EXCLUSIVE: ‘Iron Man 2’ Screenwriter Discusses Terrence Howard Departure, Role Of War Machine In Sequel

We may never know what ultimately led to the Don Cheadle/Terrence Howard switch on “Iron Man 2,” and if Robert Downey Jr. knows, well, he isn’t talking (at least to us).

But one reason it definitely did NOT happen is because the character of Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes was scaled back for the sequel, “Iron Man 2” screenwriter Justin Theroux told MTV News.

“I can’t really speak to the plot stuff and all the rest of it but Rhodes is completely present in a very strong and big way,” Theroux said of the man who would be War Machine. “He’s COMPLETELY present.”

The belief that the character was drastically reduced first came to our attention in an “Entertainment Weekly” article, which posited that Theroux and director Jon Favreau were minimizing the role.

“All that stuff that was in the ’EW’ article,” Theroux started before a brief pause. “I don’t know. I can only tell you what I know which is that from a writing standpoint we didn’t do anything differently [with the character]. It’s not like we were sitting there going, we need less of this or that. We just approached the characters and the story on their own terms.”

Good news for fans of Jim Rhodes, who can now expect to see the character in at least as much action as the first. So what do you make of Theroux’s statements? Sound off on your thoughts below.