A scene in Iron Man teased the possibility of Tony Stark's right-hand man Jim Rhodes some day donning a suit of armor of his own to become War Machine. The role was played by Terrence Howard, who, thanks to Marvel Studios' success, looked to have a long franchise ahead of him, as well as possibly a spin-off movie of his own. That's all changed, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which is reporting that Howard is out of the sequel. Don't worry, though -- Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes will still be there. It's just that he'll be played by Don Cheadle, instead.
I'm always fascinated by directors like Antoine Fuqua, who manage to direct something truly great early on in their career (in his case, Training Day), and then quickly devolve into making worse and worse parodies of that one critically acclaimed film until something as bad as Brooklyn's Finest happens. The good news is this is rock bottom; his next project might be great. Nowhere to go but up from here.
From the perspective of someone who works in an industry where most of the professionals couldn't tell you where their next job is coming from, most people in Hollywood are probably sitting around the dinner table tonight discussing how Robert Downey Jr. is like, totally set for life. The Iron Man actor has signed on to play Tony Stark in three more films. With Iron Man being, well, let's face it, the second-biggest movie of the summer, Marvel Studios nevertheless has about five hundred and seventy eight million ($!) reasons to get him back for a sequel. And while reports aren't out yet as to just how much of that juicy box-office gross they used to lure RDJ back, they got him, and not just for one sequel, but two. Oh, and also what could technically be called a spinoff.
Apparently when the world read last week that Don Cheadle would replace Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2, Howard read about it for the first time, too. At least that's what he told NPR's Scott Simon in an interview for Weekend Edition. (It was a 13-minute segment on the show, but the full 40-plus-minute interview is available online.) Howard said he wasn't angry, because he has found peacefulness in not "hitting back." But he also told Simon that the business principles in Hollywood are no different than the business principles of pimps. So, yeah, he actually might be a little angry.