After taking a year off from San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios has decided to kick off New York Comic Con 2015 in style with the announcement of Ant-Man sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the promise of three additional Marvel Cinematic Universe films in 2020. With such a massive slate of projects, it’s hard to decide which upcoming Marvel movie to look forward to the most.
Probably the biggest of the upcoming titles, however, is the two-part epic that will be The Avengers: Infinity War, which is set to release in 2018 and 2019. The two films are expected to bring a final showdown between the Avengers and the MCU’s over-arching villain Thanos, as well as the culmination of the various plots involving Infinity Stones. It’s a big undertaking, to be sure, but could it be a billion dollar undertaking?
According to the rumors coming out of NYCC, it could. Bleeding Cool reports that, “In huddled conversation with very well sourced comic book film insiders in New York bars last night… there was one big topic of conversation.”
That topic was the claim that Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Part 2 will have a combined production budget of $1 billion. Furthermore, $400 million of that will apparently be spent just on the screenwriter, director, producers and actors. That would be $200 million – more than the budget of most Hollywood blockbusters – spent on each film before even addressing the cost of sets, equipment, locations, hiring the rest of the crew, costumes, special effects etc. The final big claim is that half of the total actor budget will be spent on Robert Downey Jr. alone.
Those are some extreme claims, and even if they weren’t the result of bar gossip it would be necessary to treat them with caution. A production budget of $500 million for a single movie is unprecedented, and the last time we heard rumors of multiple sequels costing a collective $1 billion the franchise was Avatar, and the budget was supposed to cover the cost of three sequels, not two. Both previous Avengers movies raced a considerable way past the billion dollar mark at the global box office, but even so this rumor sounds a little too extravagant to be true.
The idea of Robert Downey Jr. drawing a massive paycheck for the films sounds slightly more plausible. Downey was paid $50 million for The Avengers, and his portrayal of Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man is arguably the centerpiece of the MCU. The other Marvel actors have historically earned a lot less, with one member of The Avengers‘ main cast earning just $200,000, according to a report by Deadline.
We recommend taking this report with a grain of salt, and it’s probably wise to brace yourselves for more fantastic rumors as Marvel heads into Phase 3.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
Source: Bleeding Cool