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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Terrence Howard Replaced in "Iron Man 2"

Howard Says Being Replaced Was 'Surprise of a Lifetime'
by Matt McDaniel October 21, 2008

Many people were stunned by the news last week that Don Cheadle, and not Terrence Howard, would be playing the role of James "Rhodey" Rhodes in "Iron Man 2." None more so, apparently, than Terrence Howard himself.

Howard recently spoke to NPR to promote his first album, "Shine Through It," and the topic of being replaced in the sequel to the hugely popular comic book adaptation came about. And the Oscar-nominated actor sounded as confused as anyone about the rationale behind the change.

"It was the surprise of a lifetime. There was no explanation, [it] just up and vanished. And I read something in the trades that implicated it was about money... but apparently the contracts that we write and sign aren't worth the paper that they're printed on sometimes. And promises aren't kept, and good faith negotiations aren't always held up."
Hear the full interview >>

Marvel Studios, who produced "Iron Man," offered no comment when the story originally broke. But The Hollywood Reporter spoke to sources who stated that negotiations with the actor "fell through over financial differences," which Howard disputes.

The announcement especially confused fans of the comic book since it is widely believed the character of Rhodey will have a bigger part in the sequel. Towards the end of the first film, Rhodes looked at Tony Stark's second attempt at the Iron Man armor, the silver "Mark II" version, and said to himself, "Next time, baby." This was a hint that Rhodes would get his own armor, just like he did in the comics. His upgraded and more heavily armed suit goes by the name War Machine, and concept designs for the character have already been created.
Don Cheadle, an Oscar nominee in his own right, has not issued a statement about the casting. Cheadle and Howard both appeared in the 2005 Best Picture winner "Crash." Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow are both expected to return for the sequel, as is director Jon Favreau.

For his part, Howard doesn't seem to be holding onto any grudges. He is touring in support of his album, a collection of self-penned, jazz-inspired tunes on which he sings and plays guitar. He told NPR he is trying to hold onto the calm nature he developed growing up in a tough neighborhood.

"I found a peacefulness in me, though, that -- even in getting slapped when I was a little kid, when I would get attacked -- even though I was strong enough to stop it I would never hit back, back then... Even now, I didn't hit back."

"Iron Man 2" is scheduled to open May 7, 2010.

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