Actor Terrence Howard has spoken candidly about his unexpected departure from the Iron Man film franchise, suggesting Robert Downey, Jr. failed to stand up for his co-star when producers were squeezing him out of the lucrative movie series.
The Oscar nominee portrayed Iron Man/Tony Stark's best friend Jim Rhodes in the 2008 original, opposite Downey, Jr. as the Marvel superhero.
However, he was dropped from the cast for the 2010 follow-up and replaced by Don Cheadle, after movie executives allegedly failed to honour his salary for the sequel.
Now Howard has gone further and apparently placed the blame directly on his co-star. He doesn't mention Downey, Jr. by name, but it's clear exactly who the disgruntled star is talking about.
Discussing the franchise fall-out on U.S. talk show Watch What Happens Live on Thursday night (14Nov13), he said, "This is gonna get me in trouble, but who gives a f**k. It turns out that the person that I helped become Iron Man, when it was time to re-up for the second one, took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out...
"We did a three-picture deal. That means you did the deal ahead of time... They came to me with the second (film) 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... Truth be told!"
Asked by host Andy Cohen how relations are now with his "friend", he responded, "Oh, I love him. God's going to bless him."