Don Cheadle Speaks About When He Replaced Terrence Howard


The upcoming Armor Wars film, originally meant to be a Disney+ series, is gearing up production. The film will be somewhat of a 4th Iron Man film with Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes aka War Machine taking to the skies. Dominique Thorne’s Iron Heart is also expected to make an appearance. The film is currently planned for a 2024 release date.

Many Marvel fans know that Don Cheadle wasn’t originally James Rhodes, that went to Oscar-Nominated actor Terrance Howard in the original Iron Man in 2008. Due to his status at the time he was paid an estimated $3.5 – $4.5 Million while the film’s star Robert Downy Jr. made only $500,000.

When plans began for Iron Man 2 Howard (Or more likely his agent) requested a higher price tag rumored to be around $10 Million to be in the sequel. However, Marvel said they would only pay $40,000 per film, so he walked.

Don Cheadle was on a list of potential replacement actors and he took on the role.

Recently in an interview with GQ, Cheadle made the following comments on the matter when someone asked if he “Aunt Vivi’d” Terrance Howard:

I ‘Aunt Viv’d’ him? I did not move Terrence out of a role. He was not… they had decided that they weren’t… that was not happening.”

“Then it was an open part. I was at my kid’s laser tag birthday party and they called me and said, ‘This is what’s happening. We’re giving you the offer. If you don’t say yes, we’re going to the next person. This is gonna happen very fast.’ So they said, ‘Why don’t you go ahead and take an hour and decide if you want to do it.’

He would go on to add:

It was a six-movie deal. I was like, ‘In an hour I have to decide? What are the other movies’ They’re like, ‘It’s gonna be these Avengers, it’s gonna be these many Iron Mens, this is what it is, so you’re gonna have to say yes or no if you’re in or out.’ Like, ‘What’s the trajectory of the character gonna be?’ They’re like, ‘We don’t know any of that, but this is what it is. So, you’ve got an hour.’ I said, ‘I’m at my kid’s laser tag birthday party.’ They’re like, ‘Oh, take two hours. Take two hours.’ So, we played laser tag for two hours and I was talking to my wife and we just kind of thought about it and talked to my agent and tried to get as much information as we could and we just said we’d do it.

So to put an end to the argument Cheadle had nothing to do with Howard stepping down from the role. It was Hollywood politics relating to pay.

Since the beginning of the MCU multiple actors have been replaced for one reason or another, and since you can’t control reality it’s bound to happen again.


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