Robert Downey Jr. Negotiated Better Pay for His Avengers Co-stars
Robert Downey Jr. fought for better pay for his Marvel co-stars.
Robert Downey Jr. may have departed the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever after defeating Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, but viewers & journalists still strive their best to hold him in the spotlight.
Screen Geek recently saw fit to revive an article released by Deadline back in 2013, detailing how the A-list celebrity – already one of the most popular actors, if not the most famous star in the world – secured improved payments for his co-stars even while they contemplated leaving their superhero positions over salary conflicts with Marvel executives.
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Although some may see RDJ sticking up for his peers as admirable, he was ultimately, in certain ways, the source of the conflict.
The aspect that worried the Avengers actors was not that their salary – valued at $200,000 per person for the 2012 film – was poor on its own, but that it was extremely low relative to that of Iron Man who, as Marvel's poster star, bagged a staggering $50 million for the film.
To Downey Jr.'s credit, however, it's still heroic how he stood up for his colleagues. The actor placed his title as Tony Stark on the line and stood by his castmates. And he indeed succeeded. Marvel re-negotiated their terms and compensated the actors equally, contributing to the massive hit that became The Infinity Saga.
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While such remuneration discrepancy for similarly huge superstars appear unimaginable nowadays, you ought to remember the times. While the MCU was popular, it was nowhere near the global sensation that it is now.
The first two Avengers films racketeered in a pretty respectable collection in the box office. However, the MCU's stand-alone films were failing both critically and financially. In fact, at the time, the RDJ pictures were pretty much the only saving grace garnering any sort of publicity.
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Consider Chris Hemsworth's Thor to get a clearer understanding of what we're suggesting. Despite being one of the most famous Avengers today, the God of Thunder was once commonly viewed as the most disposable member of the squad.
Given Hemsworth's second solo MCU film, The Dark World was disliked by fans and critics, it's a little surprise his pay was dwarfed by the charming Robert Downey Jr., whose fun sense of humor often offered a pleasant diversion from the grim seriousness of several characters, and eventually laid the cornerstone for the buoyant Marvel environment we know and love.
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