Terrence Howard confirmed for Iron Man

He’ll play a colleague of Robert Downey Jr’s hero

Long before the news from the Iron Man camp became all about Robert Downey Jr’s casting as the heroic, yet troubled Tony Stark, rumours were flying that Hustle & Flow’s Terrence Howard would be adding his quality thesping skills to the mix.

Now we have official confirmation that Howard has been cast as Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes, a friend and confidante of Stark. He’s a high-ranking military type who guides the team building the robotic suit that gives Stark his powers. "The suit is purely an innovative creation, so this is Marvel meets Tom Clancy technology," Marvel’s Kevin Feige told Variety as the company announced the casting. "Having the best actors for the key roles allows them to inhabit the hyperkinetic reality of this world."

What’s even more interesting is that in the comic, Rhodes ends up building his own battle suit and becomes a threat to Iron Man in the form of War Machine. Having Howard on board would make that possible clash even juicier, though Jon Favreau has already said that the first film’s villain will be classic Iron-botherer The Mandarin. Here’s hoping they get a top-notch thesp for that role, too.

It all kicks off next February in LA and Iron Man should be striding into cinemas in May 2008.