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Terrence Howard Suggests Downey Jr. Is The Reason For No “Iron Man 2” Return


With Terrence Howard playing James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes in Iron Man, the actor was also signed on to return for various other Marvel projects if needed, with the plan being to eventually have him don the War Machine suit. Of course, that didn’t go to plan and the actor got replaced with Don Cheadle in the role, and he would indeed go on to play War Machine. There’s been various stories as to why Howard wasn’t brought back for Iron Man 2 – mainly involving monetary demands – but the actor has now spoked out on why he didn’t return to the franchise, with him seemingly blaming Robert Downey Jr.

In an interview picked up on by PeliBlog, Howard said, “This is gonna get me in a lot of trouble. It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man, when it was time to re-up for the second one, took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out.”

He added, “We did a three picture deal. I did the deal ahead of time. A certain amount for the first one. For the second a certain amount. For the third… they came to me for the second one and said, ‘We will pay you 1/8th of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you.’ And I called my friend who I helped get the first job, and he didn’t call me back for three months.”

When asked how things are now with said friend, Howard said, “Oh, I love him. God’s gonna bless him.”

This fits in with previous Howard claims, with him saying earlier this year that he was the highest paid actor in Iron Man, earning $4.5 million. He then claimed that he was due to make $8 million for Iron Man 2, but Marvel wanted him to take a pay cut down to $1 million.

Marvel have definitely garnered a reputation for being stringent with the money, as it was previously revealed that the likes of Chris Hemsworth, aka Thor, and Scarlett Johansson, aka Black Widow, were only receiving $500,000 per movie at one point, whilst in the same movie, The Avengers, Downey Jr. was get around $30 million. In fairness to RDJ, as part of his deal to return for Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Avengers 3, he was insistent on his co-stars getting a massive pay increase.

Personally, I thought Howard was a brilliant Rhodey, far better than Don Cheadle (who I’m a huge fan of, in general), but Marvel were certainly right to say that Iron Man 2 would be a hit with or without Howard.



9 thoughts on “Terrence Howard Suggests Downey Jr. Is The Reason For No “Iron Man 2” Return

  1. It’s easy to forget that before Iron Man, Downey was considered unemployable. The studio took a risk on him, it paid off, and his popularity exploded. Downey’s performance made the movie. But it’s a damn shame other actors couldn’t share more in the success. Howard was better than Cheadle in the role, I agree.


    • Exactly! I remember reading an interview somewhere with Jon Favreau where he said about how he had to really go to work on the studio to let him cast RDJ. The guy was seen as a massive risk… a risk that paid off, and he hit it out of the park.

      It’s one of the few bad points of the MCU for me, that Terrence Howard never got to return as Rhodey, even more-so as you see him tease the War Machine role briefly during Iron Man. Big shame.


    • Yeah, it was really surprising when those details came out when RDJ was negotiating for future MCU films after Iron Man 3. Massively surprising, and, in fairness to RDJ, he was apparently trying to get more cash for his Avengers co-stars at that time. Seems like that maybe wasn’t the case back in the day with Howard, though.


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