Terrence Howard explained why he did not appear in the second and third instalments of the Iron Man franchise. Howard played Lieutenant Colonel James 'Rhodey' Rhodes in the 2008 Iron Man film.

Terrence Howard
Terrence Howard discussed what happened with Iron Man producers on a chat show.

At the time it was reported that he had left the franchise owing to drastic pay cuts of up to fifty percent, on Thursday (15th November) Howard explained what really happened behind the scenes.

Howard appeared on Watch What Happens Live on Thursday night (14th November) and discussed his role in The Best Man Holiday; appearing on Broadway; and, of course, Iron ManWatch What Happens Live host, Andy Cohen, asked Howard about Iron Man and why he had failed to appear in the sequels. 

Howard claimed it was Robert Downey who deliberately interfered in his removal from future Iron Man projects. He stated "the person that I helped become Iron Man" took the money set to go to Howard in his role as Rhodey. Howard continued by alleging Downey "pushed me out" of the project.

Robert Downey Jr and Don Cheadle
Robert Downey Jr and Don Cheadle, who replaced Howard as James Rhodes A.K.A. War Machine, in Iron Man 3.

The major point of contention appears to be, as initial reports suggested, money. Cohen questioned The Butler actor on rumours which insinuated Howard had demanded the same money as Downey. The 44-year-old actor claims Iron Man producers approached him to do a sequel but offered him "one-eighth" of what they had agreed under contract. Howard had signed a "three-picture deal" which he explained as meaning "you did the deal ahead of time: a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second, a certain amount for the third." 

There appears to be an element of sour grapes in Howard's recollection. The Chicago born actor claimed the producers, who approached him about pay, told him "we think the second one will be successful with or without you." Unfortunately for Howard, Iron Man grossed over $585 million Worldwide whilst the second in the instalment gained over $626 million Worldwide; and Iron Man 3 grossed well over a billion (these box office figures are the latest given on IMDb.)

Producers, at least on this count, were more definitely right.

 Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr allegedly played a part in Howard leaving the Iron Man franchise.

Howard, speaking on the interview, mentioned his relationship with Downey following the incident with producers. Howard contacted Downey who he called "my friend" in a bitter tone, but stated "he [Downey] didn't call me back for three months." This segment of the interview ended when Cohen asked Howard "How are things now with your friend?" To which Howard responded sarcastically, "Oh, I love him. God's going to bless him."

Whatever truly happened between Iron Man producers, Howard and Downey, Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle in the role of Rhodes. 

Howard appeared on the chat show in order to promote his latest movie, The Best Man Holiday. The sequel to the 1999 film follows the group of college friends as they reunite fifteen years later. Howard stars alongside Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut and a host of others. The Best Man Holiday was released in the US yesterday (15th November). Cinema goers in the UK will have to wait until 29th November to see the film. 

Watch the movie trailer for The Best Man Holiday: