As Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau gear up for Iron Man 2 they will be leaving behind a certain member of the cast. Terrence Howard, who played Col. James Rhodes in the first Iron Man has decided not to reprise his role and none other than leading man Don Cheadle will be stepping in to replace him. It’s not often that a celebrity decides not to come back to a role that was in one of the most successful films of the year. This is kind of like when Maggie Gyllenhaal took over Katie Holmes role in the new Batman series, except Holmes had a baby, I don’t think that Howard will be having that problem.

Apparently Howard decided not to return due to “financial differences, among other reasons.” So it’s all about the money (and other things). Apparently, once that happened, Marvel immediately decided to go with something new and jump on the Cheadle boat. Cheadle has handled a number of leading parts so perhaps this points out a bigger role for the colonial?

Iron Man fans, remember the scene near the end when Rhodes looks at the Mark II armor in Tony Stark’s lab and mutters “next time.” Interestingly, Howard made a revealing statement back in May on regarding War Machine: “The question is whether we will take the time to put on the Iron Man suit first and then have to fight with Iron Man to take it off me and then ultimately build a new suit for Rhodey or whether they go right into the second one of them building the suit. I would prefer to wait for the third one. I’d prefer to let it grow a little bit and then after the third one, they could go into its own franchise of War Machine later on. I don’t want to introduce War Machine too early for my own monetary benefits.”

So what do you think, do you think Cheadle will be able to tackle to colonial? Do you think Cheadle is a better choice? Do you think Terrence really wanted to leave?