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Cheadle in, Howard Out

The Hollywood Reporter announced this morning that “Iron Man” actor Terrence Howard will not reprise his role of Jim Rhodes in the forthcoming sequel, and that he has been replaced by Don Cheadle.

Marvel Studios had no comment on the casting change, but THR indicates a deal could not be reached with Howard that both parties found financially acceptable.

Directed by Jon Favreau and written by Justin Theroux, “Iron Man 2” is expected to be the film in which Cheadle’s character — the best friend and confidant of Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man — becomes the armor-wearing hero known as War Machine, as foreshadowed with Howard’s performance in the 2008 blockbuster “Iron Man.”

Cheadle is best known for his roles in the Steven Soderbergh movies “Traffic,” “Ocean’s Eleven” and its two sequels, as well as “Hotel Rwanda,” for which he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Incidentally, Terrence Howard was nominated in the same category for his performance in “Hustle & Flow,” making the part of Jim Rhodes something of an auspicious gig, indeed.

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