Marvel: Earth's Mightiest Blog

Iron Man 3: Terrence Howard reveals why he left Iron Man

The financial and critical success of 'Iron Man' back in 2008 signalled the start for Marvel's dominance of the summer blockbuster market that has occurred for the last 5 years.

With this achievement, the film's stars, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany prepared to return to Tony Stark's world for the inevitable sequels that would follow.

But it turned out that Terrence Howard, who played James "Rhodey" Rhodes in Jon Favreau's high-flying epic, didn't need to, as Don Cheadle was hired to replace him in the role.

It always seemed a little unjust that Howard was booted out of the franchise when he appeared to do nothing wrong.

Rumour and hearsay over the decision intensified after it was never revealed what brought on the change. But now all of this can be put to bed after Howard himself stated why Cheadle usurped him.

"Don and Robert get along well. Initially, they wanted Don for that role, but my agent pushed me in. So I never had any beef with Don about it," noted Howard.

The 'Crash' and 'Hustle & Flow' star also proclaimed the reasoning behind the studio's decision not to honour the renewal of his contract, which would have seen his pay double to around $9 million.

As Howard coldly puts it, "The second time, [the studio] said 'We think the movie will be successful with or without you." Ouch.

It's a shame that it didn't work out between Howard and the Iron Man producers, as he does come across as an affable chap. But in all honesty, they were right, his dismissal didn't stop the sequel from succeeding as it went on to gross almost $50 million more than its predecessor without him.

Of course, it would have been nice for the character to have been portrayed by the same actor throughout the franchise's history, but as is usually the way with Hollywood, money talks. And it didn't hurt the success of Christopher Nolan's Batman saga when the director substituted Katie Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal for 'The Dark Knight.'

Plus, Cheadle has brought a maturity and sternness to Rhodes that was severely lacking in Howard's portrayal, whilst also maintaining the chemistry that exists between him and Stark.

Cheadle will return to the fold alongside Downey Jr., Paltrow as well as Ben Kingsley for Iron Man 3, which will hit UK cinemas on May 3, 2013.

Who is your favourite Rhodes? Cheadle or Howard?