‘Avengers 2’ In Trouble? Contract Negotiations Could Sink The Film [Report]

We’ve got a pretty alarming report for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. It seems that The Avengers 2, the follow up to the 2012 summer blockbuster and culmination of four years’ worth of introductory films in Marvel’s Phase One, might not happen.

We don’t want to freak you out too much, because it’s still early and sometimes these road-bumps do happen and get ironed out on their own … but sometimes they also sink a film. What am I talking about? Contract negotiations.

Though recent comments from Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon make it sound like everything is hunky-dory with Avengers 2, a Deadline-published report this week casts a pretty long shadow of doubt over the film’s future.

The two biggest problem children are Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s CEO and apparent penny-pincher, and Robert Downey Jr., the crown jewel of the Marvel Cinematic Universe who has recently expressed doubt regarding his willingness to go on as Tony Stark.

Downey raked in between $50 and $70 million from The Avengers, and brought home a cool $35 million from Iron Man 3. With that film, his contract with Marvel is officially up. Having not officially signed on for Avengers 2, he’s in a sweet spot and can ask for whatever he wants. Given his popularity, all hell will break loose if he isn’t included in the follow-up.

Also, other actors from the original film like Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, etc. reportedly want more money themselves. The report alleges that each want $5 million right away and a cut of the box office after release.

Now sure, almost any of these actors could be replaced, but audiences usually only look the other way when they haven’t gotten so accustomed to seeing an actor occupy a role. The Terrence Howard/Don Cheadle shift in the Iron Man films worked because we had only seen Howard’s Rhodey in one film (and in this author’s opinion, Don Cheadle is a superior actor).

Same with the Bruce Banner/Hulk character, though he wasn’t really all that popular (despite two films) until Marvel hit the sweet spot with Mark Ruffalo.

But after so much continuity solidarity and so much track having been put down, could you imagine the need to re-cast two, or even the entire principal cast? They might as well just title the film Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and reboot it Christopher Nolan-style.

Either way, The Avengers 2 still has a tentative release date of May 1, 2015. We’ll let you know if anything changes.

Let us know what you think in the comments. Do you want to see all of the original cast member return for Avengers 2? Which cast members would you be willing to part with?