As we reported last week, Terrence Howard is reportedly being replaced as Jim Rhodes in Iron Man 2 by Don Cheadle. The Hollywood Reporter inferred that Howard was asking for more money to come back to the role and instead of meeting his demands, he was simply replaced. The awkward part? The news apparently came to Howard the same way it came to the rest of us.
“It was the surprise of a lifetime,” Terrence tells NPR, sounding none too pleased. “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.”
[From OK! Magazine]
At first glance, one might think that was bad form on the part of Marvel Studios. There are some things you really should discuss personally with people, and axing them from a plum role in a blockbuster movie is probably one of them. But Marvel Studios President of Production, Kevin Fleige, says not so fast.
“As is the policy with most people, when you talk about dotting I’s and crossing T’s, certainly that isn’t the case yet on a number of things we’re doing,” he says. “But that [Hollywood Reporter story] was not an announcement. That was, as it tends to happen in the business, is rumors and leaks and things like that. I do think there will be clarity soon.”
[From OK! Magazine]
In other words, someone at Marvel Studios told The Hollywood Reporter before they told Terrance Howard. Either way, it lacked professionalism and Howard has the right to be a little pissed off. No one enjoys it when the rest of the office sees their getting a pink slip before they even know they’re getting fired, in this case the office is the whole movie-going public and the pink slip is an article in an industry publication.
Terrence Howard is shown performing in NY on 8/21/08. Don Cheadle is shown outside The Late Show on 8/26/08. Credit: Bauergriffinonline.com. Cheadle is also shown golfing at “Kiki’s 1st Annual Celebrity Golf Challenge Presented by ALIZE” in Tarzana, CA on 10/13/08.