EXCLUSIVE: Robert Downey Jr. Breaks Silence On Terrence Howard/Don Cheadle ‘Iron Man 2’ Swap

By now, all of fandom knows about Marvel Studios’ controversial Terrence-Howard-for-Don-Cheadle swap regarding the role of Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes in “Iron Man 2.” And despite weekly rounds of internet speculation about the move that even took the actors involved by surprise, very little has been said on record from anyone close to the production — until now.

Speaking exclusively with MTV News, “Iron Man” star Robert Downey Jr. has broken his silence on the topic that has had the blogosphere buzzing over the past month. And despite the fact that the actor had very little to add to the discussion, he made it perfectly clear that his and director Jon Favreau’s first priority is making the best film possible and being respectful to the fans of the emerging franchise.

“I think the important thing with the ’Iron Man’ franchise is to not do too much too soon and to make sure we don’t piss off the public that put us in the position we’re in,” said Downey. “We’ve just got to keep rolling up our sleeves higher and further up the elbow. If we show up and we’re in the right head space and our heart’s in the right spot and we really think about the audience at every turn and we don’t try to stamp our hipness onto anything. It’s very interactive.”

When asked if he had anything to do with the Howard/Cheadle switch, Downey immediately responded, “I had nothing to do with that decision. I love Terrence very very much. That’s all I’ll say because I haven’t talked to him yet.”

Furthermore, the “Iron Man” star makes it clear that he will not play favorites between the two equally talented actors, so if you’re looking for a juicy “good riddance” quote from Downey (who’s definitely not shy when it comes to speaking his mind), you won’t find it here.

“I’ve always admired Don [Cheadle],” said Downey. “It’s one of those situations where I still don’t quite know what happened or why. Here’s what happens too: things happen and you wind up commenting on them before you’ve actually talked to the people and it’s in poor taste.”

Be sure to check back here for more from Downey, including hints as to what fans can expect out of “Iron Man 2” as well as his thoughts on the upcoming “Avengers” film!

Do you think Don Cheadle or Terrence Howard would be a better fit to play off of Downey? Sound off below!