Terrence Howard Calls 'Iron Man' Casting Switch A 'Surprise,' Marvel Studios President Says 'No Comment'

Terrence HowardThe Internet caught fire last week with the surprising news that Don Cheadle was replacing Terrence Howard in “Iron Man 2,” shocking not just fans and commentators across the net, but Terrence Howard himself?

“It was the surprise of a lifetime. There was no explanation. [The contract] just...up and vanished,” Howard told NPR, sounding genuinely hurt and surprised.

As easy and as tempting as it is to side with Howard, especially given his tireless enthusiasm for the project, which he has been talking up since spring 2007, there are two sides to every story. What’s Marvel’s take?

“No comment,” Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige told MTV News on the Cheadle/Howard switch in an interview on Friday (before Howard’s comment was broadcast).

Why no comment? Interestingly, Feige seemed to imply that nothing as yet was set in stone – with Howard or Cheadle.

“As is the policy with most people, when you talk about dotting I’s and crossing T’s, certainly that isn’t the case yet on a number of things we’re doing,” he said, later making the same statement regarding Kenneth Branagh and “Thor” (take that for what you will). “But that [‘Hollywood Reporter’ story] was not an announcement. That was, as it tends to happen in the business, is rumors and leaks and things like that. I do think there will be clarity soon.”

Mr. Feige, we’ll be ready to listen when you’re ready to talk.

In the meantime, the whole mess smells odd to me. What do you think? Is there some kind of game going on here – is this more proof Cheadle is on "Iron Man" or less? Speculate away.