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Original War Machine star Terrence Howard blames Robert Downey Jr for firing

Original War Machine has a crystal clear message for former employers, Marvel: “f-ck em.”

Avengers Infinity War Updated: Sep 29, 2018 17:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Robert Downey Jr,Terrence Howard,War Machine
Terrence Howard and Robert Downey Jr in a still from Iron Man.

While Don Cheadle has firmly established himself in the role of War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Terrence Howard, who played the character in one film — 2010’s Iron Man 2 — has minced no words in his dismissal of Marvel.

Asked about the possibility of a solo War Machine movie post Avengers 4, which he believes could make for a ‘huge franchise’, Howard said that although he loves Cheadle, his feelings for Marvel are clear: “f-ck em.”

Howard told Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, “You know what’s so funny? Even though I love Don Cheadle so much and I love what he’s done, I still hear a lot of fans asking, ‘Am I going to come back and be War Machine? Am I going to come back and be War Machine?’”

Cohen’s other guest on the show, supermodel Elle Macpherson, seemed shocked by Howard’s candour. “Wow, the message is loud and clear.”

Howard departed the MCU after the huge box office and critical success of Iron Man in 2008. But he has long maintained that the disagreements were about nothing other than a pay hike. He had said previously that Downey was offered a massive pay rise for the sequel, and he had the option to divide it among the cast, but Downey chose to keep most of it for himself. The irony was that Howard claims that he was the one who batted for Downey to get the part in the first place.

“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 had said on the same show in 2013. “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.”

Director Jon Favreau has been vocal about the difficulty he had in convincing Marvel that Downey was the right man for the job — the actor was emerging from a battle with drug addiction and facing a stagnant career.

Howard currently stars on the hit show Empire, while the MCU has become the most successful film franchise in history in the decade since Iron Man.

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First Published: Sep 29, 2018 17:16 IST