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May 07 2013

The Avengers cast versus Marvel Studios. Deadline reports on the behind the scenes (probably now public) negotiations regarding the money the cast would get for the Avengers sequel. ETA Joss has commented on the article.

I'm lost at $100 million. Go Joss. I think. Um maybe?
Yikes. Lot of behind the scenes discontent from the sounds of it.

I know Marvel has been cheap in the past (there's a reason Terrence Howard only played Rhodey in IM1), and I know the Marvel movies are part of what have turned (some of) the cast members into huge stars...

...but at some point, Marvel needs to understand that good will only goes so far.
I'll be interested to see where this goes. A Chris Hemsworth-less Thor would probably lose me.

I noted that one commenter suggested Joss was happy to take his money and not support the actors, but I think that overlooks the fact that he's not just being paid for serving one function in one film - he's writing *and* directing, for multiple films, consulting, working on TV, and I think most notably, unable to work on anything else. That's what they're paying for in my mind: the ability to monopolize his time. If we're not going to get smaller projects out of him (*cough*DH2*cough*Wastelanders) for years, then I would like to see him a) make amazing stuff happen at Marvel and b) get paid well for doing it.

That said, $100M is a number that my brain does not grok, but then, I come from public education (at both the grade school & university level).
Awkward and leading interview questions. I am not surprised.
Adjusting for inflation, $16M in 1997 is about $23M today. Thanks, Simon, that does provide a helpful ratio. In terms of visceral understanding of the numbers for me, anything much above $500K is iffy. But that definitely lends some perspective.
Wow, remember when the Big Purple One was on here after the Avengers opening, talking about only being able to afford a really nice meal? Must have a hell of a mortgage. :)
OMG reading this article is like watching your best friend's parents fight! What the casual reader should try to understand is the way 'the numbers' are done....it's very real.
Unfortunately, it seems like the reporter was trying to throw it all in Joss' lap. That's unfair to him-he's a great guy who does a great job-but he can't be held responsible for happy contracts. BAD reporter! (that seems to be all that good taste can allow to be said. Excelsior!)
All I can think about is how I have had to sell everything I own in the past few months so that I don't end up homeless, and then there's articles like this wherein millions and millions of dollars aren't enough for people to do what they love, alongside people they supposedly admire, working on properties that they supposedly love (or came to love).
Reading this articles is like learning whats happening when you are definitely not. ;)
The Hollywood Reporter has a article about RDJ contract negotiations.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/marvel-cliffhanger-robert-downey-jrs-518837

They talk about Avengers 2 and 3 but maybe no Iron Man 4.
I always assumed that Joss was not offered a lot of money to direct AVENGERS (he had only directed one other film, so he really wasn't in a position to demand a lot of money), so when he said he could afford a nice meal it was about a year ago (long before this current deal was offered). I think that in addition to writing, directing, and developing multiple projects, this $100 million is in part a big thank you for the success of AVENGERS (and confidence that AVENGERS 2 will be as good). And it isn't like he isn't going to be working hard for the money (over several years)!

At any rate Marvel will play hard ball, but I think they must know they cannot let Robert Downey, Jr go... and I hope they know they shouldn't let Mark Ruffalo go (that would break my heart!). When push comes to shove they will probably try to keep the ensemble together at the cheapest price possible. I certainly don't begrudge the actors a piece of the pie because we all know that they do help to sell tickets (I'm sure the execs at Marvel got huge bonuses for the success of AVENGERS!).
I think its very interesting, and although they do need to cough up a bit more, I agree with what Joss suggests. These characters, this popularity - they get them other jobs and help provided fanbases that simply nothing else would do. It's somewhat like a TV show. An actor might be really popular, while they are on the show, doing lots of films, never away from the zeitgeist, but as soon as they leave and the show continues on, they also leave the public consciousness.

But yes, the MCU has had unprecedented success, and that needs to be taken account off.

Unpopular opinion: I also think Avengers 2 would probably do bank even without Iron Man.
I do not trust articles where the only thing they tell you is that "one source told me.." What source? Why does what they tell you mean anything? The article is full of stuff like that so the truth here is going to be hard to come by. Having said that, I find that people who argue for 50 mil when they are offered 35 mil are not people I can care much about. They turn me off seeing movies in which they star. They should live my life. I work as hard as they do.
The thing I didn't like about this article was the mention of the possibility of re-casting Hulk. Unthinkable!
Um, Hulk has already been recast 3 times.
The $100 million deal for Joss is most probably post-Avengers. The reason Jon Favreau didn't make the movie was salary; Marvel could pick up Joss for cheap. He turned in a gigantic blockbuster and Marvel decided this was the guy to creatively oversee the next few years of the enterprise: hence, the (rumored) $100M deal to produce, write, direct, create TV shows, exclusively for Marvel for the next three years.

I also think it disingenuous to think of giant paydays that actors and creative types get as "unfair," or in terms of fair pay for hard work. Most will argue that their jobs are less important than doctors or teachers, but the reality is that their work generates greater profits.

In my opinion, Joss deserves every penny because it's through his unique skillset that The Avengers grossed $1.5 billion. I'm a librarian and I think I do important & hard work, but nothing I do will ever result gross profits of $1.5 billion.
So I guess it wasn't true when it was stated they had all the non-RDJ actors pinned down to 9 picture deals(sans Evans who was said to have signed a 6 pic deal).

Also I think its hillarious how people complain about actors/athletes/musicians being paid alot when they consume said creative's work. If the demand isn't there they will not make that amount of money(sans the Adam Sandlers' of this world making 20 million a film, I don't know how that happens.) No one is paying a no-name 20 million dollars or even a million dollars for that matter. And besides the corporations are taking the lion's share of the money either way. The creatives deserve every penny they make.

[ edited by eddy on 2013-05-08 03:26 ]
dottikin-the work 'hollywood-types' (actors, directors, writers as a whole) do SOMETIMES create bigger profits, which is determined by the upfront cost of having them do it. (no doubt every actor would do a movie for $100 if they could do an infinite # of films) Joss made The Avengers special, but he didn't do it in a vacuum or alone. He's very upfront about when an actor improved a classic line. It happens that way-everyone contributes the best they can in hopes of the whole beiing better than planned...the problem is you have to sort out the pay schedule first. (and that is resolved between underwriters and agents, whom the audience never sees.) we, the audience, want more Avengers- we just don't know how much, and there are professionals whose careers rely on putting an exact dollar amount to it beforehand.
Um, Hulk has already been recast 3 times

I know. But Mark Ruffalo is the be-all and end-all. :)
I agree jcs, Mark Ruffalo IS The Hulk/Bruce Banner for me now too... those previous two movies were just pale shadows of the developed character Joss & Mark have given us.

I do agree w/Jaymii also though, there are a lot of Marvel superheroes and I'm pretty sure Joss could tell an awesome tale without Ironman if he had to (but I'd rather have Robert Downey, Jr. in the ensemble).
Wow, so despite it's ginormous B.O takings, Avengers only made $400 million profit from theaters?

And RDJ is the only non-replaceable person in the cast. Not that I'd like to see any of them replaced, if they were, people wouldn't care enough not to go see Avengers 2 (see Terrence Howard and Edward Norton).
I'm looking at Joss's track record and wondering where his sympathies lie; on the one hand, he was a fierce union man during the writer's strike, fighting for fair pay -- on the other, he's also got a lot of sympathy for the little guy and these big names and numbers don't scream "little" to me.

Mulling it over, I think I'd have to say that every member of a film crew deserves a fair share of the profits. It sounds like said fair share hasn't really been handed out to everyone. My next question, though, is where all the money is going -- if Feige & Co. aren't getting rich, what happened to all of Avengers' profits? We now know where $100mil. of it went, but that's still just a fraction of the total sum Marvel's raked in.

All in all, I rejoice in Joss's present good fortune, but I do look forward to the day when he can take my money directly, and use it to pay his team fairly.
I'd do Avengers 2 without Iron Man, personally, as it adds an interesting story angle. And ultimately I think they're all replaceable. Chris Bale is Batman; until the next guy is. Spider-Man grossed $700m by rebooting very soon with a no name recasting. That no name is now doing well for himself. That isn't to say anybody is bad at their role - you know, that cast was wicked great - or that they shouldn't be fairly rewarded.

Marvel's profits go to Disney's share holders basically.

I think a lot of people work for Marvel for the chance to prove themselves. The Avengers didn't exactly pay a lot to write and direct and it basically took 18 months of breaking your balls (and life) to create - but it came with a $500m marketing campaign, which gives you the chance to have a lot of people see your skills.
There's not a lot of precedent for successfully recasting anchor/main characters without rebooting, though, so it's maybe mostly untested waters. (I assume there must be some; but I don't appear to be able to rattle a list off the top of my head.)
There's a big difference between Batman/Spider-Man and Iron Man. The former are arguably the biggest, most beloved and iconic comic book characters of all time who have lead their respective companies for the last fifty years. The other is Iron Man, a B-list character no one hardly anyone cared about until RDJ walked onto the stage with his swagger and performance and drove him onto the A-list.
The Hulk was recast between The Hulk and Avengers, and lets be honest: that didn't turn out terribly. I'm not saying they should recast anybody here, I think they're all great and should return. I'm just saying now that RDJ has made Iron Man an iconic character, that character will be around in 20 years time sans Robert. It's Hollywood. Joss should go balls to the wall with Avengers 2 and fight for everything he wants to do and say, because 3 may not be him. That doesn't mean 2 won't be successful. There's always the next story and next role.
There's not a lot of precedent for successfully recasting anchor/main characters without rebooting


James Bond and Batman but that would be about it.
RDJ's gonna get his money, they can't not have him in Avengers 2. Whether he's Iron Man beyond that, who knows. My recommendation for Avengers 2 is to ditch Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye and replace them with no name actors in new superhero roles, perhaps Vision amongst them. They need Thor and Captain America to remain the same for Avengers 2 also, less than Iron Man, but they're poles that help hold up the tent also.

Not having Renner and Johannsen on the cast would hopefully free up enough for RDJ to remain Iron Man one last time.
Gossi-There's a point where there is not the next role, that's one reason why actor's get 'so much' money upfront. I find it telling Mr. Evans is already decided...he's sitting in a corner mumbling, "Rise of the Silver Surfer..." (I apologize for the joke and brining up that movie.)
Simon thanks for the links...didn't realize Joss is so long related to the absent Mr. Harbert.
When I watched IM3, I felt very much like that standalone franchise is probably done for Marvel as of that movie. I think they can probably keep Downey glued if it's for the Avengers ensembles and nothing else.

Avengers 2 needs to have the whole band together. If Phase 3 or whatever has to get into recasting, so be it, but they are just going to deflate Avengers 2 if they can't keep the stars of the first one on board to reprise their roles.
When I sai dthis: " Having said that, I find that people who argue for 50 mil when they are offered 35 mil are not people I can care much about. They turn me off seeing movies in which they star" it was not to deny that someone who can negotiate their paycheck should not try, nor to suggest that I am so naive as to misunderstand how the business works. I get that. What I meant, and what I thought I said, was that such discussions turn me off. And they do. If somehow RDJ believes that he is worth 50 mil and will not take less, fine for him. But that does not mean I have to then go see the movie as a result. I won't subsidize it. Yep, I'm just one person and I don't matter. But as noted above, it may also mean that they cut ScarJo and others in order to provide enough money to RDJ. And really, could you not live on 35 mil? Are you being disrespected? It would only take me around 350 years to earn the same money at my current salary. I find all this distressing. With big money comes big problems.
Dana-you hit it on the head. To be in movies, you have to be in Cali. Cali is freaking expensive to live in. These 'famous actors' have risks that prevent them from just picking up an apartment. Don't forget the agent takes a double-digit percentage, and don't we all have family that runs short of money? (now imagine they all read 'you got $50M' in an online article that doesn't mention your agent's cut-or the ubiquitous tax.)
One hopes, at some point, artistic integrity outweighs profit motive-but we are all here for a limited time. The most telling quote about the business is James Earl Jones saying, "I got paid $1500 to do Star Wars (A New Hope.)." Yes-he made 3 sequels, but he made a poor business decision that hurt him financially. He took his upfront when offered an either/or and that's what he got for doing the iconic villian of the modern age.
I would find it very difficult to suspend disbelief and get into the story if any of the main characters (ie ALL the Avengers we've seen to date) were recast without a reboot. I've seen the other Hulk movies, there didn't feel like there was any real continuity between them because of the recasting. Plus, Mark Ruffalo *is* Hulk to me. Chris Hemsworth *is* Thor. They inhabit those characters.

If you want to ditch *any* of the cast, you have to ditch them all or it'll jar. If you do that, you're throwing away the team that made those characters come to life in the first film. I know Marvel have a history of screwing creatives over, but they risk killing the franchise doing this.
Millionaire agents using the press to get more millions for their millionaire clients. In the meantime, the rest of us are hoping our mortgages don't crush us before we have a chance to launch our kids into adulthood.

Utterly vulgar.
There is nothing vulgar about what a willing buyer and willing seller agree to, or don't, as long as the subject matter is legit, as an actor's salary is. The issue here isn't some normative issue of how much actors and directors and agents and studios make. If Marvel wants MCU to sustain its level of success it's going to pay its stars, it's just as simple as that. If there are, pace the Architect, lower levels of survival they are willing to accept, then by all means, recast willy-nilly.
I really don't think any of the principal actors should be re-cast. I think when an actor is no longer willing or able to play the part, the movies should move on to another character. The Avengers' roster in the comics has changed many times. As long as the creative talent remains as good in the Marvel movies as it has been, there should be no problem shuffling characters in and out every so often. They just need to avoid running into a situation where they have to replace the whole cast all at once.

It would especially be a shame to lose Ruffalo as the Hulk. Iron Man has already had a good run, but with Ruffalo they *finally* found the right chemistry to make the Hulk work on the big screen, for the first time ever.

It's astounding that The Avengers didn't go into profit until it hit $1.1 BILLION. That's just Russian roulette... if anything at all goes wrong, you've got a bankruptcy-level flop on your hands.
@AndrewCrossett: That seems astounding as well. We will never know, but I suspect some of it is accounting shenanigans to try to reduce the reported profits.

It could include extra costs for extending the theater run, or extra advertising once they saw that they had a hit on their hands. Or maybe certain revenue incentives were hit that raised the salaries on the crew? In which case, the movie only costs $1.1 billion because it had already made a lot more than 1.1B.

For all the complaining about the salaries of the artists, I wonder how much was budgeted for studio execs who put their finger in the pie, to get a cut without actually contributing anything worthwhile to the project.
AndrewCrossett, there's ways you offset it. Being owned by Disney, for one, who have some billions. Plus ultimately over the long haul you've got DVDs, Blu-Ray, Ultra-Violet, VOD, planes, merc licensing blah blah. It's all calculated risk.

But make no mistake, Marvel try to play these things smart by spending their money on the screen. Part of me (the part that watches) thinks that's great. The other part of me thinks, hey, people get screwed over in this process for sure. Scarlett and Mark deserve to get a piece of the pie for The Avengers 2. At the same time, if they don't want to do it for whatever reason(s) - they will always find work elsewhere. They're great. Like, really really great actors. I always said Joss shouldn't do Avengers 2 unless the situation is right, and I think it's the same for those guys. Of course, I quietly hope they do it. Because Hulk, yo(hansson).
If Avengers didn't make a profit until 1.1 billion then how does ANY studio film manage to make a profit? I refuse to believe that statement.
The only astonishing thing about that figure of one billion is that Hollywood accountants admit there was a profit made at all--they don't like to say that and are very good at hiding it.

One thing I rarely see brought up in these debates: It's not even about how much a person really deserves for a few weeks of acting--look at that, and the millions seem ridiculous. But these movies make certain (large) amounts of money, and someone is going to get those, either the people who worked on them or the studios, and this comes down to who is responsible for bringing in what percentage.

It's tricky, especially in cases with long-established characters such as Marvel's, where I frankly think a sizable percentage should go to the comic book (aka Development) division, and maybe to provide pensions for the people who made the characters what they are.
OneTeV-The execs cut their cut when they fork over the $200M to make the film. (That is, some say, the ONLY important part of the process. If you don't get funded, you will not have a movie, literally. ILM gets paid upfront-the bonuses from the return is their way of justifying more $150M movies.)
There's a great analysis of the returns for this movie online. (no link yet.) You take 1.5B-cut that in half (the theaters themselves take that half.) then subtract the prod budget-subtract the advertising then you are left with $400M profit to cut bonuses. (I suppose the home ent. media section is pretty similar.)
@Neils- It's unfair to characterize it that way. Chris, Chris. Scarlett, Colbie, Jeremy (in no particular order) ust have had MONTHS of pre-shooting training to be in the shape they were in. (Kenneth Branaugh commented it took 8 months of 'hard work' for Chris H to be the guy who took his shirt off in Thor.) I'm sure RDJ and Mark spent very long hours in the digital studios modeling for their parts, as well. that's aside from the emotional stress that acting does to a body.

[ edited by BarryC on 2013-05-08 18:29 ]
@BarryC: I consider funding the film an important part of the process. Which is why I added the "worthwhile" qualifier to that last part.
I'm referring to stories (in general, not for the Avengers) of mid-management leeches who change a word here or there in the script, or demand the inclusion of some meaningless side character, or throw in an unnecessary story twist, then demand a partial producer credit (and corresponding cut of the profits).
OneTeV, I doubt there is much of that going on at Marvel. Very tight ship.
It occurs to me that an Iron Man-free Avengers 2 movie would certainly be easier to write than an Iron Man-free Avengers would've been; in fact, after seeing Iron Man 3, I imagine Joss has had a time wrangling Tony into his Avengers 2 script. (No specific spoilers here; just musing on what Joss himself said in red carpet interviews at the IM3 premiere.)

He's far enough into script development that it would be pretty crappy to have to reconfigure characters, but he could do it and it might even make for a more interesting story.
And RDJ is the only non-replaceable person in the cast.


He's as replaceable as anyone else. And Tony Stark may be a 2nd tier guy, but for a guy as un-floored by the Marvel universe in comparison to many other people as I am, I was well aware of who Iron Man was and had him on a level about the same as Captain America.

I think it's great that RDJ signed up to play him. I think he plays Tony very well and when I think of Iron Man, I think of RDJ. But I thought Michael Keaton before Christian Bale. I still think Tobey Maguire over Andrew Garfield. The difference is, some replacement actors can pull it off. Some replacement actors don't. And btw, I realize some people will disagree with me about Maguire over Garfield. But if they get a great actor to replace RDJ, it will be the same thing.

And really, are fans going to be happy if they have to sacrifice 3 other named cast members to keep RDJ? Perhaps I will speak for the minority but if RDJ plays that game, I want him gone in no uncertain terms. What he is doing is not unreasonable. But he's doing it in a large ensemble cast where his decisions inevitably affect everyone else. If he cares that little for the take home of Renner, Ruffalo, and Jackson then I'm not going to care if Marvel pulls the plug on him. It's why Terrance Howard ISN'T War Machine.

[ edited by azzers on 2013-05-08 20:17 ]
Re: James Earl Jones - the man is worth upwards of 45 million dollars. He made a bad deal on the first Star Wars movie but he has made his money and his presence in that role increased the value of his brand. It's a lot like superstar athletes. Taking max money in every transaction does not necessarily work out well. Alex Rodriguez went from one of the most loved players in the major leagues to one of the most hated. And had he signed for less than half of what he made, he STILL would have had a hard time spending it all.

There's a fine line with these people who are their own brands. It's a game between doing things that help the brand and cleaning up in the negotiating room without making people hate you.
This is ALL negotiation tactics by agents and Marvel/Disney lawyers played out in the press. 100%. Everyone will be on board if it suits the story. I wouldn't spend any time concerned about it as a fan. This is all smoke and mirrors. Nikki is a willing participant in this charade because it drives traffic to Deadline. And anyone who takes it too seriously is being played for a fool.
You know, I think it's difficult when you get into specifics azzers. EW reported at the time Howard was offered a 50%-80% pay cut for the sequel. If that figure is accurate and if I was his agent, I'd have told Marvel to suck it (the movie made $300m - you don't say "hey, come back for 80% less money") (unless they wanted to recast him, which also happens).

Anyhoo, IrrationaliTV is right ultimately. This is a game involving lots of money, which tends to bring the crazy, being played out in public. What happens happens. Personally, I'd pay money to work with Joss. So, you know. I'd be surprised if things don't pan out well.
I won't pretend to defend Marvel's practices (I'm still bothered by how they treated their old comic creators), but one point to remember in all of this is that Marvel needed every single movie leading up to Avengers to be a success or it would be broke because of its financing deal (I've tried finding a link to this but haven't yet). So the stingy frugality and multi-picture contracts all make some sense in that respect. But again, not defending it.

I like to (naively) believe that all this posturing is RDJ trying to get better deals for his castmates in Avengers 2 (that paycheck differential is staggering). Either way, Marvel has to do a better job of taking care of the people who make their films a success, whether it's the cast or the crew.
Word on the street is that money had very little to do with Howard not coming back. It was just the excuse/reason given to save face. Smoke and Mirrors, people.
Gossi, I really don't think it's that difficult. Marvel holds the budget for every project it does. Even in the Terrence Howard situation, he was the highest paid player in IM 1. The producers are going to determine what they can pay each player. At that point, they can either get them to sign for that amount, recast, or remove a character. And as an aside, when you look at Howards career it could be well argued he should have taken the cut. What actually happened hurt him.

@Irrational - it's not out of line to think something more was going on. But it is specious that because someone said something, that makes it true. Fans and press speculate to an almost outrageous degree.

Again, every person in one of these situations is responsible for getting what they feel they're entitled to. But Marvel's priority is not keeping RDJ happy. Honestly, I'm not even reading the specifics that are speculation or he said/he said at this point. I'm saying RDJ leaving as a nuclear option will be on the table and Marvel would be stupid to not exercise it if it's clear his budget line is going to cripple the project. I'm not saying that's what RDJ is about to do. I'm saying it's wishful thinking for us to speculate that Marvel is married to keeping RDJ around regardless of what is actually happening.

[ edited by azzers on 2013-05-08 21:07 ]
Last night on Jimmy Kimmel Robert Downey, Jr. announced a kickstarter campaign to fund Iron Man 4.

[ edited by embers on 2013-05-08 21:32 ]
King of Cretins -

I do not object to people fighting for what they feel they are worth. I do not object to people being rich. I object to the tone deaf idiocy of playing it out in the press to curry favour with the public. A public which has been taking it in the shorts for half a decade and could only dream of the "stingy" amounts being discussed. It is vulgar. It is insensitive. It's tacky d*ck swinging and it's morally bankrupt.

[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2013-05-08 22:13 ]
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.
That reported figure did have a suspiciously large number of zeroes after the "1." Thanks for setting the record straight, boss.

[ edited by ManEnoughToAdmitIt on 2013-05-08 22:49 ]
Dear Joss,

Enjoy your steak, make the movies you want to make, and I will happily watch. Your movies, that is. I will leave you to eat your steak in peace.

Thanks,

floofypooh
Ah, Joss. He's funny even when he's bugged.
Joss, thank you for the purple clarification and not making it winter for three years. Where *do* you go to laugh and laugh and laugh? I think there could be some credence to the "can write" rumor, though.
I'm worried that The Big Purple knows what uni... tastes like.

Just me, then? OK.
You heard it here first, Joss eats unicode.
With rosemary butter, sounds delish.
Sorry if I implied anyone was naked...( pretending to be a farmer everyman ANYman has proven addictive.)
Excelsior! (Of course, this scuttlebutt is just a facade that your crew is fallible, in some way.)

[ edited by BarryC on 2013-05-09 03:21 ]
I don't know... only elitists who are Oprah-rich (or at least Powerball rich) eat things downtown with rosemary butter! Also, I'm not necessary sure what rosemary butter tastes like, so I'm agin' it!

Nice to get some refreshing honesty from Big Purp.
Sources tell me Joss ate 100 unicorns. Then Downey made a quip and bathed in the tears of Edward Norton.
Never mind the unicorns, Joss. See if you can rent one of those dragons from Game of Thrones in case negotiations start resembling how Congress acts these days.
I'm also fairly sure that if you throw parties like the ones in "Much Ado About Nothing", who would complain? It would have a singer everyone wished they had
And yes, we know you "can write"
Rats. Does this mean no bajillion dollar budget for Dr. Horrible 2? The ELE could have a lot of fun with that money...
It's a pity Joss doesn't get that money. Just imagine the movies he'd make... It's not that I didn't like The Avengers, but projects like Much Ado excite me a whole lot more.
I'm not getting $100 mil on Avengers 2. If I were, I would come on this site and laugh and laugh and laugh.

"Whedon declares mere $100 million to be 'laughable.' Hints at maxi-ultra-boffo payday!"
I'm sorry to see that Joss has been dragged into this debate. He's my favorite screenwriter and his work has improved my life on a number of occasions (Buffy the Vampire Slayer helped me get through my parents separating, and I was introduced to my first friends in high school through Firefly.) That being said, I'm siding with the cast rather than Marvel Studios on the issue. It's ridiculous that they are being jerked around like this, and I hope they don't end up needing to be recast, particularly after the actors and actresses did such a terrific job in the first movie.
I think gossi is out of line with that 100 unicorns comment. Thats how rumors start to become "fact".

Simon has already stated that Joss eats unicode. Obviously, he is like a Cylon hybrid, wired in a tub of goo, mentally overseeing various Marvel projects.
Thanks for weighing in, j. You continue to be in the list of top 1 classiest guys I've run a fan site for.

Based on your comment and those following, I have learned that:
1. You enjoy pretending to be a rich farmer.
2. You're every woman.
3. You throw starvation parties where everyone wears clothes and sits very still.
4. You eat and thus are made of unicode, which means that you vaguely resemble Japanese vocaloids such as Hatsune Miku.

I trust you will not deny these reports, and that I may thus publish them on my very widely read site, truthfactsaboutjoshwheaton.com.
I think Kiba's on to something as usual ;).
truthfactsaboutjoshwheaton.com

Ha ha. You don't even know Joe Sweden's name. Rube.
Josh Wheldon AND Jose Wheedon are both laughing at you clowns.
Whereas Jazz Whildren (link to his origin story) is too busy taking care of our imaginary children, all also named Jazz Whildren.

(I was glad gentleman farmer & Everywoman Joss stopped by to clear that up, but sorry he had to. It felt mighty odd reading about his gazillions and whether he should have them & all that hooha. It's not that money is sacred or can't be spoken of, it's just that - well, he's right, it felt tawdry - though frankly I can't think of anyone in Hollywood I'd rather have earn kabillions of shekels than Joss.)
Yeah, 100 mil did seem a little TOO neat of a number. And high.
Unicorns, rosemary butter and winter, oh my!

Still fun, even if inspired by some inadequate reporting.
I'm so proud to be a member of this Jodi Sweetin fan club.

It was Unicrom. Joss ate him and all the Transformers with rosemary. You'd be amazed what you can do if you have enough rosemary.
(Orwen) "But what of the salmon of Lake Llew? I've never met a wiser fish."
"Gone," muttered Orgoch, sucking a tooth. "Long gone."

- "Taran Wanderer", Lloyd Alexander
(Although it is odd to hear "Joss" pronounced as "Orgoch".)

Some years back, there was a charity auction to have dinner with Mr. Whedon. Have any of those people been seen again? I'm trying to remember if this dinner was around the time that the Angel writers revealed Jasmine's peculiar eating habits...
Coming way late to this party, but it saddens me (joining others here) that as much as I look forward to His Purpleness's posts, that this has to be the reason he takes precious time to write. I lost the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses/Josses at birth, but I don't begrudge their successes, however large, when those are built on actual talent and sweat.

"Whedon declares mere $100 million to be 'laughable.' Hints at maxi-ultra-boffo payday!"

Just love this.
Listen, what's a little unicorn steak between movie moguls? I say let bygones be bygones. #hideshisunicorn
Hey, I went to truefactsaboutjoshwhedon.com, and it linked me to a site that tells me 10 facts about Wil Wheaton. Curse you, Wil Wheaton! Bazinga!
I'm surprised that a lot of articles are taking Joss' denial with a pinch of salt. They all seem to be basing this on him denying getting $100 million for "Avengers 2" and suggest $100 million is close to what he'll be getting overall for his TV and movie commitments.
Unicorn steaks... wow, Hollywood really is another world. Next you'll be telling me Gosh Weedom eats Dodo bird eggs for breakfast.

Also, I don't know if it is my insomnia talking or the long painstaking hours I've been doing web designing, but I can't stop laughing about Joss eating unicode. I wish there was a like button so I can hit like on Simon's comment a bizillion times. Then I would unlike it so I could like it again. It's probably the insomnia.
suggest $100 million is close to what he'll be getting overall for his TV and movie commitments.

I don't know much about this end of the business, but doesn't that just sound like a crazy pile of money for non acting talent? I mean, can anyone name any other comparable deals for someone to direct a movie and develop some TV and film projects? And from a hard-nosed business perspective, Joss has precisely one serious hit on his resume.

I mean, heck, if I was in charge of the Hollywood money-hose I'd happily say "give Whedon ALL THE MONEY!" but it seems like a pretty unlikely real-world development to me.
The articles I mentioned are by Hypable and Forbes.

The relevant Hypable quote is
there is no doubt in our mind that his $50-60 million dollar up front payment, in addition to his back-end percentage is guaranteed to result in him making $100 million or more.This also means that he is getting similar paychecks as Robert Downey Jr., something he says he isnt.


And the Forbes quote is
Im still trying to find out whats really going on here but I would not be surprised if Whedon does have a $100 million deal with Disney that covers several mediums over several years.

They also say Whedonesque is Joss' site. Honestly, no one does research properly these days.
Its worth noting that both the Hypable and the Forbes articles explicitly acknowledge that they don't know the terms of the deal Joss has. It's also worth noting that Hypable refers to a "$50-$60 million dollar up front payment" while Forbes says that he'll receive a "$10 million" up front payment but "10% of the first-dollar gross" (HA! who cares if it's the first dollar? 10% of that is still just a dime. The fool--he should hire me as his agent. I'd have got 10% of at least the first two or three HUNDRED dollars).

The point is, though, that both sites are guessing. The Forbes one sounds like the more level-headed attempt to figure it all out, and essentially they break it down to Joss doing enough different things with Disney over five years to earn $20 million per year. Now $20 million per year for five years is a very nice pile of cash, don't get me wrong. But I'm guessing it's not even close to what Downey will earn over that same five years, is it?

It still sounds like an implausibly large sum of money to me. My guess is that it's a figure that was either plucked out of the sky or it represents some kind of back-of-the-envelope calculation of the maximum he could earn if absolutely everything he touches turns to gold over the five years. That is, if every single film he is involved in earns Avengers-like money and if every TV show becomes a hit and shifts unprecedented amounts of merchandise and so forth. But, of course, if that happens (which it won't) $100 million would start to look like chump change.
If a million fans got together and contributed just $100 each, we could have a million fan pyramid scheme! Wait. That did not end where I intended it to when I began. buyjossonehundredmilliondollars.com - no, no, that's not it either.

Honestly, all of this talk about who is making how much does feel like linkbaiting that will lead to lots of clicks and complaints but, as far as I can see, won't actually affect negotiations. Reporters are pretty well scrambling to make this bigger news than it is, it seems to me.

Whatever Joss makes and however much they're paying him, whomever ends up cast in whatever roles there are, I'll give it a try. Even if they can't get Hemsworth for Thor. (Which would make me sad. But then maybe my sister could be Thor? She comes cheaper than Hemsworth.)
All this talk of Hollywood unicorn steaks reminds me a bit of this 2007 WGA strike video by the Colbert writers.

"you start to see why my son, this year, had to settle for a non-endangered birthday tiger." (And this one too, by Mo and Jed and Nick Towne, especially towards the end about the panda rug, which bit is just little NSFW)

Anyhoo, call me crazy-nutso-whackadoodle, but I'm gonna believe what Joss saId about his money, rather than Random Internet Speculation - not that I give much of a sh*t, anyway. (And yep, Kiba, that thing wot you said.)

ETF: 2nd link

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2013-05-10 08:00 ]
Hey, QuoterGal, you seem to have the same (very funny) video at both links.
Oh, thanks much, Yoink, I sure SNAFU'd that up good. Fixed now...
Where did they get the five years thing from? Joss' contract with Marvel ends June 2015 according to the original reports.
Sadly, Joss felt the need to confess to not serving enough snacks when he throws wild, naked Hollywood parties. I hope he can get a good paying job that allows him to increase his snack budget.
NOW I see the code in his speech! (Good thing 'Matrix-vision' isn't new to me; it did help me calibrate it for human/subhuman.)
Angel be a Devil, Mercy upon thee! (I was really upset yesterday...too bad no one saw it. I scared myself...there wasn't a shrill note in it.)

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