With the release of Iron Man in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. became an A-list celebrity and launched the most lucrative series in Hollywood history.
In reality, almost everyone involved with the film—from Kevin Feige and Jon Favreau to Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany—has grown to be an essential element of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, one actor felt completely mistreated by Marvel Studios and left the superhero movie with a bad taste in his mouth.
Terrence Howard was chosen to play Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Tony Stark’s sidekick and future War Machine. Rhodey is a stern military officer who serves as Tony’s perennially disgruntled guardian angel.
Initially, Howard appeared like the ideal choice for the role. If things had gone a little bit differently, he might have played a major role in movies like Avengers: Infinity War, but instead of collaborating with Downey on subsequent Marvel productions, Howard was fired before Iron Man 2 had even begun.
What actually happened, then? Why did Marvel Studios fire such a crucial cast member from one of their most well-liked movies? Here are the actual reasons Terrence Howard was let go from Iron Man 2—from bitter money disputes to on-set disputes.
How Much Did Terrence Howard Make From Iron Man?
The middle of the 2000s saw Howard at the height of his fame. He delivered an Oscar-nominated portrayal as a pimp-turned-hip hop artist in Hustle and or Flow just 3 years before Iron Man hit theatres. Howard appeared in Crash, the Best Picture winner, a year earlier.
As a result, Marvel offered him a significant salary, reportedly between $3.5 and $4.5 million, after deciding he was the appropriate choice for the role of Rhodey.
Howard became the very first actor contracted for the film and indeed the highest-paid performer overall because Downey only made $2.5 million, claims Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Fritz (via Business Insider).
Fans Think Terrence Howard Left MCU To Become Real Iron Man
Since Howard professed to have rewritten physics as part of his scheme to introduce a new type of aviation to Uganda, people have speculated that the real reason he left the MCU and jumped ship is that he aspires to become Iron Man in real life. No, I mean it.
As you can expect, fans of the MCU are having a great time in the responses and comments by joking that Howard, rather than the stoic James Rhodes, has hilariously ended out to be a cross among Obadiah Stane & Justin Hammer.
If the 53-year-old keeps his word, we’ll happily eat as many shoes as we can, but we’re not exactly sure he’s the one to completely upend science as we know it.