Don Cheadle vs. Terrence Howard as War Machine

Hi all…

So I’ve been pondering this rumored casting change for Iron Man 2.

In Iron Man, James Rhodes (who will eventually become War Machine) was played by Terrence Howard. I thought he did a fine job with the role, but he did seem a little more feminine than masculine in spots. Not sure why that should be, but he just didn’t seem macho enough to be playing this rough and tumble, “I’ll take care of it” kind of Rhodie that works with Tony Stark.

Iron Man and War Machine in a 1995 episode (en...

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Now all over the net we’re seeing that Don Cheadle will be taking over the role.

First of all, I’m a Don Cheadle fan. He’s done some amazing work in everything from Hotel Rwanda and Crash to Oceans Eleven and Oceans Thirteen. I’ve not really seen him do action movies (the Oceans movies don’t really count for me), so I wonder about the casting a bit.

But what really throws me is the size difference. Howard is a hair over 6 feet. Cheadle is a hair over 5 foot 8 inches. This is a bit of a size difference. They’re also built differently (not that you’d be able to tell inside the War Machine suit). But Cheadle doesn’t hit me as the hard hitting Rhodie character.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Maybe it’s because Robert Downey Jr. is only 5 foot 9 inches? That can’t be the only reason.

Anybody have any opinions on it?


p.s. If you haven’t picked up your copy of Iron Man on DVD — why haven’t you?!? Get yours at Amazon today!

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  1. I’m a Cheadle fan as well, but I’m a little skeptical of the move. Maybe Cheadle is just a bigger name and apparently they could get him. Seems an odd move just in the sense of why any move at all. As you said, maybe there was just not a macho enough feeling going on, but I’m not sure Cheadle necessarily fills a macho void.

    Nice question though. The fact itself is all over the place, but no one seems to be talking about it, or asking about it.


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  2. Don’t get me wrong about Howard. I liked him in the role, but didn’t love him. I have to wonder the same thing about Cheadle though. Oh well. Hope Favreau knows what he’s doing and can duplicate the lightning in a bottle of the first film. 🙂

  3. @SizzlingPopcorn – Very interesting tidbits of information there. I still have to wonder whether Cheadle is any more big and masculine than Howard for the role. He’s such a little guy.

    @Angelika – He is a great actor, so I’m betting he can pull it off and surprise us all (fingers crossed).

  4. I am a Cheadle fan. Talk to me was great. However Rhodes is supposed to be a physically imposing character that is physically larger than Stark. He should have a deeper voice and be some what built. Really what I have said since the Howard casting was that they should have got Michael Clarke Duncan. He has the voice and the size. They only other guy I can think of is the guy from Underworld. However his voice, which I think is damn cool, would take the character over the top a little.

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  5. @Movie Whore – Yeah, I always thought Rhodie stood head and shoulders above Tony Stark. Both Downey Jr. and Cheadle are both little guys. Michael Clark Duncan would be huge! But they’d never get the suit around him. 🙂

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