3_17_terrenceDon Cheadle’s a fine actor, but that doesn’t mean I’m not remiss to Terrence Howard’s departure from Iron Man 2 in 2009. Cheadle turned out fine in what was a pretty lacking effort, and yet Howard’s presence was still sorely missed. Howard was just a better, cooler Jim Rhodes and, in truth, had much better on-screen chemistry with series star Robert Downey Jr.

Howard’s career and personal life have taken some hits in the years since Iron Man, a film in which he was the highest paid among the cast. After a public divorce, a divergence into an ill-timed music career, and Red Tails, Howard seems to now be righting the course somewhat appearing in projects like Dead Man Down. After years of taking the high-road, he’s speaking more honestly about his leaving what’s proven to be a rather lucrative franchise. Surprise, surprise: Marvel’s stinginess played a part. Via Sway in the Wind

“[I was paid] about $4.5m [for the first film],” said Howard. “The second time, [the studio] said ‘We think the movie will be successful with or without you. So, instead of the $8m that we said we were gonna pay you, we’re going to let you come back for a million dollars.’

“We did a three-picture deal already, [but] I forgot, I didn’t know it wasn’t a mutually binding contract; it was only beneficial for them and they could bring me back or not. They can honour it or not.”

He goes on to take a more aggressive tact with the Huff Post, revealing a hint of bitterness in the process: 

“Worst thing I witnessed was ‘Iron Man’ killing my career,” Howard said with a laugh when questioned by Hollywood.com about the worst thing he ever saw.

“I chose not to fight back, not to deal with the allegations, but to continue forward and do what I had to do. I had to start all over: went from making $6 million a movie, back to $60 thousand a movie. But as long as you don’t give up you are able … I’ll make $20 million soon. Because I have learned the lessons of yesterday.”

It all worked out from Marvel’s perspective, and it’s pretty revealing that Howard was the hottest commodity among the cast back in 2008. One senses there’s still some ugliness on Howard’s part, and it’s a shame to see the career of a talented actor fall into a slump like Howard’s has. One wonders if the coming onslaught of Iron Man 3 hasn’t dredged up some this negativity. Still, it’s not all bad. All of this Iron Man tomfoolery led me to discovering this little ditty of awesome sauce:

Via Total Film.