By now you’ve probably heard that there won’t be a “next time, baby,” for Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2. Now we know why, a bout over the Benjamins and bad behavior.
Everything seemed to be set for Terrence Howard to receive an expanded role in Iron Man 2 as Colonel Jim Rhodes. The character even gave us the heads up with a quick one-liner in the original. But as negotiations began for Iron Man 2 things rumors started flying that the relationship between Howard and Marvel Studios were starting to fall apart. Now it seems, according to EW.com, that there were cracks in the foundation long before that.
To understand the tangled web behind Howard’s dismissal it is important to note that he received a larger contract that anyone on Iron Man. Howard was the first actor signed and the highest paid. How Howard made more money than central characters like, oh, Robert Downey Jr. is beyond me. But it happened and once the ball got rolling it was too late to change his contract.
Many Hollywood insiders have claimed that the dropping of Howard, who was replaced with Don Cheadle, largely came from his frustrating behavior on the set of Iron Man. It’s also been reported that Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man, and his producers were extremely unhappy with Howard’s performance, often having to spend lengthy time periods editing and reshooting his particular scenes.
Due the difficulty they had with Howard as an actor, Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux found themselves cutting back on Rhodes’ storyline as they fleshed out the script for the sequel. When Marvel noticed they were cutting back on Howard’s involvement they went to his agent and asked him to take a revised salary similar to the supporting characters in the original. Howard’s agents were shocked by the pay cut, which is estimated at 50-80 percent of what Howard got in Iron Man, and questioned the reasoning behind it. Marvel never told Howard’s agents that they took issue with his on-set behavior.
It’s amazing to me that Howard’s contract couldn’t have been worked out for Iron Man 2. The film is going to rake in the dough so you think there would be enough of the cabbage to go around. Having said that, this is Hollywood, the and where only egos overshadow salaries.
I am a bit disappointed that Howard won’t be in the sequel. I have always been impressed with his work and his uptight attitude as Col. Rhodes played well off of the cockiness of Tony Stark. Still, I have no doubt that Don Cheadle, one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, can do the job. I just hope this won’t sour the relationship between any other co-stars. But, as they say, business is business … even for superhero sidekicks.