Remember a few years ago when it was announced that Don Cheadle was replacing Terrence Howard as James Rhodes in Iron Man 2? Maybe not–that has been a while, after all. At any rate, Terrence Howard opened up during an interview with Andy Cohen on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live last night and pretty much blamed Robert Downey, Jr. for getting axed from the Iron Man franchise. Like most things, the decision came down to dollars and cents.
Following a downward spiral from the mid 1900s to the early 2000s where Downey was arrested and in and out of rehab due to drug-related problems, he was just getting reestablished in the acting world when he landed the role as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Since he was just getting back into the swing of things, Downey was only paid $500,000 for his role.
Terrence Howard, on the other hand, was paid $4.5 million for playing James Rhodes, despite not being the lead in the film. Based on the success of the first film, the producer wanted to pay Downey more than the original agreement for the remaining films in the franchise while giving Howard a pay cut.
“It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man…when it was time to re-up for the second one, (he) took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out,” Howard told Cohen.
“We did a three-picture deal, so that means that you did the deal ahead of time,” Howard continued. “It was going to be a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second one, a certain amount for the third. They came to me with the second and said, ‘Look, we will pay you one-eighth 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—that I helped get the first job—and he didn’t call me back for three months.”
Howard was supposed to receive $8 million for Iron Man 2, but instead was only offered $1 million, which he refused. Downey’s salary for the second film was bumped up to $10 million. Instead of being part of one of the biggest comic book film franchises in history, Howard saw his career start to dwindle and he was paid significantly less for future roles than he would have made as James Rhodes under the original agreement. Howard even says that he blames Iron Man for “killing my career.”
Despite Howard’s claims that Downey is at least somewhat responsible for getting pushed out of Iron Man, he does say he doesn’t have any hard feelings. “Oh, I love him,” Howard of Downey. “God’s going to bless him.”[Image via YouTube]