Joss Whedon has quickly denied making $100 million to direct “The Avengers” and serving as an overseer for Marvel’s Phase 2 slate of films.
Whedon directed one of the highest-grossing films of all time last year with “The Avengers” and is currently guiding the current lineup of Marvel films, including the recently released “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” that will lead up to the highly-anticipated “Avengers” sequel.
Following the success of “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3,” Marvel films have now become much-anticipated events, and contract negotiations with Robert Downey Jr. have made the money behind the films a talking point.
“The Avengers” grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide, and some of the actors in the film, including Chris Hemsworth, who played Thor, and Downey are not signed for “The Avengers 2.” Nikki Finke, editor-in-chief at Deadline, broke the news that Downey is looking at a $70 million payday for “The Avengers 2” and also mentioned Whedon getting $100 million to serve as a director for the two “Avengers” movies while overseeing various projects, such as making sure each of the current Marvel films lead up to the “Avengers” sequel and writing the pilot script for the “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” television series.
While Whedon may not be named as a producer in each of the Marvel films, such as Kevin Feige, Marvel’s top executive, his voice and influence is found in each upcoming movie. Finke’s article discusses the frugal, some would say cheap, ways at Marvel and their notorious bargaining sessions. Finke notes that some actors made just $200,000 for appearing on a movie that grossed more than $1.5 billion, while also mentioning Marvel’s refusal to pay for an awards campaign to promote “The Avengers” for 2013 Oscar nominations.
The article notes Downey got $50 million for “The Avengers,” including base salary, as well as box office incentives, and is looking to get paid even more to reprise his role as Tony Stark. While Whedon could have simply ignored the article, he made a point to comment on fansite Whedonesque.
In the comments section regarding the Marvel contract negotiations, the director said, “I was going to let it slide, but I've got this sour taste in my mouth. (Mmm, 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.”
Whedon does not deny he is being paid well but refuses the $100 million that has been thrown around following the Deadline article. Whedon goes on to joke that he wants to clarify some other rumors including, “That I throw wild Hollywood parties where everyone is naked and dancing and wild and I remember to serve enough snacks” and “that I ‘can write.'"