Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:08PM
It was George Clooney who once said, "If you can get Don Cheadle in your movie, get Don Cheadle in your movie." This was ten years ago, when they were making Out of Sight, well before Cheadle became something of a known quantity, although he was just as good early in his career.
Marvel, as we now know, took Clooney's advice, handing
over the role of Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes in
Iron Man 2
to Cheadle, who stepped in to replace
Howard. And now Cheadle is telling his side of that story.
"I got a phone call from my agent saying they were offering me the part," Cheadle told IGN. "That was kind of it. It happened very fast, and I had a very short time to answer. Literally, overnight."
Cheadle also specifically addressed the subject of Terrence Howard:
"I was unaware of what was happening with Terrence. And when they called me I asked what was going on with Terrence. I've worked with Terrence, I've known Terrence for a long time. And they said they were moving away from him. So it's not like I was taking Terrence's job, because the job was already gone. Someone else was going to do the part. I don't know who the next person in line was, but that's who they were going to. And I literally had a few hours to accept the job or not."
Taking the job meant accepting the role sight unseen. "I can't reveal anything because I've seen nothing," said Cheadle. "There's no script yet. All I know is as much as you know, that Rhodey looked at that suit and said, 'Next time.' So I imagine I'm going to be in a suit."
"I think the part will be bigger, obviously," he added. "I mean, in the comic book, if you just read the comic books, you know that character becomes pretty instrumental in Iron Man's life, so it's not a sidebar character. It's kind of integral to the story."
True enough. I certainly had no issue with Terrence Howard in the role, but Don Cheadle is one of those guy who greatly improves the value of a film just by him being on screen (unless he's in the Ocean's movies...not his finest hour[s]). But I think as the role for Rhodey expands, the more we'll appreciate Don Cheadle in the Iron Man franchise.