Marvel has been on such a roll lately that it’s easy to look at the studio in a very positive light. And, indeed, when news recently broke that Don Cheadle would take over Terrence Howard’s role as Jim Rhodes in Iron Man 2, the spin didn’t point to a change of heart on the part of Marvel of director Jon Favreau, but indicated Howard was at fault for requesting an exorbitant pay raise.

That’s not what Howard says. Speaking to NPR’s Scott Simon for Weekend Edition, Howard expresses some disappointment. When Simon brings up the recasting, Howard sighs, “Yeah, I found that out, too.” Granted, most of Terrence Howard’s statements sound like sighs.

Simon: Really? They didn’t…they didn’t…

Howard: It was the surprise of a lifetime. There was no explanation. [The contract] just…up and vanished. I read something in the trades implicating that it was about money or something, but apparently the contracts that we write and sign aren’t worth the paper that they’re printed on, sometimes. Promises aren’t kept, and good faith negotiations aren’t always held up.

That’s a sad thing. And sure, this could be spin, too, but Howard sounds like he means it. (Maybe he’s acting!) The whole interview, available here, is informative and great; the Iron Man 2 comments start at 4:31.

Thanks to Abbot & Prospero for the tip.