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.