Avengers Avengers Assemble at the Negotiating Table written by Sean Gerber May 8, 2013 On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter broke a story about a dinner party at Spago in Los Angeles, CA where Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige, and Disney Chairman Alan Horn were all in attendance. In addition to celebrating the massive opening weekend for Iron Man 3, the gathering was also characterized as a step in the negotiations for Downey to sign on for more Marvel films, reprising his role as Tony Stark. Downey has already satisfied his contractual obligations to Marvel and is a free agent. THR’s sources claimed The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3 were on the table for discussion, but there was no mention of a fourth Iron Man film, fueling speculation that Downey may not want to carry another solo outing. In truth, the ending of the third film does not exactly setup a need for a fourth film anyway and it’s not difficult to imagine Tony Stark only being interested in fighting global threats when his services are absolutely needed. Marvel may already have five individual franchise films in Phase 3 prior to The Avengers 3 (Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, third films for Thor and Captain America, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2), leaving no room, or no great need for Iron Man 4. The biggest money is in the teamup films and Downey would not have to work as much in those, making deals for only The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3 a win/win for both sides. A report from Deadline Hollywood, however, suggests a much more contentious series of negotiations for the entire Avengers assembly. Their sources cite the historical frugality of Marvel Studios CEO (and the third largest Disney shareholder) Ike Perimutter becoming a roadblock as Downey and his castmates seek raises for a sequel to a film that outperformed the expectations the original negotiations were based on. It is not exactly clear who has a contractual obligation for The Avengers 2, but Marvel plans to enforce all of its contract options. Downey, though, is a free agent and Deadline reports that Chris Hemsworth’s Thor contract does not cover The Avengers 2. Robert Downey, Jr. made at least $50 million for The Avengers due to profit-sharing clauses and box office bonuses added to his contract after Iron Man in 2008. No one else in the cast made anywhere near that, nor should they when looking at how their individual films performed compared to Downey’s Iron Man films. Downey is not expected to take a pay cut and might even be leading his superhero teammates to better deals for the sequel. If all of the main cast bands together, it will become much harder for Marvel to deem any of them expendable. Still, it is possible that some of the cast may not be returning. As difficult as this information may be to read or hear, there is no need to hit the panic button at this time. These negotiations should have been expected after The Avengers made $1.5 billion. Everyone wants to get paid and, frankly, they all deserve at least a little bit of a bump. Even though Deadline states that Disney does not wish to get involved in the negotiations in hopes of allowing Marvel to retain its autonomy, the presence of Alan Horn at that Spago dinner suggests that may not be entirely true. Marvel has allowed people to walk in the past, like Terrence Howard and Edward Norton, but it is hard to imagine Disney idly standing by and watching any of its big stars walk over a few million dollars the studio can easily afford to pay. There is too much money to be made in The Avengers 2 to risk recasting a major role like Iron Man, Captain America, or Thor. Ultimately, these deals will probably get done and any hard feelings will blow over. Avengers Assemble at the Negotiating Table was last modified: February 21st, 2016 by Sean Gerber Related 15 comments 0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Sean Gerber Sean Gerber is the founder and editor-in-chief of Modern Myth Media. When he's not writing here, you can catch him as the host of Popular Opinion Podcast, Batman News, and Marvel News! previous post ‘Man of Steel’ TV Spot #3 next post First Look: ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ You may also like Feige: The Avengers Are Not Happy To... October 2, 2015 Jeremy Renner Opens Up About Hawkeye In... March 3, 2015 AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR To Be Filmed In... May 7, 2015 Marvel’s AVENGERS: RDJ Will Awesome The Crap... March 2, 2015 Marvel: LEGO Goes All Out For AVENGERS... January 29, 2015 ‘The Avengers 2’ Makes its Release Date... August 16, 2012 Robert Downey, Jr. Shares AVENGERS Set Photos April 23, 2014 MARVEL’S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Has A... April 9, 2015 Joss Whedon On The New And Returning... March 19, 2015 Joss Whedon Talks AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON March 5, 2015 J At this point no need to recast, just plug in other heroes with new stars to the franchise and save money that way. None of them are bigger than the whole, not even Downey who’s getting tiresome. Sean Gerber The box office results don’t backup your opinion of Downey. T.J. If the Avengers’ cast was the Green Bay Packers, RDJ is Aaron Rodgers. Pay him the money. Sean Gerber No doubt! Great analogy! Scott Why I am not disagreeing with you, we also cannot compare a box office without Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Jean They need to bring him back, it would be a horrible financial choice not to. Jean No accounting for taste I guess, that becomes more and more obvious looking at some of the movies that do really well at the domestic and even more solo international box office. Jean I agree with J, RDJ is growing very tiresome, but then again I didn’t enjoy IM3 all that much. No story whatsoever, as I’ve said to everyone I talk to about it, it was “I can’t sleep after NYC, now here’s some action, then we’ll give you some poorly acted panic attacks mixed in, with more action” and that’s about it. I expect that with a team up like The Avengers, but want much more depth to solo films. To me watching RDJ is like watching Jack Nicholson in Batman ’89, it’s a fun performance, but it’s really just Jack with white make up on. Dean245 Hey Sean, nice piece. I appreciate your response yesterday regarding my IM3 rant lol. Apologies for this, I just find it disappointing that the genre is being lead by a series of films, the latest of which I thought was poor, and that because it’s going to take around $1.2billion at the box office, what we might get is more “poor”. Anyway I usually agree with you guys on everything which is why I’ve downloaded every podcast for the last 18 months or so, I guess there was gonna come a time when I disagreed with you haha. Keep up the good work 🙂 Stock Isn’t it true that when a major star like Downey takes a percentage of the profits, they often take a smaller contractual paycheck? At least that is what I heard the grandfather of profit-sharers did, Jack Nicholson, for his turn as the Joker. A smaller check in the beginning for the risk of huge rewards in profit. Which he made in spades. I believe RDJ said he could only do this for a while because frankly, he’s as old as me. In much better shape, obviously, but I imagine its hard to do these action films as you head into half century territory. I have a somewhat physical job myself, and I’m telling you guys, getting old sucks. All it beats is the alternative. I think all these guys are going to want to move on at some point, and many of these characters will get the Bond/Batman treatment. Different actors taking on the roles, trying to put their own stamp on it. I certainly hope they aren’t gonna go all prima-donna over a few million dollars. Charlie I suppose they’re due a slight raise just based on the fact that the movie was so huge, but I wouldn’t bend over backwards for them. They’re all riding the coattails of RDJ. He made that movie the success that it was. Without him Avengers probably doesn’t do half the business that it did. Robert carter (@blkyank) Even if/when the time comes to recast the roles,Marvel should avoid being known as the studio that burns talent. They can get away with it for now but as FOX,Sony and (hopefully)WB get their cinematic universes into high gear,Marvel may start losing talent as they choose to work for those other studios. Love the pod casts and hope to run into some of you guys at Comic-Con this summer. Robert carter (@blkyank) Sean Are the Gentlemen having a review podcast on a non-CBM this summer? In some ways, I have enjoyed them more because I have less riding on the movie.I can just enjoy or hate it for what it is.Your podcast on Prometheus was a blast and I hope we get ones on Star Trek Into Darkness and Pacific Rim this summer. Adam Yeah, downey is a key role in the success of avengers, who’s front and center on the poster? I’m just hoping he comes back for a third, no matter how small the role. definitely not tired of downey iron man, not sure if I ever will be. zack ho hum when is the new batman coming out.marvel may make money.but batman will allways kick butt.P.S. iron man is a rip off of batman for those few who couldnt see it.