Iron Man 2 cast shake-up

Don’t imagine that Terence Howard will be powering up as War Machine any time soon. The Iron Man star has bailed on the sequel to Marvel’s recent box office stormer – lending a certain irony to the scene where Jim Rhodes gazes at a silver suit of armour and mutters “Next time,” a moment clearly designed to foreshadow his eventual transformation into the tech-heavy hero.

It’s believed that negotiations fell apart between Howard and the studio over the eternally sticky subject of money.

Replacing him as Tony Stark’s bestest bud is Don Cheadle, recently seen in Ocean’s Thirteen and Crash. Still on board are Gwyneth Paltrow as longtime love interest Pepper Potts and – praise the maker – Robert Downey Jr as the industrialist crusader. Jon Favreau also returns to the director’s chair.