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Iron Man's BFF = Don Cheadle

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Oct 14, 2008 | 1:13pm EDT

In a curious turn of events, Terrence Howard will not reprise his role in the upcoming Iron Man sequel. Instead, Don Cheadle will step in to play Jim Rhodes, Tony Stark’s best friend who would also become the armor-clad hero War Machine.

Although there was no comment from Marvel Studios, The Hollywood Reporter says that sources close to the deal reported the negotiations fell through with Howard over financial differences, among other things.

The character of Rhodes is expected to play a larger part in Iron Man 2Jon Favreau is returning as director with Robert Downey Jr. to step in again as Stark/Iron Man. Gwyneth Paltrow also is expected to be back as Stark's assistant, Pepper Potts.

Websites such as Collider.com and Chud.com weighed in on the change lamenting that this may mean that Howard, who has done great work in films like Crash and Hustle and Flow--for which he was nominated for an Oscar--will never ascend to the A-list status he deserves.

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