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Marvel Only Gave Don Cheadle Two Hours To Decide On War Machine Role

In a wide-ranging interview covering his most memorable roles, actor Don Cheadle has revealed the unusual circumstances that led to him being cast as War Machine, starting with Marvel’s Iron Man 2.

As most MCU fans know, James “Rhodey” Rhodes was originally played by Terrence Howard in the first Iron Man film, but he was jettisoned from the franchise after reportedly being asked to take a pay cut, which left Marvel Studios scrambling to find a replacement for the sequel. What fans might not know is that Cheadle had narrowly lost the role to Howard, so it was definitely an interesting moment to have the studio call him up and ask him if he was still interested in the part. Although, according to The AV Club, Marvel didn’t exactly give Cheadle a whole lot of time to decide.

“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.”

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!”

While ducking laser tag bolts, Cheadle let his wife know about the offer and asked her what he should do because, again, this was a pretty big decision. Obviously, she was on board. Cheadle took the part, and his interpretation of the classic Iron Man character became a fan favorite for a solid decade, which means his math was pretty spot-on.

(Via The AV Club)