Back in 2008, nobody could have predicted the astronomical success of the upcoming decade's films that would make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, when Iron Man was released that year, it was clear right away that Marvel was onto something special. Building from that classic superhero film by director Jon Favreau, the MCU has expanded with twenty feature films over the past ten years, with many more in the works. The characters we know and love from the Marvel movies will certainly be around for some time to come.

Not everyone is thrilled about the direction Marvel has taken with the MCU, however. Actor Terrence Howard had locked in a potentially major career role by portraying War Machine in the film, and was set to reprise the part in Iron Man 2. However, during pre-production on the sequel, Howard was fired for reasons that are still unclear to the actor himself. After his removal from the project, Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle, who has played the role ever since throughout multiple MCU movies. He was most recently seen in this year's Avengers: Infinity War, which is the highest-grossing film of 2018.

Ten years after the release of Iron Man, Terrence Howard was asked on the Bravo series Watch What Happens Live about the character of War Machine and the MCU. While Howard is a fan of his replacement, he insists fans want to see him one day return as War Machine, suggesting a new line of films could be made starring him as the character. However, Howard then makes it clear that won't be happening, but there's no love lost between Marvel and the actor.

You know what's so funny? Even though I love Don Cheadle so much and I love what he's done, I still hear a lot of fans asking, 'Am I going to come back and be War Machine? Am I going to come back and be War Machine?' I think they could have a huge franchise off of it, but f**k em.

Don Cheadle will return as War Machine when Avengers 4 hits theaters on May 3, 2019. The character will potentially have a much larger role in the highly-anticipated sequel, as the superhero is one of the few to survive the Thanos finger snap heard 'round the world. This means War Machine will likely be a key player in the guaranteed blockbuster, and as a fan of Cheadle, it has to be bittersweet for Howard.

Related: Terrence Howard Says Robert Downey Jr. Forced Him Out of Iron Man 2

Howard has since managed to find further success on television as Lucious Lyon on the Fox series Empire. Still, as good as Cheadle is as War Machine, it's hard not to think about how things would have been if Howard had kept the part. Clearly, however, the fans haven't forgotten the original War Machine, and Howard can always be proud of that. This information comes to us courtesy of Cinema Blend.