While Robert Downey Jr. enjoys Iron Man 3’s massive success, The Avengers 2 cast reportedly aren’t willing to work for what Marvel intends to pay them for The Avengers sequel.

Deadline is reporting that, “Marvel and therefore owner Disney are going to run into big trouble on that sequel because the upfront pay, backend compensation, break even points and box office bonuses aren’t pinned down yet for several big stars and castmates. This is a major hurdle which Walt Disney Co Chaiman/CEO Bob Iger hasn’t even mentioned to Wall Street or shareholders although he’s already been hyping Avengers 2 for more than a year now.” This may have Marvel a little worried. The last thing they need is a mass exodus from the most popular superhero team in the world.

The biggest problem right now for Marvel is that they don’t have Robert Downey Jr. locked down in a contract any longer. Deadline’s source says, ”They need him, and they don’t have him. He’s got a lot of leverage.

They don’t need Scarlett Johansson as much, although she is reprising her role as Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Chris Evans has reportedly already signed on for Avengers 2 when he wrapped up his contract for Captain America 2. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) is a far bigger actor now than he was when The Avengers was signing on cast members, so he’s most likely expecting a bigger pay raise. He’s reportedly told Marvel that he won’t show up for Avengers 2 for what they’ve offered him so far. As he was paid $5 million for Snow White and the Huntsmen, he’s unwilling to take a paycut for a film that is expected to make at least $1.5 billion at the box office.

the avengers 2 full page wide iron man hulk

MARVEL’S BUSINESS MODEL: KEEP IT CHEAP

After the heavy hitters, we have Mark Ruffalo, who is arguably one of the better actors in the cast, yet will most likely be paid the lowest, along with Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson. They’re all expecting $5 million or more, with a back end deal for Avengers 2, but so far Marvel isn’t biting. There’s even talk of the entire cast strong-arming Marvel into giving them equal pay.

Deadline goes on to say that Marvel’s frugality continued during awards season, when Marvel didn’t want to pay for an awards season campaign for The Avengers, and even when Disney offered to “foot the bill,” Marvel still wasn’t willing to go through with the campaign. This is just another sign that Marvel’s business model remains to be ‘keep it cheap.’

‘Avengers’ cast is ready to rumble with Marvel

The Avengers cast are, reportedly, “ready to rumble with Marvel,” before The Avengers sequel hits theaters in 2015. Deadline reports that, “Some received only $200,000 for Avengers and Downey got paid $50M. On what planet is that OK?” an insider tells them. CAA represents an overwhelming majority of the Marvel stars and is trying hard to keep the negotiations out of the public limelight and media headlines. But that may not be possible with some reps blaming the studio for ‘scorched earth’ tactics past and present. “Marvel has created so much animosity by strong-arming and bullying on sequels already. It’s counterproductive,” one source tells them. Another source says, “I’m sick of Kevin Feige telling me again and again how Marvel is ‘reinventing the movie business.’ It doesn’t work like this. They’re reinventing business, period.”

the avengers 2 full page square scarlet blackApparently, Marvel has threatend to sue or even recast the actors when their contracts are “challenged.” According to their source, many of the actors responded by saying, “Go ahead.” They’ve heard that Chris Hemsworth was one of the main actors who “wasn’t axnious” to go back into his strenuous workout routine to get back into fighting shape for Thor 2. They were also told that, “Scarlett Johanssen told castmates she’s “not going to cut her quote” for Marvel’s Avengers 2.” This is definitely starting to sound ugly, and we don’t imagine, with Marvel’s reported offer of a $500,000 increase, this is going to meet the expectations of the actors that are getting nearly $10 million or more on the open market.

Deadline spoke with Joss Whedon, asking him if he was worried about the actors leaving due to these disputes with Marvel, where he went on to say, “I feel good about Avengers because I feel everyone who took it got something to sink their teeth into. They weren’t hung out to dry. It’s not a soulless piece of work. It may be inept in some places but I meant every word. Marvel distinguished themselves by going after good actors, writers, and directors who were unexpected choices.” We imagine Whedon isn’t that worried, since he took in a reported $100 million for The Avengers, but it’s a different story for actors like Chris Hemsworth, who took in less than $1 million in his first two Marvel films.

One saving grace is that Robert Downey Jr. is reportedly acting like “an older brother.” Taking the side of the rest of the cast and saying that he’s going to stand with them, which means Marvel is going to have to deal with a serious problem if Downey decides to throw down. Fans may be unaware, but Robert Downey Jr. has pull in tinseltown again. His checks of $50-80 million demand respect from the studios and he’s no longer just “the talent.”

Joss Whedon may end up shooting a film next year with actors he’s never had on set before. We look forward to seeing how all of this pans out and if you want to learn more, make sure to head over to Deadline’s full report where they discuss this story in full detail.

Do you think Marvel will replace our greatest superheroes?

Source: Nikki Finke, Deadline

Hollywood reacts to ‘Begin Again’ director’s candid criticism of Keira Knightley’s acting skills

Should the trust between actors and directors ever be broken?

10:33 am EDT, May 30, 2016

After Begin Again director John Carney’s candid comments about Keira Knightley’s acting went viral, Hollywood has taken to Twitter to defend the British actress.

In case you’ve somehow not heard the story, here’s the sitch:

Over the weekend, The Independent released an interview with Irish director John Carney, in which he had some harsh words for former colleague Keira Knightley.

The pair worked together on the 2013 musical rom-com Begin Again, where Knightley starred opposite Mark Ruffalo as a promising young folk singer recovering from a broken heart.

Carney evidently wasn’t satisfied with Knightley’s performance, claiming she “always has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it’s very hard to get any real work done.”

Related: Exclusive: Keira Knightley, Joe Wright talk Anna Karenina and the choice to set it in the world of theater

Going on to praise both Ruffalo and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s performances, Carney said, “I think that that’s what you need as an actor; you need to not be afraid to find out who you really are when the camera’s rolling. Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that.”

“I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars,” he continued. “I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but you know it’s hard being a film actor and it requires a certain level of honesty and self-analysis that I don’t think she’s ready for yet and I certainly don’t think she was ready for on that film.”

Carney concluded, “I learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again.”

Now, Carney clearly had a frustrating experience working with Knightley on this film, and his distinction between ‘proper film actors’ and ‘movie stars’ may be legitimate in theory. Begin Again certainly wasn’t the great critical hit that Carney’s Once had been, and at the time of the movie’s release, Keira Knightley herself admitted that she struggled with the material, not being a singer-songwriter herself and having no great appreciation for music.

“It’s terrible. I know nothing about music whatsoever,” she told The Guardian. “I was always more into reading and drama. I was such a geek. … There’s often a huge link between music and memory. And I’ve got such a bad memory.”

But the issue Hollywood professionals have with Carney’s comments seem to have less to do with Knightley’s specific performance, and more about the fact that Carney made these comments at all.

Ava DuVernay certainly makes a great point about why Carney should have stayed silent:

Both industry professionals and notable journalists have joined DuVernay in speaking out against Carney. Here are some of their reactions:

All the same, there are some that find Carney’s candidness refreshing.

What do you think? Should John Carney have held back his criticism of Keira Knightley out of professional courtesy? Or was he right to share his negative experience?

John Carney rose to international fame with Once in 2007, and this year he’s coming out with a musical drama titled Sing Street.

Spectre director Sam Mendes is officially not returning for more James Bond movies.

While we wait for (almost certain) confirmation that Daniel Craig won’t reprise his role as 007 in the next James Bond film, we can at least contend with the knowledge that Sam Mendes will not direct Bond 25.

The two-time James Bond director came on board the franchise for the wildly successful Skyfall, but his follow-up Spectre was not considered as great of a success.

Even before Spectre‘s release, Mendes was talking about quitting the all-consuming franchise, saying at the time, “I don’t think I could go down that road again. You do have to put everything else on hold.” But it was only during a Welsh literature festival that he finally confirmed his departure.

Related: Quantico’s Priyanka Chopra doesn’t want to be a Bond Girl, she wants to be Bond

“It was an incredible adventure. I loved every second of it, but I think it’s time for somebody else [to direct],” said Mendes, as quoted via The Sydney Morning Herald. “I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.”

Bond 25 is likely to be completely new chapter of the franchise, with Daniel Craig set to follow Mendes’ lead and officially announce his departure soon. Everyone’s been expecting him to bow out ever since his controversial promotional campaign for Spectre, and it’s even more likely now that his two-time collaborator has called it quits.

On the speculation about who might replace Craig, Mendes says, “I can guarantee that whatever happens next it will not be what you expect.”

“[Bond producer] Barbara Broccoli chooses who is going to be the next Bond, end of story. And without that there would have been no Daniel Craig because public support for Daniel was zero. It was her saying: ‘That man over there, he’s going to change the whole tenor, I’m going to cast him.’ That turned the whole thing on its head,” says Mendes.

Rumor has it that Tom Hiddleston is in talks to be the next James Bond, but until we learn more, we can speculate away as we wish! It’s also time to start making those Bond 25 director wishlists. Anyone know if Ava DuVernay is available?

How will ‘The Flash’ finale affect the ‘Arrow’-verse?

Or will it at all?

11:00 am EDT, May 29, 2016

In the final moments of the Flash‘s season 2 finale, Barry made a decision that could have major ramifications for the other Arrow-verse shows.

It looks like The Flash is headed in the direction of Flashpoint, a comic book story in which Barry saves his mother and creates an alternate future in which he never became The Flash, and the world is in chaos. I’ll do a more in-depth look at this story later in the hiatus.

On The Flash, the death of Barry’s father sent him on a downward spiral that resulted in him going back in time and stopping The Reverse Flash from killing Nora Allen. Barry watched as his season 1 counterpart faded away as the timeline changed before assuring his mother that she was safe.

It’s early, but I’ll take a shot at theorizing what this change could mean not only for The Flash but the other Arrow-verse shows as well.

The Flash season 2, episode 18 recap Barry, Caitlin, Cisco

‘The Flash’

All we know about The Flash‘s third season so far is that Tom Cavanagh will be back as a series regular, indicating there will be some version of Harrison Wells in play. I believe that is likely to be the Earth-1 version of Wells, the one who Eobard Thawne murdered and whose identity Thawne stole, since the original timeline of those events has been changed.

There is also a good chance that when Barry returns to the alternate future he’s created, he’ll no longer have his speed since there would have been no impetus for Barry to become a CSI. Without being at his lab at CCPD, he wouldn’t have been thrown into a rack of chemicals when he was struck by lightning, thus granting him powers.

It’s also likely Barry also won’t be as close with the West family, since he wouldn’t have been taken in and raised by them, which will be heartbreaking.

We also know that the original Harrison Wells’ particle accelerator wasn’t meant to go active until several years after the one Eobard Thawne-as-Wells created; he wanted to expedite the process so he could return to his own time. If that timeline remains the same, there won’t be nearly as many metahumans on the the loose since the particle accelerator created the majority of those we’ve met.

Flash and Arrow crossover

‘Arrow’

Stephen Amell doesn’t know whether the Flash finale will affect Arrow, though it will be odd if it doesn’t since time across Earth-1 has been changed. “I do know that we’ve done a lot of work on Arrow to introduce the other shows, for lack of a better term, and now that that’s all done, we’re focused on doing the things that we do well for season 5,” he tells ComicBook.com.

He adds, “Arrow is at its best when we’re dealing with problems in Star City. We’re not a time-travel show, we’re not a multi-Earth show, though obviously [we do that] with crossovers and stuff like that. We’re Arrow, we deal with Star City, and I feel like we’ll be better off focusing on that.”

Considering Barry was directly responsible for the Team Arrow’s survival in Nanda Parbat at the end of season 3 as well as when Vandal Savage attacked in the season 4 crossover, though, it seems impossible that such a major change in time wouldn’t affect the group in some way, especially if there is no longer a Flash.

One change I wouldn’t mind seeing would be Laurel’s survival, but I won’t hold my breath.

Legends of Tomorrow season 1, episode 1 recap team

‘Legends of Tomorrow’

One reveal from the Flash finale that seems especially likely to impact Legends in some way is the appearance of Jay Garrick, Henry Allen’s Earth-3 doppelganger. In the comics, Jay Garrick is one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America, which the Legends finale introduced via Rex Tyler.

John Wesley Shipp has teased that the writers are excited to explore more of the Jay Garrick character, and he speculates that will include the JSA. It will be interesting to see if he crosses over to that show at any point.

As for the time travel change, if the team does take on the role of the Time Masters, as they’d considered doing before Rex Tyler’s arrival, that seems like a major event for them to take notice of.

It’s also worth noting in the comics during Flashpoint that Leonard Snart is a hero in Central City known as Citizen Cold — I’d love to see Wentworth Miller (who will recur on both Flash and Legends next season) play that part for a bit.

Supergirl season 1, episode 18 airs tonight Kara, Barry

Bonus: ‘Supergirl’

Some are theorizing that this change may, somehow, merge Kara’s world with the Arrow-verse now that Supergirl is on the same network with the other shows. I’m not quite sure how that would work, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it since Kara and Barry are an absolute delight together — and we know a major four-series crossover is in the works.

All that being said, there is also the possibility that the Flashpoint events will remain on The Flash, such as in an alternate universe, because of the concern that too many viewers of Arrow in particular don’t also watch The Flash and don’t want to have to catch up just to understand the show. This is a complexity of having a shared universe.

While I understand that concern, however, I feel like storytelling concerns should take precedent. And if you’re going to create that shared universe, you need to embrace what comes with that, including shows having direct affects on one another.

How do you think the ‘Flash’ finale will affect the ‘Arrow’-verse?