'Iron Man 2' Star Don Cheadle Talks Replacing Terrence Howard

'It wasn't like I moved him out of a role or anything,' actor tells MTV News of taking over as Rhodes.

The case of the missing Terrence Howard has multiple answers. Depending on whom you believe, the Oscar-nominated actor doesn't appear again as Lieutenant Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes in [movie id="390378"]"Iron Man 2"[/movie] because: A) He was difficult on set during the original flick; B) Director Jon Favreau and the Marvel team were unhappy with his performance; C) He refused to take a pay cut for the sequel; or D) All of the above.

In stepped Don Cheadle as the new Rhodes -- and the new War Machine. But Cheadle told MTV News he was the one who nearly nabbed the part in the first place.

"I met very early on before the first one with Jon [Favreau] and the team ... and I guess there was a split -- some people Terrence, some people me," Cheadle said, adding with a laugh, "They went with Terrence, and then I did everything I could to sabotage that so that I could come back."

Whatever the truth behind [article id="1596942"]Howard's departure[/article], Cheadle made it clear that his fellow actor had already parted ways with the production before the role reappeared on his radar. And when it did, he welcomed the chance to seize it once and for all.

"It was clear by the time it came to me that Terrence and the Marvel people were not going to be able to do it anymore and it wasn't going to happen," Cheadle said. "It wasn't like I moved him out of a role or anything. ... I was at my daughter's birthday party when they called and said, 'OK, do you want to do the movie?' And I said, 'I'm at my daughter's birthday party.' And they said, 'Oh, OK. Take two hours.' Oh, that's very generous of you!

"I'm sure they had Andre 3000 on speed dial," he said with a smile. "They were just waiting."

Once he accepted the part and arrived on set, Cheadle was thankful that he was allowed to make Rhodes and War Machine his own, rather than attempt to mimic Howard's portrayal. "There were no marching orders that I had to somehow replicate what he did or pick up where he left off. It was always about us finding what this story needed."

Do you think Don Cheadle will make a better Rhodes? Tell us in the comments!

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