Terrence Howard explains Iron Man departure

Says the studio wanted Don Cheadle initially

Terrence Howard did a bang-up job portraying James “Rhodey” Rhodes in the first Iron Man  film before being subbed out for Don Cheadle in the sequel, a move that Howard has now shed further light on.

According to Howard, the studio had always been keen on Cheadle for the role.

“Don [Cheadle] and Robert [Downey Jr.] get along well,” said Howard of the casting process for the first film. “Initially, they wanted Don for that role, but my agent pushed me in. So I never had any beef with Don about it."

On the subject of his deal, Howard explained: “[I was paid] about $4.5m [for the first film],” said Howard. “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 honour it or not.”

Which sounds pretty reasonable on Howard’s part. It's a shame that the move resulted in an inconsistency in the Iron Man universe, but thanks to the aforementioned chemistry between Cheadle and RDJ, it was a pretty smooth transition. Howard also added that the shift allowed him to go off complete his doctorate in Chemical Engineering.

In any case, Cheadle will star alongside Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Kingsley when Iron Man 3 opens in the UK on 3 May 2013.

Would you have preferred Howard to stay in the role? Tell us, below!


    • philipjamesd

      Mar 18th 2013, 11:57

      4.5million for about 5minutes screen time in the first film. Wow. Crazy money!

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    • SiMan

      Mar 18th 2013, 13:38

      Yeah, he could have got an extra $7m and was probably right not to do it, but whenever he sees Cheadle in the suit i bet he regrets it. Bet it is awesome just to be on set in the armour.

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    • LSJShez

      Mar 18th 2013, 14:54

      It's nice of Howard to be so civil about it. I liked him in the first film, and thought he and RDJ looked like genuine friends. Nothing against Cheadle, but whenever I watch part 2, he always looks shoehorned in.

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    • Ali1748

      Mar 18th 2013, 16:43

      Howard is a really interesting guy I watched an interview not so long ago where he talked about getting a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering, he's got his own company that makes his own diamonds.

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    • fblee

      Mar 18th 2013, 17:38

      So, Don Cheadle got paid a million or less for this role then? Classic Studio Politics! ;)

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    • 06896

      Mar 18th 2013, 18:35

      I am suspicious, as this completely glazes over the (many) reports that he was behaving badly and being unprofessional both on and off camera. I suspect they only offered him $1m for IM2 because they weren't too fussed about whether he returned after all his reported shenanigans while filming IM1.

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    • JazzMan

      Mar 18th 2013, 18:40

      Cheadle is better at being a buddy and convey humor. Howard needs to work on lightening things up. Maybe he should try a couple of comedies or a romantic lead to develop a less edgier side.

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    • FBPWood25

      Mar 19th 2013, 2:13

      Well Terrence was too hard to look at. He can't really act. Even tho he is good looking. But Cheadle is funny, a cool dude. I like him in Rush Hour, too. I think Cheadle did a good job in Iron Man II, he was believeable. Many people laughed and get it. His character really match to RDJ's character in Iron Man. Howard needs to stick to movie like CRASH and other drama films, because he is really good in that. Let Cheadle do all the action film.

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    • saywhat

      Mar 19th 2013, 2:36

      I have no idea where you got that Terrence Howard got his doctorate in Chemical Engineering (unless it's a joke that's gone over my head) but I'm fairly certain he never even finished is Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering from Pratt because he got into acting, 3 credits left to complete his degree. Fact check? Did Terrence lie?

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    • mattburgess

      Mar 19th 2013, 8:56

      PWood25 - um... Wasn't that Chris Rock in Rush Hour? Or did you mean 'Rush Hour 2'

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    • Ali1748

      Mar 19th 2013, 9:07

      saywhat- Terrence talked about it on The Jimmy Kimmel Show when he was promoting Dead Man Down, the interview is on youtube.

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    • ilikescifi

      Mar 19th 2013, 13:07

      Cheadle is obviously cheaper

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    • TheDigitalZombi

      Mar 20th 2013, 12:37

      You know that bit in Iron Man when Rhodey is introducing Tony Stark and he says something along the lines of "...a genius, a pioneer and I'm proud to say also my friend..." Am I the only one who thinks it sounds as though he's really about to say "...also my lover"? No? Just me then.

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