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Terrence Howard says Robert Downey Jr. 'took the money,' 'pushed' him out of 'Iron Man'

"Iron Man" fans who've long wondered why the part of Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes went from Terrence Howard in the first film to Don Cheadle in the sequels finally know the answer — or at least one side's version of the answer.

On Thursday night's "Watch What Happens Live," Howard was asked about the role reversal.

"It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man ... when it was time to re-up for the second one, (he) took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out," Howard told host Andy Cohen.

Though Howard avoided naming names, "the person" who became Iron Man, was, of course, leading man Robert Downey Jr.  

"We did a three-picture deal, so that means that you did the deal ahead of time," Howard continued. "It was going to be a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second one, a certain amount for the third. They came to me with the second and said, 'Look, we will pay you one-eighth of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you.' And I called my friend — that I helped get the first job — and he didn't call me back for three months."

Showbizcafe.com's Jack Rico stopped by TODAY Friday morning and gave a little more info about the off-screen drama on "Iron Man."

"(Howard) was getting paid $4.5 million for the first 'Iron Man,'" Rico revealed. "The second one was supposed to be $8 million, so what he's saying is that Robert didn't really help him out here."

The renegotiated amount of $1 million just wasn't enough for Howard, but he claims he has no hard feelings toward his old friend.

"Oh, I love him," he said without a trace of a smile. "God's going to bless him."