You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

Terrence Howard On ‘Iron Man’ – Don Cheadle Was To Star Originally + Was To Get $8 Mill For #2

Terrence Howard On 'Iron Man' - Don Cheadle Was To Star Originally + Was To Get $8 Mill For #2

As an addendum to Sergio’s Terrence Howard Learns That Show Business Is A Cutthroat Business post, here’s a very recent interview he did with Sway, posted just today actually, in which he addresses the Iron Man situation – the fact that he wasn’t cast in the second film, and was instead replaced by Don Cheadle.

A couple of things he mentions in this interview that I didn’t know, and I’m assuming some of you didn’t know as well, are that, first, Don Cheadle was actually the Studio’s first choice to play the character all along, from the very first Iron Man movie with Robert Downey Jr; not Terrence Howard. But, as Terrence says to Sway below, his agent was able to get him the role, beating out Cheadle.

So, in a way, it’s kind of karma isn’t it, that Cheadle ended up in Iron Man 2, and will be in the upcoming 3rd movie as well.

Secondly, he said that he had a 3-picture deal with the studio to make 3 Iron Man films, and he was apparently supposed to make $8 million on the second film (he says he got paid about $4 1/2 million for the first film). But, he (or rather, his attorneys, manager, or somebody) didn’t do their job adequately, because, it turned out that, despite the signed 3-picture deal, the studio gave itself an out in the contract, that would allow them to replace Howard if they wanted to, which he says in the interview below that he didn’t know, or that he forgot.

So, there he was expecting an $8 million payday for Iron Man 2, but got suddenly hit over the head with news that they didn’t want to pay him that money, especially if they could get Cheadle for a lot cheaper at that point, and instead of the expected $8 million, they offered him even less (a lot less) than what they paid him for the first film, and certainly a lot less than what he was expecting – they offered him $1 million for Iron Man 2

Obviously, he passed, and moved on, and Cheadle got the part. I’m assuming he also got paid $1 million.

They go into a bit more detail on the entire situation, so it’s worth a listen. But I love learning about these back-room studio dealings. It’s all very fascinating to me.

This Article is related to: News



Nobody, and I mean nobody was going to see Iron Man 1 or 2 based primarily on green eyes being in it. Why y'all gassing him up? Cheadle is a better actor, and more palatable in his personality.

As for the agent strong arming Howard into the film, it happens more often than not. Definitely has helped Kerry Washington in past years, and others who were ill fitted for their role.


Nice backup plan with the chemical engineering degree.


thanks for the post never knew that Terence had a Doctorate far less that he was growing diamonds

frank E boy

I mean, truthfully, Cheadle was better for the role anyway.

It's old news. Howard shoulda left it in the past. You can only move FORWARD.


Why do I feel like there is more to this story?


Side note: I have to truly applaud him for going back to school after already becoming a movie star. I wish more people in Hollywood prized education.

He also made a great comment about communication between actors regarding roles.


1. He got someone else's role, and still squandered it? Sounds like his ego got the best of him

2. Based on the salary for "Iron Man 2", I see why he keeps talking about why he expected to make $20 per film one day. If he was getting $8 million for a supporting role, it would make sense that he expected that much of a jump for a starring role, especially if he had been successful in the "Iron Man" franchise. Only God knows what direction his career is going in next.

Mark & Darla

1 million, that's a damn shame.


Wow. Didn't know that. I will say that I loved him better as Rhodey. :) I got love for Cheadle…but it took me a minute to get used to him as the character.


That's messed up, but typical for Tinseltown!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *