In more news of what’s apparently becoming the elephant in the room in regards to Marvel movies, Variety reported last night that Marvel Studios has offered Mickey Rourke $250,000 to play the “main villain” in Iron Man 2 – as the trade describes is, “a lowball opening offer” (emphasis on “opening,” as by all reports, Rourke has not walked from discussions.
And while little can be taken directly from what the Studio is offering the odds-on Oscar favorite for Best Actor nomination for his work in The Wrestler, it’s just the latest bit of news of possible belt-tightening with Iron Man 2. Last week, news broke that Samuel L. Jackson most likely wouldn’t be returning to his role of Nick Fury in Iron Man 2 or Avengers. The reason? “There seems to be an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world,” Jackson said. No amount was noted in any of the stories about Jackson.
Additionally, last October actor Terrance Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2 (and all subsequent Jim Rhodes appearances. From the original Hollywood Reporter story: “sources close to the deal said negotiations with Howard fell through over financial differences.” The replacement, Howard later said was a surprise to him, who told National Public Radio, “”There was no explanation, (the contract) just up and vanished.”
While Variety’s original article couched the news of Marvel’s lowball offer to Rourke in terms of studios showing fiscal responsibility in lean times, it still leans many to wonder about the production costs that could be associated with Marvel’s coming films – Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor and the ensemble picture starring all three heroes, and possibly Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, Avengers. As some have pointed out, depending on who is cast as Captain America and Thor in their respective films, actor’s fees alone could push a film’s budget over $100 million.