Joss Whedon Says He’s NOT Making $100 Million for ‘The Avengers 2′

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 10:25 pm,

Joss Whedon Not Making 100 Million for The Avengers 2 Joss Whedon Says Hes NOT Making $100 Million for The Avengers 2

Despite the fact that Iron Man 3 has already made north of $700 million worldwide – more than any of the previous Iron Man entries – most of the talk about Marvel movies this past week has been about contract negotiations. In fact, Marvel has already declared to the press (perhaps as a negotiating tactic) that star Robert Downey Jr. is totally replaceable as Iron Man.

Amidst all the contract news, it was reported that Joss Whedon was set to make $100 million for “several [movies], consulting work, a put pilot [for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘] at ABC, and many other elements.” Now, Whedon has emerged from wherever he’s writing The Avengers 2 to dispute that figure.

Apparently, Whedon was so irritated about this $100 million rumor that he felt compelled to comment on a relevant post over at Whedonesque, the blog devoted to his various film and television works.

Check out the comment below:

Hi guys.

I was going to let it slide, but I’ve got this sour taste in my mouth. (Mmmm, lemonade!). Some facts are not facts. I’m not going to go into the whole thing, but jeepers, I’m not getting $100 mil on Avengers 2. If I were, I would come on this site and laugh and laugh and laugh. I’m not making Downey money. I’m making A LOT, which is exciting. I’m not pretending to be a poor farmer, an Everyman, an ANYman. But that number is nuts. A few other things about me that have been “reported” that people should take with a grain of salt:

That I throw wild Hollywood parties where everyone is naked and dancing and wild and I remember to serve enough snacks.

That I can get a movie greenlit by sighing and staring into the middle distance.

That I ate a unicorn and made it winter for three years.

That I “can write.”

Well, that’s a load off. Sorry to get so personal — the whole thing’s a bit tawdry. But honestly, it bugged me. I’m off for a nice juicy steak. There’s a place downtown that does it with rosemary butter, it tastes just like unico — like a steak.

BYE-ee! J.

It’s worth noting that what Joss Whedon is technically disputing here is not what Deadline initially reported. As previously stated, Deadline reported that Whedon was making $100 million for more than one movie (presumably The Avengers 2 and 3), consulting work, the work he’s doing for the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, and other “elements. ” Here, Whedon is saying he’s not making $100 million for The Avengers 2.

Still, it’s probably just a technicality. It’s more than likely that when Whedon refers to “The Avengers 2” in his comment, he’s using shorthand to cover all the other stuff he signed up for in his deal with Marvel.

Otherwise, there’s nothing particularly revelatory about Whedon’s comment, though it does seem to reflect the sort of financial testiness that’s going on right now with Marvel and the cast of The Avengers. For those unaware, now that Robert Downey Jr.’s contract is up, he’s in heated negotiations with Marvel for not only his upcoming Avengers 2 paycheck, but the paychecks of his co-stars, who were not paid nearly as handsomely for their work in the third most profitable movie of all time.

The question is, will the notoriously frugal Marvel blink? Despite what they’ve said about RDJ being replaceable, would they really chance replacing their most bankable star mid-series with billions of dollars on the line? (And that’s not even including the merchandising!)

Unfortunately, I can’t imagine Joss Whedon will weigh in on this Marvel vs. (the cast of) The Avengers money battle anytime soon. While he’s on the record as having called the company “very cheap,” were it not for The Avengers, his career would still be stuck in the post-Dollhouse phase (shudder). In other words, we’ll probably have to wait a few years to hear his unfiltered take on all of this.

What do you think about this whole Marvel money issue, Screen Ranters? Let us know in the comments.


The Avengers 2 hits theaters May 1st, 2015.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Whedonesque

Follow Ben Moore on Twitter @benandrewmoore
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  1. So… how accurate is the rest of Deadline’s report if the 100$ million Whedon part isn’t true?

    • Joss, with whatever money you make, if you really love Firefly so much, then at least, make a sequel to Serenity.

      • Serenity

        A SCI FI Movie that truly is enjoyable to watch.

        • Hey Jeff, did you notice Joss was off to eat steak? I think it’s time for a boycott. :-D

          • +2

          • I completely and udderly support Whedon’s COWardice. Steak for the win!

            • Sauce is on me!

              • I’d prefer the sauce on my steak, but whatever gets your boat rocking. :D

                • That was “saucy” of you…

                • Funny! Wish I’d said that!

                  • That’s funny, too, both TheLostWinchester and Leathercheerio! Thumbs up for cute “sauce” comments!

            • Peter Luger steak sauce is the best, for the record.

              • Never heard of it. Website for ordering, please?

                  • Robert
                    While the steak sauce you recommend may be delicious, my “steak policy” is this…
                    If you have to put steak sauce on a steak you’re eating a sh***y steak. Plain and simple.
                    My qualifications to back my policy is years of red meat consumption with many cases of kidney stones to prove it. :)

                    • :D

                      A great steak sauce does not make a great steak.
                      Peter Luger’s has some of the best steaks in the
                      world served here and they developed this one.

                      This sauce is quite different, unlike any other I’ve tried,
                      where it enhances the inherent quality of the steak
                      rather than adding flavor to mask a bad steak.

                    • I respect your opinion and it is said among the masses but a steak alone without any seasoning or marinade… is just another piece of red meat. Even if it comes from Jeff W’s cows, its still just red meat. Using sauces and seasons will only compliment the tenderness of the meat, not destroy it.

                  • I shall order the 1 bottle tomorrow. If all goes well, I shall order 6! LOL

                    • I thought that would be the best way to go.
                      You’ll have to report your impression of it.

                    • By the way it is sold refrigerated at retail here.
                      Perhaps a few days not during shipping will
                      not matter and it will still remain fresh.

                • (Links “awaiting moderation”)

  2. “I’m not making Downey money.” Nice shot at one of his actors. Although its true, its still a shot at him. I didn’t know he called Disney cheap either. He’s got guts. Ill give him that. But even I would watch my mouth to what I say to my employer.

    • I don’t think it’s a “shot” at Downey at all. Everybody knows that RDJ made about $50-$80 million with the Avengers and will make almost as much with Iron Man 3, thanks to his % deal.

      Calling $100 million “Downey money” is not a shot. It’s a fact. RDJ IS making that kind of money with the MCU, there’s nothing insult about mentioning it. It’s common knowledge.

      • It really is though. It makes it sound undeserved. Its an outside perspective, so you don’t have to agree with me. But Ive been told (get told) the same line. “Well (with a smirk), I’m not making “leathercheerio” kind of money, but I do okay”.

    • @Leather Cheerio.

      Disney does not care.

      You can be the richest man in the world. You can have power, fame, money and many people bow to you.

      Right Woman comes along, you do not care what she says or does, insults you or smacks you, as long as she makes you happy, or in this case makes you money. You will not care.

      • Everyone is replaceable. H Wood is different. They have their own style of doing things. But even they have their limits. Take for example Downey’s career. If he were to pull the same crap he did before he reclaimed his career, Disney would throw him out the door. No matter how much Iron Man rakes in, if he was to start doing drugs again and it got public, Disney would drop him so quick.

    • 1. He said it “ABOUT” his employers, not “TO his employers” and
      2. he probably is already signed contractually and unlike Downey very greatful to be involved at all period.

      • He said MARVEL is cheap, not Disney.

  3. At First, I did not take the Marvel Money Issue that seriously but I have to admit that behind the scene, Something is going on and IT is not Pretty.
    I agree that Downey is defending the salaries of his Friends but I hope, His Friends aren’t asking for too much neither. I would vote to raise the salaries of Cap, Thor, Loki, Hawkeye and Black Widow but we have to be serious here, It can’t be for too much neither. It’s a business and Profit have to be made in order to bring us other good movies in the future.
    Anyway, I am Confidant that things will work out because you dont fix it if it;s not broken…
    My hope is Tony Stark stays until The Avengers 3 with a good conclusion story so they can replace him smoothly in Iron Man 4. Because we have to Face it Guys: Robert Downey IS Replacable and I say that with a Broken Heart because Robert is Tony is IRON MAN :)

    • Last we heard Hemsworth was asking for $5 million (the money he got for Snow White), which is reasonable. I can’t imagine either of them asking for that much, but the $1-2 million (or less) they were making was ridiculous, considering how much money the movies make.

      Except Scarlett she got something like $4-6 million for the Avengers, just like Sam Jackson.

      • Well, Base on your Information, I suppose that their asking Price are is reasonable. Let’s Pray all goes well so The Avengers can Assemble in 20154. :)

        • Lol I mean 2015! :)

          • I am about to say, Doubt any of us would be around in 20154.

            • Lmao!!!

  4. I’m with Downey and the cast on this one. I don’t think they’re being unreasonable. As far as I know, Hemsworth for example asked for $5 million, which is absolutely a fair payment for him.

    I think even a $10 million for some of the core stars is not too much, and I’m pretty sure Disney/Marvel can afford it.

    I like that Downey is standing up for his co-stars because he’s in the best negotiation position. Avengers Assemble!

    I love Joss’ reply to the rumours, seriously, you gotta love the guy XD

    • @scyllaya
      im with you about rdj standing up for his co-stars, but is this true at all?
      any way to confirm it i mean? cuz i just found out about it via the above artcle….

      • I’ll guess we have to wait and see. The info came out of the mouth of one of the representatives of an actor. Who knows whether it’s true or not.

        But I can really imagine RDJ doing something like this though, it kind of sounds like him to me. Especially considering that fellow actors helped him out when no studio wanted to sign him for anything, because he was a too risky actor to have in a movie, because of all his past troubles.

        It doesn’t sound too far-fetched to me.

  5. Marvel just needs to stop being so fricken damn cheap and show their avenger actors and actresses the money! They’re arrogance will eventually catch up to them just like it did back in The 90′s with the “future” Image group.

  6. I can’t help but feel that all this moneytalk makes the actors seem a bit greedy. Dunno about what kind of expenditures these guys are used to, but 5 mill, or even 1 or 2 mill sounds like an nice paycheck for the amount of time they spent shooting the movie. Besides, they agreed on the pay when the tok the job, and it is just a job. So what if the company makes a heap of money? They got what they agreed on, and to me that seems fair. If their pay was to be determined by the success of the movie, they should have tried to get it into the contract they signed. But if they didn’t then that’s that. Marvel gave them a job offer, they took it, they got paid the agreed amount and got fame and glory as a small bonus. Can’t see how this makes Marvel/Disney cheap. Just a regular employer it seems to me.

    • all this money talk is making MARVEL look cheap… NOT the stars/actors.

      • making MARVEL look *greedy*

        • It’s Disney, you shouldn’t be so shocked.

          • Disney is actually pretty hands off in this situation (and in fact, they’ve been known to dole out the cash pretty indiscriminately before). This is all Marvel.

            • …which is owned by Disney, who says pay up… in no way does it not involve them. It’s their show, Marvel’s just playing in it.

              • Uhh, no? Sorry. You’re just not correct. Yes, Marvel is owned by Disney, but they’re totally hands off with Marvel and likely will stay that way until the money stops coming in. This has been reported from numerous sources and it’s common knowledge within the comic book industry – and within Marvel itself. Ike Perlmutter, who sold Marvel to Disney, has the third highest stake in Disney and is basically allowed to do what he wants with Marvel.

                • To be fair……We know Disney is hands off the creative side of Marvel. They are letting Marvel do whatever it wants but I’m sure when it comes to finances Disney probably has at least a say in things.

                  For instance, if Marvel said the script called for spending 400+ mil on Avengers 2 I am pretty sure Disney would at least question the wisdom of that before writing out a blank check.

                  • *facepalm* They are not “hands off.” THEY OWN THE COMPANY. Stop being naive. Whatever Marvel does, they owe Disney “x” amount. So, it’s up to Marvel how they go about paying Disney what they owe, so in that way sure they are hands off in telling them how they have to handle there finances, so long as they get the percentage set. So, in the long run… the last thing Disney is is “hands off” in this situation. Marvel has to consider that with all there money they make, a substantial amount goes directly to Disney, and what is left over it’s up to Marvel how that’s get distributed. I’m sorry, but to me the last thing that is is “hands off.” That’s about as “hands in” as it gets.

                    • This is hilarious. There have been a multitude of reports indicating that the Disney execs are genuinely afraid to anger Ike Perlmutter, genuinely afraid to get in his way and interfere in this situation, financially, creatively, etc. – which is 100% in line with what people who work at Marvel say about Perlmutter.

                      But Dr. Mindbender knows better! Okay.

                  • They don’t, though. I mean, obviously they could if they wanted to, but the proof is in the pudding. Disney pours money into its movies. Marvel doesn’t.

  7. I can’t wait for all of this to be over! money disputes were to be expected with this big franchise, but they’re still really annoying to read pretty much every day..

    • +1

  8. This is where The Avengers and RDJ infulence Justice League and Christian Bale, and why Christian Bale will not be in Justice League.

    Theory is this.

    If RDJ can command upwards of 50 Million combined salary and back end on the gross of The Avenegers, 20-25 Million combined with Ironman.

    What would an academy award winner such as Christian Bale command? We are looking at 25-30 million dollars + because, his background would dictate that.

    Henry Cavill, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Reynolds commands 10 Million per film, Henry Cavill is not out of the 2.5 to 5 Million range. Take into account, Actors who have portrayed Superman, have not gone on to do anything great afterwards. Christopher Reeves, Brando Routh? What were their careers like after playing Superman?

    CBM are a curse, if you were not established before you became a “Hero”. Disney is going to keep their actors in line with salaries, or they will be replaced. WB Will not put Actors in that have the chance to upset the status quo.

    Cheaper is better for the studio, not so much for the actors.

    • “CBM are a curse, if you were not established before you became a “Hero”.”

      Correction. Hugh Jackman.

      • What about Tobey maguire? Haven’t seen him spidey 3.

        • Since spidey 3.

        • He’s in the Great Gatsby. Granted, not a starring role, but still a prominent role (from what I can tell from the trailer) in the film.

          • Well, actually, the book is told from Maguire’s character’s point of view, so he is pretty important to it, so long as that translates to the movie.

        • I think he got around 20 million per spidey movie.

        • “Brothers” and “The Details” are ones I can think of

  9. If I had to guess, I’d say that $100 million number is the high end of POTENTIAL earnings Joss could eventually receive. It’s probably an estimated total of of salaries for directing, writing, consulting, etc, plus any royalties and back-end money he’ll possibly earn on the other Marvel projects.

    He also direced the pilot for the SHIELD show – I believe the directors for pilots continue to earn a small amount of money for as long the show is on the air.

  10. This is a ridiculous squabble. After that huge success with The Avengers + IM3 and you mean to tell me they have money issues?! I think theres more to it than this.

    • Of course they have money issues. Every company has money issues, because the executives always think about how they can get the most money out of it, while they invest as little as possible in the projects and employees. That’s business.

  11. Marvel should make an Iron Man tv series and see how the public responds to someone else playing Stark.

  12. Anyone else feel like the CBM bubble is about to burst?

    • Yes, luckily Superman is out in June so someone will be there to save us.

    • There for the hundredth time IS NO comic book movie “BUBBLE” Superman The Movie made 300 million dollars in 1978! Batman the movie made 411 million dollars in 1989. Superman 2 made 100 million in 1981, Batman Returns made $266 million in 1992, TMNT 1 and 2 which are based originally on comic books most absolutely, made a combined $278 million between 1991 and 1993, THE MASK in 1994, Judge Dredd and Batman Forever in 1995, Batman and Robin and Spawn were both hits in 1997, even though they both sucked… Blade 1998, X-men in 2000, Blade 2, Spiderman, Daredevil, X-men 2, HULK, … I can go on and on and on and on, This is not a bubble, it is an explosion! Everyone loves superheroes, they always have and always will.

  13. Loki sure likes fights and arguments

  14. If anyone’s entitled to that kind of cash it’s Joss.

    The guy has spirit and creativity. His work is always intelligent and optimistic at heart.

    In a world of Hollywood hacks churning out by-the-numbers screenplays and living in ivory towers, Joss is finally getting his recognition and he’s still real enough to take the time to interact with his fanblog.

    • I’m sorry but Joss doesn’t deserve 100 million bucks. No one went to the Avengers to go see a Joss Whedon film, they went to go see Marvel’s best super heroes unite. He’s a decent director, but he’s been very overrated the last year or so by the executives over at Marvel and comic book fans. They easily could’ve taken that 100 million and spread it across their core actors that the casual audience actually cares about.

      • “No one went to the Avengers to go see a Joss Whedon film”.

        I did. Never liked Marvel, always have been a DC guy. If Joss hadn’t directed it I would have skipped it altogether. This was the 1st time I looked at Marvel as anything but a bunch of ridiculously over the top characters.

        • I find this comment very hilarious,being that most people look at dc characters as over the top. Marvel has always made most of their characters flawed or more realistic type,while most dc characters are looked at as cookie cutter

    • I don’t agree Joss Whedon deserves one hundred mil, I don’t think anyone really does but I do have to say that Whedon really deserves all the recognition he’s getting right now. While some of his work haven’t received critical acclaim or anything, it’s still evident that he’s poured his heart out into all the characters he’s worked on.

  15. Joss Whedon is being Clintonian and in effect he is deliberately misleading.
    Joss may not be technicality making 100 mill for any one film but he certainly
    will be making at that much and more shepherding the Marvel movie universe.
    Whatever he is getting he is worth it and Joss need not be defensive about it.

  16. My opinion of this whole salary debate is this:
    Imagine you were on a sports team. The team works together to achieve their success in the sport; they can’t succeed if one of their own isn’t pulling their weight. This team becomes legendary for their victories in the sport. All kinds of companies want to sponsor them, they’re featured in magazines and ads, etc.

    Now imagine if only one member of that team is payed ten times more than the rest of his teammates. Yet you all worked together to achieve those victories. Does that seem fair?

    I mean, Hemsworth, Cap, Ruffalo, it was their portrayals as the characters alongside RDJ that made The Avengers feel special. They were just right for those roles. And yet it’s RDJ that’s getting the lion’s share for the work of an ensemble cast.

    • Right, and that’s why RDJ is apparently wanting his co-stars to get more this time around.

      I mean, on sports teams you have super-stars who get paid more and who fans come to see, but if someone does almost as much work and is close to the same quality they don’t deserve to get 1/10 as much. RDJ was the biggest draw, but not by 10 times as much (or more).

  17. Based on Whedon’s comments at Comic-Con I wonder if he’s going to take half his paycheck and distribute it to everyone on the crew, down to the caterers and people bringing everyone coffee.

    Kidding, I’m not wondering, I know he won’t despite his anti-capitalism comments at the Con.

    • Hahaha. +1 Vic.

    • Joss said he was raised by people on the Upper West Side of
      Manhattan who thought socialism was a ”beautiful concept.”
      As one who lives there I can attest not everyone agrees.

    • Yeah. Because if I was a multimillionaire and I wanted to share my wealth with those less fortunate I wouldn’t want to wisely invest in legitimate charities in an attempt to feed starving children, advance cancer research, or provide relief to victims of natural or manmade disasters. No, I would just arbitrarily cut a series of checks to financially comfortable professionals who I had met working in Hollywood. That’s the ONLY logical choice.

  18. They’d never replace Stark but simply pass the torch to someone like Rodey, Pepper, or simply use the android suits.

  19. I love how people believe every rumor is true. Those actors all signed their deals so they need to fulfill them. None of them have the star power of RDJ, and they need to accept that. Once their deals are over, and if they want to come back, then they can negotiate for more money.

  20. All I want to say on the issue of Marvel/Disney being so cheap is,
    GO AHEAD AND REPLACE RDJ, CHRIS HEMSWORTH, and WHOEVER ELSE YOU THINK IS “TOTALLY REPLACEABLE” AND see if Avengers 2 comes anywhere close to the 1.5 Billion that the first Avengers did!!
    Honestly by the comments I have seen, I dont think Marvel has a chance in hell to make that kind of money with sme cheap knock-off actors playing the roles of Tony Stark and Thor!!!

    If you think 90% of your fans are wrong Marvel, DO IT and SEE WHO GETS THE LAST LAUGH…..
    I bet it will be your “Totally Replacable” STARS
    that get that last laugh

    • Yeah, because replacing Edward Norton as Bruce Banner really ruined the box office numbers for Avengers didn’t it? Trying to switch out the entire cast would be a mistake but I honestly don’t think any one actor is irreplaceable here.

      • But The Incredible Hulk was actually not a very successful film, so it’s not a very good comparison.

        • But the Incredible Hulk was the reboot and only the second film under the Marvel studio banner. It did it’s budget and a bit more. I think overestimated expectations and creative egos got in the way. Most people I know loved the movie and thought it represented the comic book material well and honored what came before.

          • By the popular accounting of the blog or is it the industry, Rdj is worth about 9% more for the bottom line at the box office. Now you can’t pay out that much in salaries or what’s the point? With or without him the studio isn’t going to see that money if they payout the percentage. It would set a bad precedent for the industry to do that. The philosophy of “everyone and almost everything is disposable” won’t be given up that easily. So in theory some percentage of that could be used to make everyone else happy it’s just a question of how much? Currently I’m thinking from three to four percent tops. Over the years that’s become a typical salary percentage number and it leaves enough of a percentage for the company to show a decent bottom line return.

          • “Doing its budget and a bit more” is actually not necessarily breaking even these days. You also have to take into account the marketing and distribution costs, the money that goes back to theaters, and the % of the box office take that goes to actors, director, producers, etc. The Lone Ranger, for example, was originally not given the green light because it would’ve needed to make $800 million to break even – despite its production budget being $225-250 million.

  21. I hope everyone comes back for the sequel I have a fantasy that Whedon will just show everyone the script and everyone will forget about the money and just do it because they love the script so much, odds of that happening are very slim but I’d love to read about it.

  22. Thing is, RDJ is not just negotiating for his own contract, he’s trying to get the other stars more money as well, including Hemsworth who’s also not signed on. A lot is on the line!

  23. What the actual hell. Robert Downey Jr. is nowhere NEAR ireplacable. If they dropped him as Iron Man, it wouldn’t be so popular :(