Howard Out, Cheadle In for Iron Man 2

I guess this means Terrence Howard wanted more money than Marvel Studios thought he was worth, because the big news around the comic book water cooler is that the actor has now been replaced by Don Cheadle in the Jim Rhodes role for Jon Favreau’s upcoming “Iron Man 2”, set for a 2010 release. The reason given was that the deal for Howard to return for the sequel fell through due to “financial differences” — i.e. they wanted to pay him X amount, but he wanted Y amount, and Marvel decided (rightly) that people don’t go to see “Iron Man” movies for the sidekick. So it’s out with Howard, and in with Cheadle.

More from Reuters via THR:

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.

The Rhodes character 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.

This reminds me of what happened with the “Matrix” movies, when a supporting actor made some wacky demands in exchange for his participation in the two “Matrix” sequels. Basically, he wanted everything the leads got. The Wachowski brothers responded by killing off his character and introducing his “brother”. Oops.

Below: For some reason, Marvel Studios kept insisting that Terrence Howard learn how the Ejector seat works…