Robert Downey Jr. isn’t hurting for cash these days as the star of both of the biggest cinematic opening weekends ever, The Avengers and now Iron Man 3.
“The audience drives the success of the movies,” he told Jimmy Kimmel on last night’s talk show appearance. But these days, with Veronica Mars and Zach Braff turning to Kickstarter, audiences are also funding movies as well!
Could Iron Man 4 be next to go down this route? Robert Downey Jr. seems to think so…
“The economy really Is weird,” Robert says about why another sequel hasn’t been greenlit yet despite the crazy success of the threequel this past weekend. “And I was thinking if we going to do another one, maybe we would tentatively call it Iron Man 4,” he added as a joke.
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Furthermore, he went on to show off a Kickstarter campaign looking to raise money for the movie. Yes, of course, this was a joke ― and a very timely one, since there’s a ton of controversy surrounding Zach Braff’s recent success and speculation that more big stars and even studios may soon turn to this method.
But it’s not just a Kickstarter campaign that could make or break Iron Man 4. Robert Downey Jr. isn’t contractually obligated to star in any more Marvel movies, meaning that The Avengers 2 and Iron Man 4 are in jeopardy of losing their biggest star. If Robert did somehow walk away from the series, likely Tony Stark would be recast ― as the Hulk has been ― rather than totally written out of the movie, based on the character’s popularity. But losing Robert Downey Jr. would likely be a big drawback for audiences, so Disney and Marvel will probably do just about whatever they can to keep him.
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That puts Robert Downey Jr. in an enviably powerful position to ask for whatever the hell he wants to sign on for Avengers 2 (and probably Avengers 3) and Iron Man 4 (and 5 and 6). That means he’ll likely ask for a big chunk of the films’ profits, like the $50-80 million he reportedly made on the first Avengers and the $35 million he’s already made from Iron Man 3.
Other Avengers stars have yet to negotiate their return for Avengers 2, and while they’re more replaceable than Robert Downey Jr., at this point the Avengers team is so iconic that any casting shakeup could be bad for the franchise. Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and others will be asking for a bigger cut this time around, and Marvel is notorious for being stingy with most of its stars. That could lead some stars to walk away from the roles if they don’t get their way.
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Deadline reports that Robert is acting like a “big brother” to his fellow actors, making sure that they all get lucrative deals for the next Avengers movie.
But hey, if Marvel needs a little more cash to pay its stars, there’s always Kickstarter…
Would you see Avengers 2 without Robert Downey Jr.?
How about the rest of the cast?