Ever since it was revealed that Terrence Howard wouldn’t be reprising his role in “Iron Man 2,” ultimately replaced by Don Cheadle, there has been plenty of ink spilled about why the actor was bounced from the Marvel universe. Way back in 2008, EW reported that circa “Iron Man,” it was Howard — not comeback kid Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow or Jeff Bridges — who was actually the best paid actor on that set. The first one to sign on, Marvel wasn’t able to renegotiate his deal, but perhaps found another workaround. Rumors suggested that Howard was being difficult on set and/or the filmmakers weren’t happy with his performance, leading to early drafts for “Iron Man 2” minimizing his participation. So when Marvel circled back to the actor for “Iron Man 2” with a much lower offer than the first movie, well, we’ll let Howard take it from here….
“[I was paid] about $4.5m [for the first film],” Howard explained to radio show Sway In The Morning (via Total Film). “The second time, [the studio] said ‘We think the movie will be successful with or without you. So, instead of the $8m that we said we were gonna pay you, we’re going to let you come back for a million dollars.’ We did a three-picture deal already, [but] I forgot, I didn’t know it wasn’t a mutually binding contract; it was only beneficial for them and they could bring me back or not. They can honor it or not.”
Ouch — it looks like those big, lengthy Marvel contracts have a bit of a trap door attached to them. And it seems to be something that still stings Howard. Sitting down with Hollywood.com (see below) to chat about “Dead Man Down,” when asked about the worst thing he’s ever personally witnessed, unprompted he joked: “(The) worst thing I witnessed was ‘Iron Man’ killing my career,” he joked. “Or trying to. They tried to.”
Thus far, Marvel has refused to comment, and we’d reckon they won’t start now, but what do you think? Was Howard unfairly bounced or is the series better off with Cheadle anyway?