Terrence Howard has been very vocal about his dismissal from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in recent years. After appearing in the original Iron Man, he was replaced by Don Cheadle for Iron Man 2. Apparently, he didn’t realize that the contract wasn’t “mutually binding” and that Marvel, despite making a multi-picture deal with him, still had the final say on whether they would bring him back or not.
For Iron Man 2, Howard was set to earn $8 million, which is a huge bump over the $4.5 million that he earned for the first one. Unfortunately for him though, Robert Downey Jr. got a bit greedy and took the money that was supposed to go to Howard.
“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 said.
“We did a three-picture deal. That means you did the deal ahead of time—a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second, a certain amount for the third. They came to me with the second and said ‘look, 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.’ And I called my friend, that I helped get the first job, and he didn’t call me back for three months,” Howard added.
While this whole debacle took place five years ago, it’s easy to see why Howard is still a bit bitter about it. I mean, his career certainly isn’t what it once was. He went from earning an Oscar nom for Hustle and Flow and co-starring in a huge blockbuster like Iron Man to appearing in some pretty crummy projects like The Ledge, Winnie Mandela and Red Tails.
Perhaps this has to due with the fact that, according to rumors, he’s difficult to get along with on set and sometimes exhibits bizarre behaviour. If true, this could be one of the reasons Marvel cut him in the first place. We’ll likely never know the full story but either way, it’s unfortunate to see Howard fall so far when he was once such a promising talent.
That being said, he does appear to be making a bit of a comeback now, what with his roles in Prisoners and The Butler, so perhaps things will start looking up again for Terrence Howard.