Howard flying to 'Iron Man'

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Terrence Howard is joining the cast of Marvel's "Iron Man," in which he will play Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes, the best friend of Tony Stark, the billionaire industrialist who becomes the superhero known as Iron Man.

As Rhodes, Howard will appear as a military pilot who assists Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Jon Favreau is directing the film.

"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," Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige said.

Filming is scheduled to begin in February in Los Angeles, with the movie's release, through Paramount Pictures, slated for May 2, 2008. "Iron Man" will be produced by Avi Arad and Feige. Executive producers are Michael Helfant, Arad, Favreau, Louis D'Esposito and Peter Billingsley.

Howard, who earned an Academy Award nomination for best actor for his performance in last year's "Hustle & Flow," also starred in the Oscar-winning "Crash." He recently completed production on "The Brave One" with Jodie Foster and is shooting "Spring Break in Bosnia" with Richard Gere. His credits include "Idlewild," "Get Rich or Die Tryin' " and "Four Brothers."

Howard is repped by WMA, managed by Shakim Compere and Victoria Fredrick of Flavor Unit, and his attorney is Stewart Levy.
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