There aren’t many chinks in the Marvel Studios armor, they please nerds, fans, moviegoers, producers, and studio heads by delivering a good product while making a ton of money. In this way it’s nice to be reminded that there’s a human side to Marvel, a time where things weren’t so smooth and easy-going, the time of Terrence Howard as James “Rhodey” Rhodes. As you may or may not recall, Howard played the character in the first Iron Man movie before Don Cheadle took over for Iron Man 2 and 3, but more than five years later now Howard is talking about how he lost the gig for the first time, and he puts the blame on some very unheroic actions by his co-star.During a recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Howard recounts how “the person [he] helped become Iron Man,” AKA: Robert Downey Jr., basically took his pay raise for the sequel and thus pushed him out of the part. Here’s what Howard had to say.
“This is gonna get me in a lot of trouble. 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.
“We did a three picture deal. 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 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.”
It’s kind of sad when friends have a falling out over money, and I guess it makes it even sadder to realize that it’s taken this long for Howard to get to a place where he felt he was ready to air that dirty laundry. But then again, it’s called “show business” and not “show friendship,” and it wouldn’t be the first time old friends fell out over a few dollars more. Still, on a pure level of curiosity, I wouldn’t have minded seeing what Howard, as a very talented actor in his own right, might have done with the role of Rhodey over Cheadle. I guess we’ll never know.
How about you Bastards, which RHodey did you like best: Howard or Cheadle?