch either and was the perfect casting for Ironman. A re-cast of this nature will make the general public(non-comic geeks) both confused and irritated. People are fickle but Ironman 2 will make money no matter what with Downey Jr. still attached. Comic fans hearing this news world wide will now care less about this sequel and what it could mean for The Avengers and Ironman 3. Marvel has made some great choices of late but they also made some crap along the way. I.E.(DareDevil, Hulk, Did anyone like either Fantastic 4 movie?) I'm just saying. Ironman and The Incredible Hulk were both awesome!

Robert Kimsey on Oct 19, 2008


man this is bad i cant believe we will never see T.H. in the suit a sad sad move...

al-420 on Oct 19, 2008


fuck yea they are gonna make a mistake... got nothing against don but fuck, you gonna fuck up iron man all together...

tba 2013 on Oct 19, 2008


Yeah its a shame about him not re appearing if its true i hope he does the role again. I mean really why wouldn't you. Its tag time for sure in the next film and a spin off after that yeah maybee but i think its all abit of rif raf and TH will be back 4 sure.

werdnafaz on Oct 19, 2008


Continuity is certainly important, but its not as if Howard starred as Rhodes in Iron Man 1 & 2 and then he was replaced in Iron Man 3. We've only seen him once in the first film, Cheadle might totally blow us away with his interpretation of Rhodes, and then we'd see him again for the third.

insanio on Oct 19, 2008


Nothing Holywood does shocks me, there penny pinching morons who care nothing for anyone or anything and I so do hope all this karma is stacking up for I will be first in line to see them get whats coming to em!!!!!!!

Dar-El on Oct 19, 2008


I read an interview Howard gave months ago where he basically said he resented his acting career and wished it didn't take time away from his true passion of becoming a rapper. Maybe someone else read that interview too and decided not to inconvenience the whiny Howard any longer.

Befell on Oct 19, 2008


Alex, I echo your sentiments exactly. However, I'm also thinking along the lines of publicity. Just like the Marvel/Favreau debacle from earlier this year, I want to believe that Marvel is just holding out for the time being to then bring back Howard. Cheadle is not a good candidate to fill Howard's shoes(Yes, he's a good actor, but I have a hell of a time picturing him as Rhodey). I had read last year and before the "Iron Man" premiere that Howard and Paltrow were both signed for 2 additional sequels. If indeed, the supposed contract was broken, the Marvel would have screwed not only themselves, but everyone else involved. I sure hope that this is, indeed, a publicity stunt! I'd hate for Marvel to go the way of Fox!

Spider on Oct 19, 2008


Really, It's not going to matter. Cheadle is awesome and we will forget all about the tears we spilled crying over Howard not being in it. It's an awesome franchise and story and will be successful without him. Shit, replace Downy and everyone else too. Just keep the fuckin suit... and the writing and directing as good as the last... and this franchise will make gazillions. on Oct 19, 2008


@24 Just blatant stupidity on your part. No one IS spilling any tears--we are just not happy at the so called change! All things being equal, if this DOES end up being some cheap publicity stunt on behalf of Marvel, you will look like a big horse's ass. Btw, what would the "Spider-Man" and "Batman" franchises be with completely different casts?? Especially if they are not being rebooted (i.e. 'The Incredible Hulk'). I second your opinion Alex. @23 I agree with ya Spidey and yes, I'd like to sign a petition if there is one. BRING BACK HOWARD!!

Blue Silver on Oct 19, 2008


Batman has a different cast every time it comes to the big screen. It was insignificant that Rachel was a different actress in "The Dark Knight", the second most successful movie of all time, and it will be insignificant here. If the story is good, and the production and director are quality, then it is irrelevent. It sucks to lose Howard, but my point remains that it will still be awesome despite the fact. Pretty dull calling me a horse's ass when I'm saying I could give a shit either way. on Oct 19, 2008


Marvel are already acting like pricks.

Darunia on Oct 19, 2008


after i read this. i was lmao.

darrin on Oct 19, 2008


I really hope that this just some rumor. Even if it is an underhanded tactic to coerce Howard into joining for less (which right now I'm really hoping for), this still stinks. I'm a huge fan of Marvel, but this is getting me really angry. I just hope they see their mistake (and how fans are almost universally upset) and make it right.

Andrew on Oct 19, 2008


This is an intresting development, but I could care less. I like Cheadle a lot and found Howard to be very good in the role, but nothing to cry over.

Ryan on Oct 19, 2008


This is a lousy thing for Marvel to do to both actors. They should be sticking to continuity and not replacing Howard, who did a fine job in the first film. That's not to take anything away from Don Cheadle. He's a great actor and he seems like a good person. This kind of game playing, in the press puts both acotrs in an awkward position. It was a dumb thing to do; and they should really apologize to both Howard and Cheadle.

Dave Lister, JMC on Oct 19, 2008


This can't be about the money. I'd be seriously suprised if Cheadel of all people actually worked for less money than Howard. year for year Don's career is way deeper and character for character, just plain better. I could understand if someone saw Don play Samir in TRAITOR and say, "Damn! Hey everybody! check out Don in TRAITOR! The man can action it up! He is TOTALLY our War Machine! Plus he's not pretty. Howard is just too boyish and pretty for Machine." I'm not saying that's the right way to go, but I can understand that someone might have thought that. But the idea that Don would be cheaper? No way. The man has been playing solid characters since the freaking 1980s! He's been getting award nominations (thanks imdb) since the mid 1990s. I can't believe this is just about money. I'm with the "There's more to this story." crowd.

Feo Amante on Oct 19, 2008


Yeah... continuity. I abhor sequels with different actors/actresses. Mr. Howard did well in the first one. Unless he was asking for a mint - he really should have been back. Nothing ruins a good sequel like a re-cast.

bozoconnors on Oct 20, 2008


Bring back Howard! What are you thinking Marvel? Cheadle is a great actor, but not for this role. Stop playing these games and make the movie that fans will pay for. Follow the success of Iron Man with the same formula that works. Change isn't necessarily always GOOD!

Gary on Oct 20, 2008


There are two sides to every story. It's easy to hit out at the "establishment" and imagine that Marvel does not care about fans or is trying to get the better of actors. But we haven't really heard Marvel's full story other than that there were "financial problems" concerning Terence Howard. Howard himself has been quite mum on what exactly that financial problem is. It would hurt his image to admit that he was probably becoming a tad greedy. Negotiations are sometimes a "call my bluff" affair. But let's not assume anybody here is stupid. Everybody knows it could be better for the Iron Man series to retain the same Rhodey. However, Marvel is correct in thinking that "for the sake of negotiation" they already have the most important elements signed in the form of Robert Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow. That War Machine is still just fan speculation, and in fact they even have the option of forgetting there ever is a War Machine in this continuum for the movies. Therefore, it does not justify to pay out an enhanced fee (if that is indeed the problem) for a supporting role that contains speculative elements. Ultimately what Marvel is doing is protecting costs in difficult times for OUR movie. If Terence Howard is smart (or "surprised") he must understand now that the cards are not on his table. If Terence Howard CARES about you fans.... He will re-negotiate because his bargaining posture is quite dubious.

SS on Oct 20, 2008


I will wait for it on video now. They kept the same characters in all the othe franchises, but this one, that ruins it for me. CO, you must be crazy if you think i won't boycott it. I didn't see the 2nd hulk because it was changed, I have been waiting for it to come to dvd so I can rent it for a $1 to see it, vs paying 7 at the theater, and I will do the same for this one.

starkiller on Oct 21, 2008


Okay!!! I CANNOT BELIEVE THEY ARE DOING THIS TO TERRANCE HOWARD!!! WHAT INJUSTICE!!! Seriously, how could they screw this up??? Okay, Cheadle is a good actor, no make that great, HOWEVER, Terrance Howard is and was and forever will be "War Machine" there is no doubt about that. I've been cruising the internet looking for an online petition to get started because every site i've read all have the same thing in common. NO ONE WANTS TERRANCE HOWARD TO BE CASTED OUT OF IRON MAN 2 OR 3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are soooo ashamed that Paramount studios is not willing to pay him more. So what if he wants a raise, do you know how popular he's gotten???? HE SHOULD BE PAID LIKE OTHER PEOPLE ARE PAID!!!!! He was listed as a "C" rated actor and now, I would say he's a B+ if not A. Something seriously wrong with this picture that's for sure!!! I'M SOOOOO ANGRY BECAUSE NOW I CAN'T WATCH THE SEQUEL OF THE BEST MOVIE OF THESE LAST YEARS!!!!!

Steffanie C on Oct 21, 2008


Its a start but hey i didn't make it lets see how big we can make this snowball in the amount of time given, right?

Yoshizzle on Oct 22, 2008


If you're interested in a petition to sign, here it is: Come on, fans! Let's let Marvel know that we want our continuity.

Ruben Moreno on Oct 22, 2008


Oops... Didn't see that someone already posted the petition link.

Ruben Moreno on Oct 22, 2008


Good he was horrible. Had no bass in his voice. Would have made a terrible War Machine. Don Cheatles can act his ass off too.

D on Oct 22, 2008


I'm glad they got rid of him. Terrence Howard has a chip on his shoulder and he wears it in every film.

bubba on Oct 23, 2008


this is a retarded move. Howard would kill as War Machine. Don ain't bad, but he doesn't have squat that makes him the machine of war.

Neofcon on Oct 23, 2008


Don Cheatle is a good actor, but not for this role. T.H. was perfect for this part and it was wrong how they decided to take him out the way they did. I think we should all go on strike and not watch the movie to teach them a lesson!

George on Oct 25, 2008


I'm not surprised! I love Terrance Howard and have been a fan since he was on Starks, Starks and Starks on WSBK (before UPN was a network). This is the SECOND time he has been replaced by Don Cheadle because of bragging, holding out, etc. Cheadle got to play Petey Green in "Talk to Me" and did an outstanding job. Howard is a seasoned and reasonably well-known actor/household name, but everyone can be replaced and I'm sure he KNOWS that now. He should have learned that earlier when he was replaced by Cheadle before. They are both strong actors and give great performances. We'll see who really plays this role when the movie actually comes out. I'm soooooo not surprised because Terrance was bragging and was so cocky, I could only imagine dealing with that attitude on set on a daily basis.

LadyCiss on Oct 26, 2008

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