I've written about the upcoming salary dispute between Robert Downey Jr. and Marvel's movie-making division. It looks like Marvel wants to treat the talent in their films the same way they do the talent in their comics: Interchangeable, in service of the intellectual property. But that's going to be a harder sell with movies than it is with comic books, especially since it looks like Avengers director (and upcoming Marvel TV show Agents of SHIELD developer) Joss Whedon is in Downey's corner:
He is Iron Man. He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine. But I know that this is Hollywood and you roll with things. You have to be ready for the unexpected. But I loved working with Robert, and everybody knows he embodied that role in a way no one else can. The day he was cast, I went up to [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige and said, “You brilliant son of a bitch.”
It's a pretty great interview, and you should read it all. Whedon also talks about how he hates that there are no female-led superhero movies on the horizon:
It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched The Avengers and was like, “My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,” and I thought, Yeah, of course they were. I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!