What really happened behind the scenes of Iron Man 2

After how great the first Iron Man movie turned out, everyone expected the second to be just as awesome. It arguably wasn't, and that might have something to do with all the drama that went on during production. It's time to look past the shiny armor and repulsor technology and see what went wrong behind the scenes of Iron Man 2.

Terrence Howard priced himself out

Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard as James "War Machine" Rhodes for Iron Man 2 surprised audiences, as some liked the character in the first movie. Apparently, Howard's price tag was higher than his acting abilities could support. According to Entertainment Weekly, Howard wasn't only the first actor cast in the first Iron Man, but the highest paid as well. When sequel development began, by which time Robert Downey Jr. proved his bankability, producers found themselves offering Howard much less to reprise his role. Obviously, Howard didn't like their hustle or their flow and wanted more. Of course, he may not have had a leg to stand on though, considering…

Howard needed lots of editing

As mentioned before, some felt Howard's acting as James Rhodes wasn't bad. Unfortunately for him, director Jon Favreau wasn't one of those people. Though Favreau has never spoken publicly of it, rumors persist that Favreau and producers spent a lot of amount of time in editing, trying to find what they felt were usable takes of Howard in the first movie. Apparently, this experience stuck with Favreau when writing time came for Iron Man 2. According to Entertainment Weekly, Favreau and co-writer Justin Theroux found themselves making Howard's part smaller and smaller. But Howard's acting skills may not be the only thing that got him booted from the movie…

Robert Downey Jr. got Howard fired, supposedly

In the end, Terrence Howard blames his Iron Man franchise axing on Robert Downey Jr. When Marvel approached Howard with the aforementioned paltry sum for Iron Man 2, Howard turned to Downey to put some pressure on producers on his behalf, according to New York Magazine. Howard felt Downey owed him, since Howard championed Downey for the role of Tony Stark in the first flick. However, when it came time for Downey to reciprocate, Howard got left behind, like in the first movie. Surprisingly, Howard doesn't hold any animosity against Downey. At least Rhodes and Stark were able to squash the beef.

Nick Fury almost wasn't in it

In addition to Terrence Howard's ousting from the sequel, Samuel L. Jackson almost didn't make it into Iron Man 2. Similar to Howard's situation, Jackson and Marvel went head to head over how much money Jackson should get for his role as superspy Nick Fury. As Jackson told the Los Angeles Times in 2009, "There seems to be an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world," and at one point, negotiations broke down between the two. Rumor has it the money issues arose after Robert Downey Jr. began asking for more once the sequels started becoming a reality, which is why pay became an issue for everyone else. Luckily, things worked out, and it didn't take the genius of Tony Stark to solve the problem.

Mickey Rourke nearly skipped the project

Then-comeback-kid Mickey Rourke was a tough get as well. At first, Marvel lowballed Rourke with a $250,000 offer, which is about what Samuel L. Jackson was offered, according to Variety. The article went on to say the offer had nothing to do with money going to Robert Downey Jr. Back in 2009, some studios were trying to produce films backlogged since 2008, due to a SAG strike, and concurrently push forward with films for 2010. Because of this, studios needed to find ways to save money. The geniuses that they are, they thought cutting the paychecks of the actors who bring audiences to the theaters would be a good idea. But seeing as how Iron Man 2 turned out, maybe Marvel should have saved their money. That doesn't mean it's Rourke's fault, as…

Iron Man 2 was rushed

It's not uncommon for studios to quickly announce a sequel to a hot movie. After the first Iron Man opened on May 2, 2008, Marvel announcing the sequel a few days later was no surprise. But usually, after a movie's announcement, the cast and crew are given a chance to craft a product that's worth the public's time and money. That wasn't the case with Iron Man 2. Where the first one took about three years to make, from development to opening night, the sequel only received less than two years to try and catch lightning in a bottle a second time. And though Director Jon Favreau had a vision for the sequel, he had to make some compromises.

The sequel was pushed forward without a script

One of the things that supposedly hindered Iron Man 2 from surpassing its predecessor is the fact that the movie was filmed scriptless, according to Cinema Blend. Of course, this revelation came out after the movie hit theaters and moderately disappointed fans. But really, that shouldn't have been a problem. According to Jeff Bridges' interview with io9 and Gwyneth Paltrow's interview with Howard Stern, the first Iron Man was filmed with no script, and it still turned out well. Maybe Favreau just didn't like being in that situation for a second project. Maybe he was just being an Iron Monger and wanted to throw shade at Marvel because of another problem he had with the studio…

Marvel Studios interfered with production

When Jon Favreau got the Iron Man gig, he planned a trilogy, intending for one big story to tie each film together. His original vision for the second film sort of followed the classic "Demon in a Bottle" Iron Man storyline from 1979 and continued developing Stark as a character. Marvel had other plans, which involved shoehorning in plot threads leading to The Avengers, according to Cinema Blend. Seeing as how Iron Man is Marvel's toy, and the movie was made with Marvel's money, Marvel winning is no surprise. This, of course, left Favreau unhappy. Reportedly, Downey was also unhappy with it, and it's supposedly the reason for his hesitancy to extend his contract with Marvel. Unfortunately, this may have pushed Favreau away from leading the big one.

It may have cost Favreau The Avengers

Even with Iron Man 2 not meeting expectations, Favreau seemed like a good choice to direct The Avengers. He even wanted the job. However, Marvel didn't want him. Some leftover bad blood between the two could've contributed to Marvel's decision, but ultimately, it came down to money. Marvel wasn't happy with how much they had to pay to get him back for Iron Man 2. They didn't even want to think about how much he'd ask for to direct the biggest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to Cinema Blend. So they decided to lowball Joss Whedon instead, who Marvel also eventually alienated as well. Excelsior!