Don Cheadle is stepping in to replace Terrence Howard in “Iron Man 2,” Marvel Studios’ sequel to its summer blockbuster.
In the movie, Howard played Jim Rhodes, Tony Stark/Iron Man’s best friend and future armor-clad hero War Machine. One scene featured Howard looking at a silver suit of armor and saying “Next time,” a line that caused great delight for fans.
But there will be no next time for Howard.
Marvel had no comment, but sources close to the deal said negotiations with Howard fell through over financial differences, among other reasons. Marvel, which had wanted to work with Cheadle, then decided to take the role in another direction and approached the actor, who is shooting Antoine Fuqua’s “Brooklyn’s Finest” with Richard Gere and Ethan Hawke.
Rhodes is expected to play a larger part in the sequel, which is rumored to go beyond high-tech villains. Justin Theroux is writing the screenplay.
Jon Favreau is returning as director, and Robert Downey Jr. is expected back as billionaire industrialist Stark/Iron Man. Gwyneth Paltrow also is expected to be back as Stark’s assistant, Pepper Potts.