Marvel‘s Cinematic Universe is a big hit, yes? Judging by all the box office records broken by The Avengers, now only to be re-broken by Iron Man 3 with its $700 million+ earned so far, it’s safe to say there’s no franchise bigger or more profitable than Marvel’s. And at this point, you have to wonder how much of this franchise’s success is from love of these characters, or was it the performances of Roberty Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth that made Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor mega-stars?

By now, Marvel’s got themselves a reputation of tying actors into long contracts for little pay – obviously, we’re talking comparatively, whatever an actor makes can never really be called “little pay” – which works out great for Disney and Marvel when they’re looking to make at least two or three sequels. Evans’ is current signed into a six-picture deal, after renegotiating down from nine, and Mark Ruffalo is signed on for six, Avengers being his first. And what their paid is a pitiful fraction of their film’s earnings.

Not so for RDJ. He, smartly, had his agents renegotiate his contract after the first Iron Man which is what allowed him to take home over $50 million from The Avengers‘ haul. And he’s doing so again, because officially RDJ doesn’t have to put on the metal suit even if Tony Stark/Iron Man are an integral part of The Avengers 2. So the question is, how much will Marvel have to pony up to re-sign RDJ? And is that an option? I know, I know, it’s unimaginable to think they’d ever recast Tony Stark but if a company believes they can make a good enough product for cheaper, they will. Let us not forget, as Screen Rant rightly reminds us, Terrance Howard was the highest paid actor in Iron Man and look how quickly they recast him once he asked for more money.

Now, yes, Howard is no RDJ, but what of his Avengers‘ co-stars? How will they fare in their contract negotiations? Deadline is reporting they are rallying behind RDJ, who with his success both at the box office and in negotiations, has become something of a leader.

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.

What if RDJ holds off on resigning in order for his fellow Avengers to get better deals? Will Marvel play that game, or will they simply recast and possibly downsize his role? Honestly, I think it’s tough to tell what they’ll do, but I, like many of you, can’t see anyone besides RDJ in the role. And I’d figure Marvel and Disney will be checking these box office figures, collected again by Screen Rant, showing the gross of the Marvel films with and without RDJ,

$585 million – Iron Man
$624 million – Iron Man 2
$1,512 million – The Avengers
$711 million – Iron Man 3 (in less than two weeks)
$263 million – The Incredible Hulk
$369 million – Captain America: The First Avengers
$449 million – Thor

Soo, where do you think this leaves us? Can Marvel re-assemble The Avengers?

Category: Comics, Film

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