Don Cheadle is rumored to be joining The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
According to HitFix, Cheadle’s character, Colonel Rhodes — a.k.a. War Machine — has a key role in the conflict with Ultron (James Spader).
Cheadle took over the role from Terrence Howard, who played Colonel Rhodes in the first Iron Man film. Howard blamed star Robert Downey Jr. for pushing him out of the sequels.
“It turns out that the person that I helped become Iron Man, when it was time to re-up for the second one, took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out,” Howard said. The 44-year-old said they signed a three-picture deal, but when it came time for the second one, he was told he would have to take a major pay cut.
“For the third… they came to me for the second one and said, ‘We will pay you 1/8th of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you,’” Howard said. “And I called my friend who I helped get the first job and he didn’t call me back for three months.”
However, Howard beared no ill will toward Downey, saying, “Oh, I love him. God’s gonna bless him.”
The first Iron Man film grossed $585 million at the box office on a budget of $140 million. The second made $623 million on a $200 million budget, and the third made $1.2 billion on a $200 million budget. Iron Man 3 currently ranks as the fifth-highest grossing film of all time, the sixth highest-grossing opening of all time, and the highest-grossing film of 2013.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled for release on May 1, 2015. The film features an ensemble cast which includes Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, and Samuel L. Jackson reprising their roles from the first film. Joining the cast are Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver.