During an amusing scene in Iron Man, James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes, played by Terrence Howard, looked at the Silver Mark II and whispered to himself, ‘Next time, baby.’ Unfortunately for Howard, that prophesy didn’t materialize, for the news that he had been replaced by Don Cheadle shocked fans of the mega-successful movie that made a whopping $318 million domestically.
Stories have abounded why the actor was fired, from his asking for too much money to director Jon Faveau not liking his performance in the original. Iron Man 2 began production in March for a May 7, 2010 release. I spoke with Terrence Howard at the press conference for Fighting, and the subject of Iron Man 2 came up.
I know the fans of Iron Man were looking forward to seeing you continue in the role of Rhodey, what happened with that?
Iron Man happened with that, Marvel happened with it. They took it and made a very, very bad choice, [in my opinion] they didn’t keep their word; they didn’t honor our contract. They sent everyone out into a field and told them to work and produced a great bounty. And you produce a great bounty and then when it’s all in the storehouse you’re not allowed in to the storehouse.
There were rumors that they pulled the same thing with Samuel Jackson.
They did the same thing with Gwyneth [Paltrow], from what I’ve been told, they did it with almost everyone I think except [Robert] Downey. But one of the things that actors need to learn to do is take a tip from friends, you always choose to stick together, one for all and all for one, Our Gang, let Spanky be our rule.
Did it teach you a lesson about the politics of Hollywood film-making?
Yeah, make sure your Ts are crossed twice.
Are you kind of dangerous to them now? You know their plans for the trilogy, you could tell people?
No, when someone does something wrong, you don’t have to get them back. Everything right will return the favor for you.
Oh my goodness.
I hope I never get on your bad side
No, I’m on the side of Right, so as long as you keep trying to do what’s right, and you make your mistakes along the way and accept the consequences of your mistakes, you’ll keep surviving.
Are you looking forward to seeing Iron Man 2?
Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to it. I want to see what happens with that. I want to see Don Cheadle become me. I want him to be better than me, that’s what I really want to see; and I think he can. Don Cheadle is the reason I got on Crash, he was one of the producers on Crash and he called and got me in there, so Don has been good to me, he’s given me the greatest gift that I could ever imagine having, Don gave me that, so anything I have I’ll share with him! [he laughs]