Terrence Howard blamed Robert Downey, Jr. for his exit from the Iron Man franchise during an interview this week. Howard originated the role of James Rhodes in the first movie only to be replaced by Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2 and other subsequent films.
"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," Howard told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live. "We did a three-picture deal. So that means, you did the deal ahead of time. It was going to be a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second, certain amount for the third."
While Howard did not mention Downey, Jr. by name, it seems obvious he's referring to the Iron Man star. The Best Man Holiday star then implied that producers took some of the money that was supposed to go to him and gave it to Downey, Jr. instead.
'"They came to me [for] the second 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,"' Howard continued. "And I called my friend that I helped get the first job, and he didn't call me back for three months."
And when asked about his relationship with Downey, Jr. today, Howard threw shade once again."Oh, I love him," Howard said dryly. "God's gonna bless him."
Watch Terrence Howard diss Robert Downey, Jr. in the video below.
There may be more to this story of Terrence Howard's exit from Iron Man. EW.com reported in 2008 that Howard was actually the highest-paid actor in the first film, earning even more than Robert Downey, Jr. The website also claimed producers had to reshoot a lot of his scenes. So when director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux started planning the script for Iron Man 2, they gave Howard's character a lesser role. Marvel, in turn, reduced Howard's contract offer to one closer to what the other supporting actors were making. His agents rejected the new deal, which would have cut Howard's salary by somewhere between 50 and 80 percent.
Either way, it sounds like Terrence Howard regrets leaving Iron Man. In a Hollywood.com interview earlier this year, Howard blamed his exit from the popular franchise for "killing" his career.
Watch Terrence Howard lament his exit from Iron Man (fast-forward to 1:35 mark).