We've heard about Terrence Howard's confusion over his replacement in Iron Man 2, we've heard Marvel Studios' explanation that it's all because he was, essentially, an overpaid asshole on set, and now Iron Man 2 screenwriter Justin Theroux is getting in on the minor controversy to say, essentially, "Don't point those fingers at me, okay?" So, yes, it's back to confusion again, looks like. But this time, we're joining Howard in the "What the huh?" department.While Howard's replacement as Tony Stark's military sidekick James Rhodes by Don Cheadle may have come out of the blue for Howard, a recent Entertainment Weekly story tried to make it very clear that it was Howard's behavior on set during the first Iron Man movie - and a performance that director Jon Favreau apparently didn't like - that led to the actor's removal:
As such, when Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux went to map out the sequel they found themselves minimizing Howard's story line. Once Marvel learned that Favreau was thinking of curtailing the role, the studio went to the actor's agents with a new and drastically reduced offer — a number that's similar to what supporting cast members were paid for the first movie.
The problem with this version of events, according to Theroux, is that it's just not true. He told MTV's Splash Page:
I can’t really speak to the plot stuff and all the rest of it but Rhodes is completely present in a very strong and big way [but h]e’s COMPLETELY present... All that stuff that was in the ‘EW’ article... I don’t know. I can only tell you what I know which is that from a writing standpoint we didn’t do anything differently [with the character]. It’s not like we were sitting there going, we need less of this or that. We just approached the characters and the story on their own terms.
So the role, apparently, wasn't being intentionally curtailed... which leads us to wonder whether the stories about Favreau's unhappiness with Howard during the first movie are also untrue, and Marvel's "sources" at EW were just trying to keep the studio from looking cheap when asking for the paycut... ‘Iron Man 2’ Screenwriter Justin Theroux Sounds Off On Terrence Howard Departure, Role Of War Machine In Sequel [MTV Splash Page]