Marvel has a fairly solid track record of keeping actors around for the inevitable sequels, largely by signing them ambitious multi-picture deals. Of course, there are a few exception, most notably Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, and Terrence Howard, who was replaced as James Rhodes in Iron Man 2 after reaching a salary impasse with the studio.
Appearing last night on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, Howard tried to clarify a few details about his abrupt departure from the franchise. “This is gonna get me in a lot of trouble,” he said. “It turns out that the person that 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.”
Just to be clear: Howard was referring to star Robert Downey Jr.
“We did a three-picture deal,” he continued. “You 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 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.”
When asked how things are with Downey now, Howard responded very coolly with, “Oh, I love him. God’s gonna bless him.”
HitFix recounted some of the bits and pieces Howard revealed since being cut from the franchise, including a claim that he was the highest-paid actor in Iron Man, a role that earned him a reported $4.5 million. The actor wanted $8 million for the sequel, but Marvel Studios refused, only offering $1 million for his return.
Howard can next be seen in The Best Man’s Holiday, which opens today.