Terrence Howard Helping RDJ to Get Iron Man Role Had Cost Him $100 Million

Terrence Howard Helping RDJ to Get Iron Man Role Had Cost Him $100 Million
Image credit: Legion-Media

Robert Downey Jr. is undoubtedly the biggest asset of the MCU, even if he is not actually in it anymore. But in 2008, when he was cast to play Iron Man in the new franchise, not everyone was convinced he was right for the role with Marvel reportedly refusing to cast him at all costs.

Both the actor and the studio benefited in the end — Marvel has built a profitable franchise and the actor has become one of the highest-paid movie stars in the world.

Reportedly, the Iron Man actor has made over $100 million playing the character for eleven years. He is now the highest-paid actor under the Marvel Studios. According to a ScreenRant report, the actor received a total of $75 million for Avengers: Endgame, including $20 million upfront and a percentage of the box office earnings.

But there is someone in the film industry who thinks that money belongs to him and would like it back, please.

RDJ Makes It Very Clear Where He Stands on Iron Man's Comeback

When Robert Downey Jr. was cast for the leading role in the very first Iron Man film he was the last actor to join the crew. Terrence Howard, an Oscar-nominated actor famous for his turns in Hustle & Flow and Crash was signed long before that to portray Col. James Rhodes. He was offered a hefty paycheck — somewhere between $3.5 and $4.5 million, which was almost two times more than Downey was paid. And he was supposed to get even more for the next two movies he signed for. Except he didn't, because he was replaced by Don Cheadle.

There've been multiple rumors about why exactly Terrence Howard had to live the Iron Man franchise. According to Entertainment Weekly, Howard exhibited "difficult behavior" on set, and Marvel was not all that happy with his performance. But the main reason was the money. He signed on early to the first film and got a big paycheck that couldn't be renegotiated once other stars — Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges — signed on. It was easier to let him go once Marvel realized that the movie will work just as well without him.

As the years passed Howard expressed his disappointment multiply times. In 2013 while appearing as a guest on the Bravo TV chat show Watch What Happens: Live Howard directly accused Downey of sabotaging his return to the Iron Man role.

"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."

It may be the case that during the first Iron Man, Howard willingly settled for a meager payment just to make room for Downey – who Marvel was initially reluctant to hire. But the only source for this story would be Howard himself. His math would be that the $100 million earned by Downey Jr in his years as the Iron Man was supposed to be his. In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone he said:

"…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."

Fans can argue with that. But truth be told, seeing someone trying to claim RDJ's hard-earned money is more fun than scandalous.