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June 20 2013

Robert Downey Jr. signs on for Avengers 2 and 3. Marvel.com has the news.

Yay figured he was definitely back for 2 but happy he will also be in 3. The lack of further Iron Man movies doesn't bother me too much as IM3 left the series in a good place.
Awesome news.This is the deal most were expecting.It's understandable that Downey would rather do Avengers sequels over more Iron Man standalone films.Don't forget that he got injured during the Iron Man 3 shoot.This takes some of the weight off his shoulders that carrying his solo films put on him.

My speculation is that Avengers 3 will probably be his last turn as Iron Man.Three Iron Man films and three Avengers films.I would guess after that they would use a potential Iron Man 4 to introduce a new actor.
Amazing new$. I wonder what the delay wa$?
Business is business is business. Just another day in Hollywood (or in this case, Burbank). Anyone making it out to be anything else is full of shit. Nikki Finke included.
Is Joss signed through Avengers 3? I missed the news that 3 was even a possibility.

Glad Downey situation is settled.
Part of the delay was because some of the cast members were protesting being paid A LOT less than Downey. So he joined them in protesting and refused to sign on until their wages were changed for The Avengers 2.

It sounds selfless in theory, but Downey also made $50+ Million from The Avengers (some of the others made about $200,000)- and he wasn't exactly offering to share that money with the rest of the cast either. It was cool of him to stand up for the rest of the cast, but he also had very little to lose since he knew Marvel wasn't going to move forward without him. In my opinion, $50 Million is a ridiculously high sum to be paid in the first place (though not uncommon for major actors).
hann23, at this point, Avengers 6 is a possibility given how much studios like making sequels. Joss' current deal is only through Avengers 2.

libradude, which cast members made $200,000. I can't imagine any of the main cast accepting a contract in which they would only make $200,000. I mean, that's just silly.
It's possible that the mention of Avengers 3 is just a red herring. Maybe Iron Man will die fighting Thanos in Avengers 2?
You have any source data for that claim, libradude? Or is that fansite speculation and rumor?
Insanely happy about this. I expected it to happen but i'm glad it happened sooner rather than later when it might have really become a distraction. I feel as if certain publications overstated the possibility that he wouldn't return. And as far as I know Joss is only signed on through 2015, but you'd be silly not to know Avengers 3 was always on the table. In fact, he's many times discussed saving Thanos for Avengers 3
It sounds selfless in theory, but Downey also made $50+ Million from The Avengers (some of the others made about $200,000)- and he wasn't exactly offering to share that money with the rest of the cast either. It was cool of him to stand up for the rest of the cast, but he also had very little to lose since he knew Marvel wasn't going to move forward without him. In my opinion, $50 Million is a ridiculously high sum to be paid in the first place (though not uncommon for major actors).

From my understanding RDJ's deal was relatively little pay up front and mostly points on the backend. And $50 Million is still a _lot_, even for major stars.

[ edited by KernelM on 2013-06-20 20:12 ]
In his defense, he signed on for IM1 for $500k (which was less than Terence Howard) and his contract was structured so that he would eventually get profit sharing down the line. AVENGERS was the third movie in which he featured and when the movie made all the money, he (rightfully, IMO) got a nice little slice of the gigantic pie.

Without his standout performance in the very first Marvel movie, that elevated a second tier comic book character to first tier movie character, would THE AVENGERS even have got off the ground?

In other words, YAYYYYY! I can imagine no other actor playing this role.
Yeah, well I'm silly, that's a given. Things are flyin' fast these days and this silly old gal can't keep up with all these Avengersy contracts and mentions.

Plus, I feel entitled to mention that I can't wait for Avengers 2 to be done so we can have Dr. Horrible 2. Given that Marvel is throwing Avengers 3 around in press releases, will they try to renegotiate Joss's contract which could delay what I really want - more Whedony song and dance?

Yes, call me silly and entitled hann23.

And I am joking here. ;-) But I'm quite silly.
They've timed it nicely. Marvel weren't going to announce it when all the focus was on the Man of Steel.
The story was all over the place awhile back, but here's one source: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/05/marvel-and-robert-downey-jr-are-fighting-over-money/65006/

I don't know which actors specifically made around $200,000, but Downey definitely took in around $50 Million. Sorry, but that is a ridiculous paycheck- whether he received the money upfront or not.
Snoopy dance! I really don't care how much money any of them are making, but they're definitely getting more of mine.
Earning less than 3% of the revenue generated on a project launched with your face in the forefront is not at all a ridiculous paycheck. It's probably closer to less than 2% when all the ancillary revenue is counted. Perspective is a good thing. RDJ is a very smart businessman and you do realize that Nikki's info is speculation and rumor from "sources." Right? None of the info we are talking about is public.
Perspective is realizing many people won't make $1 Million their LIFETIMES. Why do people jump to defend one man making 50x that in a couple years? The quality of his work is not in question. Even if the info is less than accurate, google 'highest paid actors' and tell me those people deserve 30+ lifetimes worth of income over the span of one year.
I think "deserves" is a wacky way of looking at things in a capitalist society; I do completely think he earns every penny he can get from playing Tony Stark.
Remember too that one report had Joss's earnings so far off that he came here to tell us it was wrong.
Perspective is realizing many people won't make $1 Million their LIFETIMES. Why do people jump to defend one man making 50x that in a couple years? The quality of his work is not in question. Even if the info is less than accurate, google 'highest paid actors' and tell me those people deserve 30+ lifetimes worth of income over the span of one year.

Instead that money should go to Marvel's corporate overlords?
@libradude- I see where you are coming from, but the reality is that movies, sports, etc. bring in that kind of profit. If that kind of money is being made on a project, don't the people who worked on it deserve a cut for their contribution? This argument is more about what we value as a society. If we were not willing to spend our money on these things, then people would not be making that much money off of them.
Avengers 4? 5? 6?
Avengers: The Breakfast Cereal?
If the quality of a person's work truly dictates the amount they earn, shouldn't a great school teacher be earning millions per year as well? What separates the work of a great actor from a great teacher? The answer = millions of dollars. However, @Jelly, I agree that society is the major issue here.
Avengers 15: controversy arises over the casting of Miley Cyrus's and Justin Bieber's son Cyber (just one name) as Black Widow in the reboot helmed by the young DefinitelyDoesNotStartWithAK Kardashian-West.
I'm a capitalist. There is no "deserve" when it comes to money in our system. RDJ "deserves" to receive exactly how much he is able to negotiate for and more power to him.

[ edited by IrrationaliTV on 2013-06-20 21:47 ]
I think most actors would agree that what they do is not really on the same level as say, curing cancer. But the industry itself doesn't look all that different from other professions. It's difficult and requires training, intelligence, long hours, and you only get paid as long as you can get work. Whether you act or write or create props or do visual effects, it is hard work.

And, when it comes to physical roles like Iron Man and Superman, you have to put your body through a lot of difficult training. You might have to do a lot of stunts, and you might get hurt. You have to be away from your family a lot or have to do a lot of traveling for publicity. These issues are not insigificant, and having a lot of money does not make them go away. It might make them easier to deal with, though.

Imagine committing almost an entire year and a half to one project. You can't take other work while you're doing the movie, and while you can take on another movie after wrapping the first one, you have to potentially lose out on a role if the studio can't wait for you to finish publicity for the first movie. For a lot of actors, roles don't just fall out of the sky. You have to work really hard to be so well known that you can afford to skip projects you don't like because you don't need the money right away.

I agree with IrrationaliTV - arguing what RDJ "deserves" isn't the point. In the context of his business, he's being paid commensurate to what the studio believes he's worth.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2013-06-20 21:36 ]
Well that's just capitalism. Teachers for example are interesting in how little they're paid if you consider the lifetime earnings of all their students. We can tie RDJ to 1.2 billion in IM3 revenue if we like, but does IM3 make that kind of cash if there were no SFX, no Avengers, etc.?

To be blunt, I don't know there's a better way to do it but RDJ is justified in making as much as he can. Of course everyone else is free to realize how silly the number is.
Obviously RDJ has a team of agents and lawyers who not only negotiated a great deal for him, but (I'm sure) took a healthy cut of it for themselves. As someone said: business is business.

But there is no question in my mind that RDJ is huge box office. The enormous opening weekend for Avengers had a great deal more to do with RDJ as Tony Stark/Ironman than it did about Thor or Captain America. I'm pretty sure Marvel/Disney realize that fans will give Avengers2 another huge opening weekend because both Joss and Robert are on board for it. They'll make back their investment.
If studios can afford to pay one person millions upon millions of dollars, that seems to be pretty sufficient evidence to me that we as consumers are grossly overpaying for film tickets, dvds, etc. And again, no one is debating how hard actors work or the sacrifices they have to make.
Not sure I'd agree embers. I'm not sure how you separate the absolute buzz that Marvel had been painstakingly creating for that movie since IM 1 to the point of Comic Con announcements and advertising blitzes and pin that all on RDJ. Avengers was more along the lines of a cinematic event mainly because it was a bunch of stars in a blockbuster style movie that had been hinted at for years. It got buoyed by being a great movie. I'm not saying RDJ is a non-factor, I just think since we can't compare it to anything else so I could just as easily suggest that people were there for Alan Silvestri's score and we couldn't really disprove it either.

I think Downey is worth a certain amount of revenue. I'm not sure fans don't overestimate that and underestimate their draw to the MCU though.
libradude, if only movie studios had a crystal ball so they would only ever make hit movies that are profitable. But that is not the case so the profits of the successful movies have to subsidize the ones that fail miserably (financially). John Carter comes to mind. Disney sure is glad they had the upside on The Avengers to cover the losses on JC and to help them bankroll dozens of new projects some of which will make profits and some of which will crash and burn.

And the actors in the movies that fail horribly will all get paid pretty well too. Not RDJ well, but a damn sight better than probably all of us combined. :)

[ edited by IrrationaliTV on 2013-06-20 22:37 ]
I also think of the movie production business as a whole, beyond the actors. It's movies like Avengers that allow for studios to have visual effects artists and such. Thousands of people are paid to make a movie. Obviously, not as much as RDJ but certainly the movie couldn't have been made without stunt workers, CG artists, storyboard artists, etc. While they still get paid whether or not the movie makes money, it's nice when a movie is rewarded with success because it contributes to all their boats rising.
what the ninja report said - while RDJ gets paid so much because he's the headline name who brings viewers in to see the movies, his fame and appeal also provides jobs for thousands of other people in the industry - including Joss, btw. It's an everybody wins system - we, the fans, pay for it, but only because we WANT to see the movies. No one is forcing us to go to them.
"It's an everybody wins system - we, the fans, pay for it, but only because we WANT to see the movies. No one is forcing us to go to them."

Like I'm not going to pay to watch Brad Pritt run away from zombies in WWZ (how much is he getting paid?).
Is anyone keeping score? How many returning actors is this now?
Cap, I believe so far it's RDJ and anyone who was already under contract like Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo.
I believe Nikki Finke is no longer with Deadline, though she may already be writing elsewhere.
RDJ negotiated points on the gross past a certain point for IM2, IM3, and Avengers. My understanding is that Avengers would have to do insanely well for him to benefit i.e. if Avengers had hit 900m WW Marvel would have been happy, and RDJ wouldn't have got that much. But it did far better than anyone anticipated, and hit 1.5m. So RDJ gets paid. You expect him to turn around and say "This movie did really well, I insist you take this money back!"?

He described himself as a "strategic cost" and said that marvel were "pretty pissed" about having to pay him. But that's the gamble they took to get him cheaper up front I guess.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/robert-downey-jr-confirms-50-451707
There is the part of me that loves every time a studio tries to be cheap upfront. It's kind of odd because I tend to associate back end payments with indie filmmaking where the goal is to get something made and the investment just isn't there.

It reminds me of Lucas getting to keep the merchandising rights to Star Wars because Fox made the same gamble and lost.
Nikki is still running Deadline. She is posting articles this morning. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. :)

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