‘Called him at least 17 times that day and 21 the next’: Iron Man Star Terrence Howard Claimed Robert Downey Jr Owes Him $100M, Said He Let it Go Because “It’s his nature”

Iron Man Star Terrence Howard Claimed Robert Downey Jr Owes Him $100M
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The first Iron Man film featured Terrence Howard in the role that is now embodied by Don Cheadle in the MCU. When the recasting scenario initially took place, not much surrounding the nitty-gritty of the occurrence was revealed. While Howard did express his frustrations initially, more bewildering details were unearthed in the later years.

Terrence Howard and Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man
Terrence Howard and Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man

Read also: “I have four words for Marvel – F—k you, call Robert”: Robert Downey Jr Nearly Quit $50M Iron Man Role For Massive Pay Disparity, Stood Up for Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson

The matter seemed to have raised several claims made against Robert Downey Jr., the ever-so-accomplished MCU star. While Downey Jr. has denied the statements that were made against him, Howard did not quite let go of his grudges until much later on when he decided to call quits on the feud and allowed himself to let the bygones be bygones.


Terrence Howard’s Frustrations With The Iron Man Recasting

Terrence Howard as Colonel James Rhodes
Terrence Howard as Colonel James Rhodes in Iron Man

In the first film, we saw a sequence where Terrence Howard, as Rhodey, looks at the Mark II suit and says, “Next time, baby”, which foreshadowed him taking up the War Machine moniker in the next film. Unfortunately, that line became infamous as it never comes to fruition. Not for Howard, at least. With Don Cheadle replacing the Empire star for the prominent role, there was no “next time.”

The recasting had intrigued a few people when it took place. With some wondering about the reasons behind such a seemingly drastic step, the former MCU alum addressed his frustrations while talking to National Public Radio about the situation. As one would guess, the actor was shocked. He had the following to say:

“…The contracts that we write and sign aren’t worth the paper that they’re printed on, sometimes. Promises aren’t kept, and good faith negotiations aren’t always held up… [The contract] just – up and vanished.”

Terrence Howard was frustrated
Terrence Howard was frustrated

Therefore, as alleged by the Prisoners actor, certain promises that were made to him ended up being broken. More statements were soon to follow up in the coming years. While several media insiders affirmed that the primary reason behind the change in attitude by Marvel Studios was caused by the difficult behavior that Howard seemed to possess, more details would reveal an entirely different story.


How Iron Man Actor Robert Downey Jr. Came Into The Picture

Robert Downey Jr. In Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Robert Downey Jr. In Avengers: Endgame (2019)

In 2013, while making an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Terrence Howard gave further insight into what had happened that led Marvel into taking the controversial step. Initially, the former MCU actor was the highest paid out of everyone involved in the first Iron Man. It was much more than what lead star Robert Downey Jr. was given at that time.

According to Howard, Marvel had agreed upon a three-picture deal. This agreement was struck way ahead of time. The Hustle & Flow star described it in the following manner:

“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, a certain amount for the third.”

Allegedly, the studio had gone against what was stated in the contract. When it came to Iron Man 2, Marvel alleged that the second film would do better “with or without” Howard. Therefore, deviating from what was promised, the actor was only offered “one-eighth” of the total sum that was contractually agreed upon.

Terrence Howard
Terrence Howard

Read also: “It was almost like robbery”: Paul Bettany Reveals Working on Iron Man Was Too Easy, Got Paid Huge Money For Just 2 Hours of Work

Howard then pointed out that a friend he had helped previously, did not come to his saving when he needed it the most. Here’s the allusion he made that clearly shifted the blame to Robert Downey Jr., his former co-star:

“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 … I called my friend, that I helped get the first job, and he didn’t call me back for three months.”

It is believed that during the first Iron Man, Howard willingly settled for a meager payment just to make room for Downey – who Marvel was initially reluctant to hire. This is the help that was offered by the Empire star. When it was his turn to ask back for a favor, the biggest name in the MCU franchise, as alleged by Howard, did not come to his rescue.


The matter was far from finished.

Terrence Howard Claimed That He Constantly Asked For Help

Terrence Howard wanted to look out for Robert Downey Jr.
Terrence Howard wanted to look out for Robert Downey Jr.

In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, the audience received a more closer look at what happened. A big bold claim was made by Terrence Howard which had some serious implications. He firstly started off the story by saying that he called “Robby” many a time while the negotiations were taking place. This is how he recalled the situation:

“I called Robby and was like, ‘Look, man…’ Leaving messages with his assistants, called him at least 17 times that day and 21 the next and finally left a message saying, ‘Look, man, I need the help that I gave you.”

He went on to say that despite his numerous efforts, the Sherlock Holmes alum did not reach back to him. The former MCU talent emphasized that it was Downey Jr. who then ended up getting the money that Howard was supposed to get.

Terrence Howard faked their retirement
Terrence Howard faced a $100 million loss

Read also: ‘They are so pissed. I can’t believe it’: Robert Downey Jr. Hinted He Quit Iron Man Role Because Marvel Was Furious He Made an Astronomical Salary

He claimed:

“…Guess who got the millions I was supposed to get? He got the whole franchise, so I’ve actually given him $100 million, which ends up being a $100 million loss for me from me trying to look after somebody, but, you know, to this day I would do the same thing. It’s just my nature.”

While this interview received bizarre reception, things seemingly calmed down in 2017 when the two parties involved buried the hatchet. Speaking to Andy Cohen, Howard elaborated on the transient nature of life. “We both realized life’s too short,” said the Prisoners alum.

Letting go of the past
Letting go of the past

The actor also owned up to his mistake and it can be ascertained that the two have moved on ever since – having other important things in life to worry about. While Terrence Howard could not earn his “next time” as the War Machine in Iron Man 2 and the other films that came after it, Don Cheadle is gearing up for his much-awaited MCU solo film that will soon see its fruition.

Armor Wars will proceed to go under production sometime in 2023.

Source: Rolling Stone


Written by Debdipta Bhattacharya

Articles Published: 659

Debdipta Bhattacharya is a content writer at FandomWire, where she has written more than 500 articles on various topics of interest. She possesses a sincere passion for popular culture, anime, film production, and the evolving world of YouTube and streaming culture which has allowed her to be a devoted and well-informed writer. Debdipta holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. She has honed her skills and expertise in content writing with over two years of experience and strives to learn and grow daily.