Don Cheadle is speaking out about how he got the part of Rhodes aka War Machine in the Marvel movies, and how much time Marvel gave for him to decide if he even wanted the role.
“Early on, I had met on that role, and there were different factions and producers who wanted me and others that wanted Terrence [Howard], and the biggest voice in the room for that won, and Terrence got the part. Which was great. I thought he was great in the first [Iron Man]. And then through some stuff that is well-documented that they went through behind the scenes, it wasn’t his part anymore, so I got a call,” Don told AV Club.
If you don’t know, Terrence played the role of Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes in the first Iron Man film before Don took over the role for the remaining Marvel movies.
He continued, “I was actually at my kid’s birthday party—a laser tag party—and I got a call from my agent, and they said, “Hey, so I want to connect you to these Marvel guys. They want to talk to you, but they want to offer you the part.” I don’t think it was [Kevin] Feige. I don’t know who was on the phone. But they said, ‘Hey, this is the role. We want you to do this. It’s a six-picture deal.” I was like, ‘What?! Oh, uh, okay…’ And I’m trying to do the math. I’m like, ‘That’s 11 or 12 years. I’m not sure.’ And they’re like, ‘Well, we need to know, because if you’re not saying yes, then we’re gonna move on to the next person. So you’ve got an hour.’”
Don added, “An hour to decide 12 years, and a role and parts that I don’t even know, in movies that are coming down that I have no idea what they’ll be. I said, “I’m at my kid’s laser tag party right now.” They said, “Oh! Oh, take two hours.” So generous! So I go back inside, and I’m ducking behind things, playing laser tag, and talking to my wife. I’m like, “Should I take a flier on this? Is this something I should do?” And she said, “Well, yeah, I guess so. All things being equal, this is that kind of thing. You’ve never done anything like this before. Big special effects, tent pole, four-quadrant movie. Do you want to do something like this?” I said, “I kind of do.” She said, “Well, then take a flier. Let’s do it. Try it.”
Marvel recently announced some huge changes that you may have missed.