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David Poland

By David Poland

How the Disney Deal Could End The Avengers Movie

This is not that complicated.
Disney will now own Marvel, which in spite of what some have spun, have so far been the hands-on manager of just one franchise-level hit (Iron Man). The idea that Disney will treat it with the respect it treats Pixar

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34 Responses to “How the Disney Deal Could End The Avengers Movie”

  1. An $80 million (or less) Sam Jackson Nick Fury movie is probably the smartest move that Marvel (or Disney or whomever) can make right now. It’s a known and well-liked actor, with a recognizable character (especially after Iron Man 2), but with real-world trappings that allow them to make it with a reasonable budget. Plus, you can goose it up with Black Widow as a supporting character (again – no real sfx-drenched super powers) and you can drizzle as many Marvel cameos as you see fit. You can have Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Black Widow, etc in the trailers, commercials, and posters without having to spend the money necessary to build a whole expensive movie about them. It’s so obvious and brilliant that I’m sure it will never happen.

  2. martin says:

    Scott, I’d bet you $100 that you walk up to any random 10 people on the street and ask them who Nick Fury or Thor is and you’re unlikely to find even one that recognizes the comic book character. Thor you might get Greek mythology, and Nick Fury… nothing. Ask any 10 people on the street about Batman or Spiderman or The Hulk before those movies came out, and I guarantee most if not all would know exactly who you’re talking about. The public not knowing Tony Stark, granted, that movie still performed well. But I’d pin that on a lot of things including Downey, and in SPITE of lack of much public recognition of the character. Again, for a lot of these comic book sources, it’s got very little to do with public knowledge anymore because all the well known ones have been put into movies. Now you’ve got to sell the concept, and not rely on recognition.

  3. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    I pointed it out in here MONTHS ago that “The Avengers” is a bad idea for a movie. To me it’s always smacked of “Marvel’s movies need an “X-Men” type of thing so lets do this.”
    It’s already saddled with the Hulk who is NOT a money making character and as I said before, Thor is iconic and all, but I just don’t see him translating to the big screen. Same with Captain America who is really just a soldier on ‘roids.

  4. IOIOIOI says:

    Don… YOU… ARE… WRONG. We are under a year away from Iron Man 2 doing business, that makes TDK money seem tame. Do you really think they are going to turn down free money on the table for a TEAM movie, that features one of the bigger characters in the world with Tony Stark? Hell no.
    Shit. If anything, this Disney deal almost guarantees the Avengers movie will happen. Why? Pirates. Avengers can seen as a THIRD Iron Man movie. The THIRD IRON MAN movie can easily gross more than a movie so convoluted, that Disney threw money away on like a motherfucker.
    So, again, Don you are wrong. You are super fucking wrong, and Poland is once again looking this thing all crossed. This deal guarantees an Avenger movie.
    Oh yeah my Einstein-esque friends: you would have to be high to put a close to 70 year-old man in an 80 million dollar action film. Seriously. You guys are so beyond GETTING IT, that your NON-GETTING IT ideas are always interesting in their naivete.

  5. David Poland says:

    The funny thing is, IO, is that it is Marvel that has been investing in Sam Jackson as Nick Fury… not me.
    If you don’t like their strategy, you’re kinda making my point, no?

  6. martin says:

    Sometimes I think maybe Dave is better on camera than in print, take that for what it’s worth.

  7. LexG says:

    Hardwick fucking rules.
    YEP YEP.

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, they could always bring back the original Nick Fury.

  9. LexG says:

    Hey Poland when you do that show, do you get to say hi to Olivia Munn?
    That would rule.

  10. don lewis (was PetalumaFilms) says:

    Sooo…Iron Man alone is a reason to lump in Thor, Captain America and frigging Ant Man (and/or Scarlet Witch) into a movie with Hulk who’s already a proven loser? Watering down the Iron Man character by placing him with a bunch of money losers isn’t going to help.
    A GOOD idea for an Avengers movie would be to get some Marvel heroes who are cool and create their OWN Avengers group. Maybe even float the comic out beforehand.
    anyone else completely turned off by a Nick Fury movie? I also think Sam Jackson is played out big time.

  11. Joe Leydon says:

    OK, I am the first to admit: It’s been a very long time since I merely read, much less purchased, a Marvel Comic. But as I reall, Hulk had a hissy fit in, like, the second or third issue of The Avengers, took a walk, and never rejoined the group. (He didn’t work well with others.) In fact, at one point, he teamed with Sub-Mariner to rumble with The Avengers. Would this proposed movie be based on some other permutation of the mythos?

  12. Martin S says:

    Save Spider-Man and the X-Men, all other Marvel deals are dry. It’s pretty damn simple – why shoulder the financial burden of trying to re-launch spent characters when you can make a small return on rights with a piece of distribution.
    A Pixar/Marvel conversation is based around FF, Silver Surfer, Namor…the big Kirby shit. Not Fury, Moon Knight or Deathlok. As for Thor, its odds of getting made IMO, have gone up, because Disney has the structure to support such an ambitious project. Marvel had revised it downward to where I began to wonder if they thought it was worthwhile. Disney can now boost it back to where they wanted it to be, with more Asgard and less Earth.
    This is about securing the male marketplace. Thor is Disney’s answer to Conan, Clash of The Titans, 300 and all of the other sword-n-sorcery projects. If it works, you just replaced Narnia. If it doesn’t, you’re not out as much as you could be since Par is involved.
    Now, Cap on the other hand is really dependent on The Wolf Man. There has to be someone in Disney who remembers The Rocketeer and I don’t think they’re going to be excited to relieve that experiment. If Wolf Man does well, Johnston lives. If it doesn’t, Cap goes to Bruckheimer. IMO, Cap should go to Bruckheimer anyway since he understands how to sell patriotism better than Feige who didn’t seem to learn the lesson of Superman Returns.
    Who lost on this? I’d say Favreau. He used to have Marvel over a barrel and was able to subtlety pit the fanboys against management. Disney does not play that shit. Hell, Bay probably has one hand in his pants thinking of The Avengers in 3D…now that I think about it, a lot of this is about 3D.
    When Perlmutter steps down Marvel will evaporate into Disney, but that shouldn’t be for a number of years. I’m more curious as to what plans they have for Stan Lee since he had a separate deal with them and if this frees Avi Arad from his no-compete.

  13. David Poland says:

    Just want to say, Martin S, though I don’t agree with you on all of this, I am really pleased to have you adding your obviously considered thoughts to this conversation.
    And yes, Lex, I get to say, “hi” to Olivia, who is always very nice, a little silly, and to my eye, even more attractive than on screen… but you know, I am a sucker for freckles and the like over perfectly smooth make-up.

  14. Crow T Robot says:

    You know whose doing the dance of joy today?
    Robert Downey Jr.
    He no longer has to do the movie where Iron Man and Sam Jackson convince (I shit you not) a 2000 year old Norse god and a guy named (I shit you not) “Captain America” to defeat the Incredible Hulk played by not Ed Norton or Eric Bana.
    You know who else is happy?
    The guys who may have had to write and direct the trainwreck.

  15. IOIOIOI says:

    1) David: are you fucking kidding me? That’s the problem with you. You just… don’t get it. Nick Fury is the man who runs things behind the scenes. Which is the point of the freakin character. Giving him a whole movie with CAMEOS OF OTHER CHARACTERS, demonstrates why you should really read a SHIELD comic.
    Seriously man, this is what fucking drives me nuts about you. You think you are SO FUCKING CLEVER by bringing up a NICK FURY MOVIE. When anyone that has just a rudimentary knowledge about comics knows, that there’s no fucking way you can make that film for 80 million. Seriously SMART GUY… ADVANCED IDEA MECHANICS. That’s all you need to fucking know.
    2) Don: you too are such a small guy. Hey man, the main villain of the first Ultimates comic is Loki. Why do you think they are making a fucking Thor film?
    The fact that you and Crow think an Avengers movie is a bad idea. Demonstrates why you guys write about things, and do not actually do them.
    Seriously… thank you Martin.

  16. Cadavra says:

    Whether or not AVENGERS will work all depends on whether they get better actors to play Steed and Mrs. Peel than the last time.

  17. IOIOIOI says:


  18. LexG says:

    Hey IO, why are comic superfans so protective of their source material, they’re ONLY happy when you make the most etched-in-proper-pastel, made-for-NBC blandness possible?
    I’ll consider the awesome TDK an anomoly, though to this day I have NO IDEA why an ice-cold, hardcore 3-hour Michael Mann-style cop flick with minimal “superhero” action pleased the fans and the masses alike; It was less Batman than Schumacher, if we’re being honest.
    But SPIDER-MAN? IRON MAN? Nice enough movies, but they play like those ABC miniseries that Stephen King prefers of his work over real movies by real artists (Kubrick, DePalma, Cronenberg, etc.) Just as SK thinks Lewis Teague and Craig Baxley can do his work justice better than an “auteur,” it seems for comic fans, it’s of paramount importance just to have every element, color, style and trope of their beloved source material represented in the most rote fashion imaginable, FILM artistry being somewhat secondary.
    At least Schumacher’s BATMAN movies felt personal and invested; I think most comic fans just want their shit lit through Sony Pink Flesh Tone BORE-O-VISION with no deviation and no craziness.
    Like, they’re COMIC BOOKS. Shouldn’t the movies look all garish and insane and colorful and crazy and over the top?
    I like Jon Favreau a lot and even liked IRON MAN, but it’s such a POLITE, nice, straightforward movie. Iron Man should’ve been banging chicks ten at a time and blowing bukkake loads and snorting yey off chicks’ asses in HOT PURPLE Libatique STROBE LIGHTING while Bridges massacred villages and summoned valkyries while tripping on acid.
    At least BAY makes shit LOOK AWESOME, like a world that MAN SHOULD WANT TO BE HIS ENVIRONMENT.
    Not a WORLD THAT LOOKS LIKE ROSS AND RACHEL are going to do some lame shtick in 1994.

  19. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Lex wins this thread from IO. Those Stephen King movies are horrible.

  20. NV says:

    Problem with this arguement is that you could have made the same case several years ago for both the Iron Man franchise and the X-Men franchise. Those were both largely unknown but Marvel and Fox (for X-Men) did them right as far as the movie going public is concerned. Just because Hulk lost money doesn’t mean Marvel doesn’t deserve some recognition that they have delivered exactly what audiences want.
    I agree that Thor is problematic on paper, and the casting has been, well, maybe surprising is the best word, but I am still leaning towards these properties working and building to a significant Avenger event. Hulk was a damaged commodity for a lot of the movie audience.
    Wasnt it last year that Warner wanted to rebuilding their internal DC structure so they could make movies more like Marvel?

  21. Martin S says:

    Dave – appreciated. The feeling is mutual and as always, thanks for the space.
    IO – No problem.
    I should say I do see Dave’s point on how Disney could clamp down quick. In the larger economic picture, it’s certainly possible. They actually pissed off a number of high-level Wall Streeters who felt blindsided by the acquisition, so you’re going to see a stock punishment. That, in turn, could mean Iger has to show some responsibility.

  22. David Poland says:

    NV – X-Men was the top property at Marvel when it launched. And it hasn’t ever done Spider-Man (Marvel’s #1 solo character) or Batman numbers, especially overseas.
    With a $300m worldwide number, X2 was a marginal greenlight. And the second film went to $400m. And the third film went up only $70m more…. which is why we have Origins and not X4.
    Even the success of Iron Man was less than $600m worldwide. That’s great in its face. But it won’t keep Marvel in business if these other titles cost $150m+, gross $300m or less worldwide, and there is only one $500m+ franchise in play at one time.
    Yes… WB considered it… may still be considering it… but as with all bad ideas, they will probably never do it. The problem with WB is that they are too cautious with what they have that works. (And when they weren’t, the got Batman & Robin)
    There is no reason why they can’t be doing variations on Batman while Nolan is still doing his films. They need to get Superman into the new millennium, dealing with thinking issues that are as powerful/more powerful than his raw muscle.
    Studios are sheep. Warners is still following the Singer/X-Men formula. Marvel is going to get into trouble chasing the minor-director/edgy talent formula.
    They all need to stop thinking that comic book movies are one thing. Every character/team has strengths and weaknesses as movie fodder. Use them.
    Let’s see Tarantino’s R-rated Wonder Woman… or a Zemeckis acolyte’s motion capture version of well-known comic (though Tintin is coming)… or Todd Phillips’ Justice League (though Kick-Ass is coming)…
    You can’t use one true surprise success – Iron Man – to claim that everything that follows can do the same, NV… not at these prices. And Marvel clearly knows this.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Freudian slip re: ‘Kiss-Ass’?

  24. NV says:

    I’m not saying its an absolute, I’m saying you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Iron Man could be an outlier, or Hulk could be. Disney clearly thinks Hulk is.
    Like I said, Thor is problematic on paper, but I still so no difference to what it looks like on paper – a second tier superhero with respected creatives in charge – than Iron Man or X-Men, even if X-men was the biggest property for Marvel at the time. It’s awareness for general audiences was minimal. I still think most people woudldn’t be able to name three X-men if they needed to.
    You are arguing essentially against blockbusters with nine figure budgets and that is a much larger arguement, and you can’t single Marvel out. Only Pixar has proven they can consistently make hits with huge budgets and Disney didn’t pay Pixar money for Marvel.
    David, I mostly agree with what you are saying – except for the fact that there is a single chance Avengers won’t happen. Marvel has a plan that everything they are doing theatrically leads up to Avengers. There is no way Disney is going to pull that rug from underneath them. Marvel had to have made that absolutely clear during negotiations and Disney had to buy into that 100% or we wouldnt be having this conversation.
    Now, if it was my money, we’d be making Tarantino’s Wonder Woman.

  25. David Poland says:

    Oy. Thanks, J-Mc. One of the benefits of having the keys to the back of house is being able to change that… which I will do presently…

  26. LYT says:

    I wouldn’t say that Batman and Robin was a result of WB NOT being cautious…Schumacher has said over and over again that the very first meeting he had on it was about how many toys they could sell, plus there was a mandate after parents complained about Burton’s being too creepy, that it be kid-friendly, AND they didn’t want to wait for Val Kilmer to do The Saint first. So it ended up being like the TV show (remember, Mr. Freeze also had a German accent there too).

  27. Hallick says:

    “There is no reason why they can’t be doing variations on Batman while Nolan is still doing his films.”
    I like this reason: because I say so. It doesn’t hold any sway at Warner Bros though.

  28. Devin Faraci says:

    Hey, this is probably a dead thread and nobody will read this, but I’m fairly certain Marvel has already financed everything through AVENGERS. It’s why they’ve all been announced and dated.
    Also, won’t this Disney deal take time to really close and for everything to settle down? THOR will have shot, CAPTAIN AMERICA will be in production.

  29. IOIOIOI says:

    How dare you point out the obvious Devin! I mean, really man, really. How dare you get in the way of David Poland’s bullshit discussions about anything related to genre/geek films.

  30. Martin S says:

    Devin –
    Marvel had tried to pay for its films with the help of $525 million in financing, but found it impossible on

  31. Devin Faraci says:

    I could be reading that wrong, but it sounds like they still have the 525 mil.

  32. David Poland says:

    2 Iron Man movies and I-Hulk cost over $525m.
    Yes, they made some bank on Iron Man. Maybe not enough to pay for Thor.
    I don’t know what people are so quick to discount the idea that a buyer will make decisions about how the company the now own spends its money… especially when, over the next 3 films to start production, you’re talking about at least $400m.

  33. Martin S says:

    Devin – they had enough for IM2, kick start Thor and had a better than 50/50 chance of running dry during during Thor’s post or god forbid re-shoots, issues they encountered on both IM and Inc Hulk that jumped the budget by, IIRC, 25Mil in each case. So once word would have gotten out, most likely from the banking community who has to insure all of this, the stock would have dropped and put them in the exact same position they were in lastime – IM has all the buzz and the “other” film is a quagmire. The pressure to perform on both pictures would have been massive and too much of a crapshoot for Perlmutter and, IMO, Maisel.
    Dave – I guess it comes down to how much does Disney already have in the pipeline, outside of Pirates 4? Do they foot the whole bill for Pixar? How much is invested in Dreamworks? This could be a case where Disney slows its own direct production and off-loads the schedule to DW/Pixar/Marvel.

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