Paging Val Kilmer! (That’s my attempt at a Batman joke. Woeful one, nonetheless).
Robert Downey Jr is in prime position to make a trillion dollars. Having helped given Marvel two of their biggest successes of the past two years with “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3”, not to mention the fact that his contract is now up with the studio, cinema’s Tony Stark is in a position to pretty much name his price as far as future movies with Marvel go.
Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter say Downey recently met with Marvel and Disney to begin contract negotiations on two new “Avengers” films as well as the inevitable (it is now that “Iron Man 3” is close to making a billion) “Iron Man 4”. Since the actor isn’t obligated to reprise Tony Stark in either film, he’s obviously asking for a lot of cash to do so. For “The Avengers 2″, for one, Downey wants to be paid the same fee he was paid to do the 2012 film – $50 million.
An insider tells Deadline that Downey is vital to Marvel, but at the moment he’s not onboard anything of theirs going forward.
”They need him, and they don’t have him. He’s got a lot of leverage,” one insider said.
Thing is, not only does Downey want to be paid handsomely for doing new “Avengers” films, his co-stars – including Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans – also want to be looked after this time. Considering some of these guys were only paid something like $500,000 – compared to Downey’s $50 million – on the first film, they’re in their right to ask for more money. Downey is also supporting that, going in to bat for his co-stars too. The cast are asking about $5 million each, and some juicy back-end points in the next movie.
Of Downey supporting this teammates, an insider says : “He’s the only guy with real power in this situation. and balls of steel, too. He’s already sent a message that he’s not going to work for a place where they treat his colleagues like shit.”
Marvel has lost actors before because they weren’t prepared to play ball with them financially; Edward Norton decided not to reprise his role as Bruce Banner/The Hulk for “The Avengers” because Marvel wouldn’t meet his asking fee, and Terrence Howard, who originated the role of ‘Rhodey’ in the original “Iron Man”, also parted ways with the studio on the sequels, for similar reasons.
Does Marvel really want to have to recast the whole “Avengers” team- and risk losing their audience and integrity – over shelling out a few more dollars to get the original team back? Guess we’ll find out.