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:
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.
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.