In an interview with NPR, Howard said that he has no idea why he was dropped from Iron Man 2. Chud provides a transcript of part of the interview:
"It was the surprise of a lifetime. There was no explanation. [The contract] just...up and vanished. I read something in the trades implicating that it was about money or something, but apparently the contracts that we write and sign aren't worth the paper that they're printed on, sometimes. Promises aren't kept, and good faith negotiations aren't always held up."This is really disappointing. I’m never a fan of actors getting replaced in a film series, unless the original actor was just wrong for the part, but that’s not the case here at all. Maybe I shouldn’t complain, since Cheadle is one of my favorite actors – after all, this recasting could have gone much, much worse. But with possible casting changes in other upcoming sequels, including rumblings of Ed Norton being out of the Incredible Hulk follow-up, you have to wonder: would it hurt the people who cast these movies to just make a decision and stick with it?