Terrence Howard has spoken out publicly for the first time since learning his part in the “Iron Man” sequel had been recast.
In a new interview with National Public Radio, Howard admitted he was shocked when he heard the studio had replaced him with Don Cheadle.
“It was the surprise of a lifetime,” Howard told NPR.
Last week, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Cheadle would step into the role of Jim Rhodes in the follow up to the summer blockbuster, starring Robert Downey Jr.
The decision to go another way with the character, who later becomes fellow armored superhero War Machine, was reportedly based on financial differences between Howard and the studio.
But, if that’s the case, it was news to Howard.
“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,” Howard continued in his interview with NPR. “Promises aren’t kept, and good faith negotiations aren’t always held up… (The contract) just… up and vanished.”
In an interview with Access Hollywood earlier this year to promote the original theatrical release of “Iron Man,” Howard shared his enthusiasm about the sequel and a possible spin-off for his character.
“I’ve never been a part of a big budget film before. Knowing that I can now, like Gwyneth Paltrow, do 10 independent films over the next five years, because guess what, perhaps I’ve got a three-picture deal,” Howard told Access. “I’ve never had a three-picture deal, where I’m going to make ‘X’ amount of money in two years, and two years from that make ‘X’ amount of money and maybe have my own spin-off as War Machine.”
While Howard may be out, the rest of the film’s major players are expected to be back for the sequel — Robert Downey, Jr. will return as Tony Stark/Iron Man; Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Stark’s right-hand woman Pepper Potts; and Jon Favreau will once again direct the film.