NEW YORK - APRIL 28:  Actors Terrence Howard and Robert Downey Jr. arrive at the "Iron Man" Screening Hosted by The Cinema Society and Michael Kors at the Tribeca Grand Screening Room on April 28, 2008 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
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Iron Man Caused A Years-Long Feud Between Robert Downey Jr. And Terrence Howard
When Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as War Machine aka James "Rhodey" Rhodes in “Iron Man 2,” it wouldn’t have been surprising if Howard felt some bitterness toward his successor. However, it wasn’t Cheadle that Howard was angry at; instead, he held a grudge against Robert Downey Jr.
Howard had originally signed a three-picture deal with a payday of $8 million per film, but Marvel offered him an eighth of that amount for the sequel. While there were reports from the first movie about his difficult behavior and director Jon Favreau’s displeasure with his performance, Howard claimed that the studio told him “the second one will be successful with or without you.”
Howard said that he reached out to Downey Jr. for help not only because he considered him a friend, but also because he believed Downey Jr. owed him a favor. Over the years, the actor has claimed that when the studio was reluctant to cast Downey Jr. due to his past struggles with addiction, it was Howard that vouched for him and even took a $1 million pay cut to ensure his casting.
According to Howard, despite calling and leaving messages multiple times for Downey Jr. and his assistants, he did not hear back from him for three months. He expressed his sense of betrayal, saying, “[Downey] 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 not surprising Howard would feel this way about missing out on the MCU pie, especially since Cheadle went on to not only star in the third “Iron Man,” but multiple films in the franchise. Fortunately, it seems the two have since mended fences as Howard posted a picture on Instagram of the two of them at a friend's wedding with the caption, “Nice to see my old friend again. #lifestooshort #allgood."