Terrence Howard Says Robert Downey Jr. Not Helping Him After ‘Iron Man’ Recast 'Broke Me a Little Bit’

Howard claimed he helped Downey Jr. get the role of Tony Stark and expected him to help in a similar manner.

(Photo by Jim Spellman / WireImage)

Terrence Howard revealed that he felt betrayed by Robert Downey Jr. when his role as James "Rhodey" Rhodes was recast and given to Don Cheadle following the release of the first Iron Man film.

During his appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, Howard reflected on his time filming Iron Man and claimed he pushed for Downey Jr. to be cast as the lead role of Tony Stark/Iron Man. According to Howard, he asked the film's producer, Avi Arad, to take one million out of the $4.5 million he was getting and use to cast Downey Jr.  

"I love Robert. I love what he does. I loved him in Weird Science. Well if Robert wants to come in… So I called Avi Arad immediately. He was the producer on it and I'm like, 'Avi, I hear Robert wants to come in but you guys don't even let him audition,'" Howard said in the podcast. "He's like, 'No we can't bond him.' I'm like, 'Instead of the four and a half you want to give me why don't you take a million dollars for the bond for him and let him audition.' So he gets the part. Robert is like, 'I love you. Thank you so much.'"

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Things went left as Marvel Studios decided to go in a new direction for Iron Man 2 and had Cheadle take Howard's role from the first film. Howard stated he reached out to Downey Jr. to fix the issue but claimed he couldn't get a hold of him. 

"When this other thing happened, I'm calling Robert and he's doing Sherlock Homes," Howard continued. "I called him 27 times and I leave a message. I'm calling his assistant. I'm like, 'I need the help I gave you.' I didn't hear from him until three years later when I bumped into him at Brian Grazer's wedding. But at that time I'd had Empire or whatever and I came back he was like, 'Oh but everything worked out for you.' That broke me a little bit."

According to Howard, his initial contract had him signed up for $8 million three-movie deal but Marvel Studios wanted lower the price to $1 million. Howard's agent wasn't having it and berated Marvel Studios while hanging up the phone on them while discussing the new deal. Marvel went another route following the meeting. 

"They said, 'We want Terrence but we want him to come back for a million dollars, instead of the 8 million that we had agreed to.' My agent had an emotional reaction to a business decision and he said, 'F-you', and hung up the phone," Howard said. "Immediately, they go to Don Cheadle. But instead of just doing that they had to spend, 'Oh, he was terrible on set,' and all of these things and went through all this stuff."

Downey Jr. has been known to stand up for his fellow thespians. In 2013, Deadline reported the actor received a $50 million payout from Marvel Studios while his castmates barely cracked $200,000. According to Deadline, Downey Jr. threatened to leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe if contracts were made fair for every actor and actress involved. 

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