While the exact nature of Terrence Howard's dismissal from "Iron Man 2” in favor of Don Cheadle for the role of Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes continues to be mired in speculation and "he said/she said's" between Howard's reps and Marvel execs, this morning, Entertainment Weekly has posted the latest possible clues in the ongoing fiasco.
While many a Hollywood insider assumed that it was Howard's notorious, behind-the-scenes behavior issues that ultimately sank his chances of joining up with director Jon Favreau and "Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr. for the guaranteed blockbuster sequel, according to the EW story, that was only a very small piece of the still-being-put-together puzzle. Rather, and not all that surprisingly, it all came down to money -- as EW reports that Howard was "the first actor signed to the film and, on top of that, was the highest-paid. That's right: more than Gwyneth Paltrow. More than Jeff Bridges. More than Robert Downey Jr."
The report goes on to state that Favreau and the film's producers were ultimately unhappy with Howard's performance in the film, and spent hours reshooting and cutting his scenes from the film (neither Favreau nor his reps had any comment regarding these reports). Because of this, when Favreau and fellow "Iron Man 2" screenwriter Justin Theroux began work on the next film's script, Howard's role as Tony Stark's right hand man was severely cut back, therefore giving Marvel execs ample excuse to cut Howard's pay (EW reports by as much as 50-80%). It is still unclear as to whether or not Howard's people walked away from the deal, or Marvel heads simply decided to cut ties rather than get involved in what was sure to be a lengthy and problematic negotiation process.
Keep it locked to Splash Page for more on this developing story.
So, Splash Pagers -- who do YOU believe in the Howard vs. Marvel dilemma? Chose a side and state your case in the comments.