When Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man co-star Terrence Howard called him to repay $100M favour: ‘Never heard from him’
Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man co-star Terrence Howard was replaced in the role of War Machine for the sequel, after refusing to agree to a pay-cut for the second film. Howard was reportedly the top-paid actor on Iron Man, because Marvel considered hiring Downey a risk.
As the story goes, Howard took a $1 million pay-cut for the first Iron Man, just so that Downey could be hired. But as he has said on numerous occasions since, when the time came for Downey to repay the favour and bat for Howard when they were renegotiating their contracts for the sequel, Howard was ignored.
In a 2015 Rolling Stone profile, Howard said, “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’. Never heard from him.”
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He continued, “And 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.”
In a 2013 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Howard had said, “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. 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.”
Downey in a 2008 interview to MTV had said, “I had nothing to do with that decision. I love Terrence very, very much. That’s all I’ll say, because I haven’t talked to him yet … It’s one of those situations where I still don’t quite know what happened or why. Here’s what happens, too: things happen and you wind up commenting on them before you’ve actually talked to the people and it’s in poor taste.”
Howard told Rolling Stone that when he was told about his new contract, his agent said ‘f**k you’ and put the phone down. Don Cheadle was hired has Howard’s replacement in 24 hours, and has played War Machine ever since.
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