Howard Drawn to Iron Man

Iron Man may not be the best-known Marvel comic-book series, but the upcoming feature film adaptation may be one of the best-acted superhero movies of recent years. Marvel announced today that acclaimed actor Terrace Howard (Hustle & Flow, Crash)has signed on to play opposite fellow Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr. in the big-budget actioner, which is scheduled for release by Paramount Pictures on May 2, 2008.

Iron Man is being directed by Jon Favreau (Elf, Zathura: A Space Adventure), who is an accomplished actor himself. The film is centers on a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who creates an armored suit to help him battle villains. Howard will play the role of Jim “Rhodey” Rhodes, best friend to Downey’s Tony Stark (aka Iron Man). Rhodey is an accomplished military pilot whose skills become valuable assets to Stark as he takes on the role of superhero.

“When we first began to think about IRON MAN, we always envisioned Terrence as Rhodey,’ says Kevin Feige, president of production for Marvel Studios. ‘The richness of the role and complexity of the character seemed to mesh perfectly with the type of passion, energy and emotion that Howard brings to all of his projects.”

Howard recently completed production on The Brave One with Jodie Foster, and is currently in production on Spring Break In Bosnia with Richard Gere. His recent film credits also include Idlewild, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and Four Brothers.

Iron Man is Marvel’s first self-financed and produced feature film. The company is working on casting all other supporting roles and is set to begin filming in Los Angeles this February. The pic is being produced by Avi Arad and Kevin Feige. Exec producers are Michael Helfant, Ari Arad, Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito and Peter Billingsley.