Monday, October 27, 2008

Terrence Howard Missing from Iron Man 2

I would like to begin by saying how much I hate it when characters in movies are replaced by different actors. There are a few times when I understand.

1. When the real actor has died. Example- Richard Harris played Professor Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies. Having passed away, he was replaced by Michael Gambon.

2. When an actor is too old to play the same role. This occurs mostly with movies starring children.

3. When the sequel, or should we say, prequel, has the character at a younger age.

These cases are understandable. As the viewer of a movie, I understand some situations require filmmakers to use a different actor.

The two cases that I cannot stand are:

1. When an actor backs out of a sequel over a pay dispute or various reasons.

2. When the actor is replaced even when a possible compromise can be reached.

In the first case, I was very angry when Jodie Foster turned down the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs. At first she did not like the script. When they changed the script, she claimed a scheduling conflict. As much as I think that Julianne Moore is gorgeous, it wasn’t the same to see her instead of Jodie.

In the second case, we have Terrence Howard being replaced in Iron Man 2 with Don Cheadle.

It appears that there was a breakdown in the negotiations for him to reprise his role. My question is, did he say “If I don’t get this much money, I will refuse to be in the film?”

If that was the case, then he priced himself out of it. But it appears that is not the case. Terrence Howard said that, “It was the surprise of a lifetime.” He is shocked at being replaced himself.

Don Cheadle is a great actor. I think that both men are very talented. This is not a question of which actor is better. I would be making the same argument if Don Cheadle was replaced by Terrence Howard. Even if Terrence Howard was replaced by 2-time Oscar Winner Denzel Washington, it would still feel different to watch the sequel with a different actor playing the same character.

Unless an actor absolutely refuses to star in a movie for less than a certain amount of money, then they negotiations should have continued. In my opinion, the producers of Iron Man 2 screwed up. They forgot that some people in the audience won’t like to see any actor replaced. I’m sure that Iron Man 2 will make lots of money. But this is like watching a reunion of your favorite band without the bass player.

Sorry Van Halen, but you deserved that comment. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, Eddie Van Halen replaced bassist Michael Anthony with Eddie’s teenage son, Wolfgang. But that is another story.

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