It Cool ran a piece forever ago claiming that Terrence Howard had landed the role of James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes, Tony Stark’s Afro-American buddy in the world of Iron Man. Now it’s official – Oscar nominee Howard is on board Jon Favreau’s take on Marvel’s Armored Avenger.

Despite the flippant attitude of this article’s title, Howard’s casting is great news. This guy isn’t going to just take any old role, and he’s definitely not going to take some shitty black sidekick role. That means that Rhodey’s probably a fully-developed and integral part of this story. According to Variety, Rhodey is “a high ranking military officer and aviator, [who] steers the team that develops the robotic suit that allows the sickly Stark to fly around and battle bad guys.”

The article also mentions that Rhodey eventually got a suit of his own and became War Machine. What they don’t mention is that in the original comics Rhodey took over for Tony Stark after his alcoholism really fucked up his super-heroing. I can guarantee you that part of the reason Howard took this role is in anticipation of that story in the sequel.

With Jon Favreau directing, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Terrence Howard as Rhodey, Iron Man is shaping up to be one of the best superhero films to date. The movie starts filming in Los Angeles in February with a May 2, 2008 release planned.