According to Howard, both he and Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man) were signed on for 3 film contract with the salary increasing for each consecutive film. But after the success of the original film Howard was dropped for the second and replaced by Don Cheadle. According to Howard he was supposed to earn $8m for Iron Man 2 which is a huge increase on the $3.5m he received for the first movie, but Marvel only offered him $1m, with the excess going to RDJ.
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.
I can understand the frustration from Howard but there is always 2 sides to a story. Howard has long had a reputation for “being difficult” to work with and has even admitted this himself. According to the New York Post, industry insiders have described Howard as a “hothead” and someone who “has to be in control of everything, all the time.”
It has also been said that Director Jon Favreau, was not crazy about Howard’s performance and spent a lot of time re-shooting Howard’s scenes before spending even more time, cutting in the editing room. Because of this, when it came to Iron Man 2, the creative team wanted to cut back on the character and that’s when things got financial. Sources suggest that Howard had no idea of the feelings regarding his behaviour and he described the move as the “shock of a lifetime” and his stint with Marvel came to an end.
With Howard gone Marvel knew exactly who they wanted to continue the role. Don Cheadle. It turns out that Cheadle was almost cast for the first film.
I met very early on for the first film with Jon (favreau) and the team … and i guess there was a split – some people Terrence … some people me.” Cheadle told mtv news
Well whatever the real reasons behind it all I’m personally happy with the outcome. Cheadle brings a little more lightheartedness to the role and has really made the character his own.
It will be interesting to see what’s in store for War-Machine as the MCU continues to grow.