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Terrence Howard talks his departure from the Iron Man franchise; says Don Cheadle was original choice for the role

03.18.2013

Marvel Studios has steered the comic-book-to-film market with the precision of a seasoned sailor.  Every aspect of production, story, and choosing a director has been a carefully balanced choice.  And, certainly that applies to casting.  Their first few films into the Marvel Phase 1 plan saw two casualties; Ed Norton from THE INCREDIBLE HULK and Terrence Howard from IRON MAN.  Although varying statements have been released from all parties, it's hard to narrow down just what exactly went wrong with each deal that saw both Norton and Howard excised from their respective franchise roles.

While promoting DEAD MAN DOWN, Howard clarified his departure from the IRON MAN franchise, saying that it ultimately came down to money, as he was paid $4.5 million for his role as James Rhodes in the signature film, with the lead, Robert Downey Jr., reportedly bringing in just $500,000 (don't worry, he's reportedly netted a much healthier payday since). Howard said that it basically came down to taking a massive pay cut for the sequel and that he didn't understand the concept of the three-picture deal he had signed, saying:

"The second time they came and they, um, said we think the movie will be successful with or without you, so instead of the 8 million we said we were gonna pay you we're going to let you come back for a million dollars. Now, we did a three-picture deal already, so it wasn't any negotiating.  It was a three-picture deal so I'm like, oh, we're good.  I forgot-I didn't know that it was not a mutually binding contract.  It was only beneficial for them.  They could bring me back or not.  They could honor it or not. And you know, they made a great deal.  Don [Cheadle] and Robert [Downey Jr.] they get along well."

Howard also went on to clarify that he has no bad blood with Don Cheadle, who took over the role of James Rhodes/War Machine for the sequel (and again in IRON MAN 3), saying:

Really, initially, they wanted Don in that role and my agent pushed me into the role.  So, I never had beef with Don about any of that stuff.  I never had beef with them [Marvel] about it.

You can check out the full interview here for some more tidbits on the whole thing. Since the IRON MAN debacle went down, Howard went on to get his doctorate in chemical engineering and has starred in a number of films since.  His current film, DEAD MAN DOWN, is currently in theaters.  The role of James Rhodes/War Machine lives on with Don Cheadle in IRON MAN 3, out May 3, 2013.

Extra Tidbit: Do you prefer Howard or Cheadle in the role of James Rhodes?
Source: Sways Universe

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