Former DC Comics artist and the creator of Cyberfrog: Bloodhoney Ethan Van Sciver took to YouTube to theorize that Disney and Marvel Studios are eliminating the white male Avengers and replacing them with female characters and actors because they are cheaper labor and will allow Disney to take a larger portion of the profits.
Van Sciver theorized about the potential deaths of Captain America played by Chris Evans and Iron Man played by Robert Downey Jr., in Avengers: Endgame while discussing an article from the Los Angeles Times reporting that Disney is being sued for paying women less than men.
Van Sciver notes:
“Captain Marvel just came out. Disney’s bragging about Captain Marvel. Promoting Captain Marvel. They did pay Brie Larson $5 million for this movie, which was a lot in comparison to say what Chris Hemsworth got paid to do Thor…He was paid somewhere around $150,000 to do the entire movie.”
“You say ‘Wow she’s overpaid’ right?’ Well, Robert Downey Jr. is now commanding $65 million a movie to portray Tony Stark and Iron in all MCU movies. That’s what he’s being paid. I’m sure Chris Evans is a commanding a high salary and now Chris Hemsworth is now also commanding a high salary as well. A lot of these white male actors over at Disney are now being paid so much they are now cutting into the profits in a major way. They are bumping up, they are inflating the price, the cost of producing an Avengers movie, or any of these solo movies. It’s expensive now. It’s way expensive.”
Then Van Sciver gets into this theory about Avengers: Endgame and female actors actually being cheap labor compared to Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth:
“So why not have a movie in which Thanos snaps them all away and in comes a female hero like Captain Marvel. That’s cheap labor. That’s $5 million a movie. We can pay women $5 million. In fact, let’s have the entire Avengers made up of women. We can have America Chavez, Squirrel Girl…we can have Riri Williams.”
“Always follow the money. Always follow the money with these people. It’s about getting rid of overpaid white male actors perhaps. This is a theory. Getting rid of overpaid white male actors, killing them, and bringing in characters people don’t really know about, aren’t familiar with so we don’t have to find somebody who will portray them accurately. Because who are they? Who exactly is RiRi Williams? Who is she? Nobody is going to go ‘yeah, she really seems like the character in the comics.’ Nobody knows. Who is Squirrel Girl? Nobody knows.”
Van Sciver concludes:
“What do you think about the idea that Disney is doing this whole extinction event, this entire movie, Endgame, in which some people are not coming back. I know Chris Evans isn’t coming back. And I bet you anything Robert Downey Jr. is not coming back as Iron Man because Captain Marvel is now going to lead the Avengers. And a more diverse, a more female-oriented team of Avengers. Interesting. Interesting. Why? Why? Follow the money. Profits. They can pay women less than they can pay men. And why wouldn’t they? It’s just good business sense, Bob Iger. Bob Iger, it’s just good business sense. No wonder you were so excited about the Captain Marvel movie. It’s all starting to make sense now.”
While Larson reportedly earned $5 million for her role in Captain Marvel, Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow, and first appeared in Iron Man 2, reportedly signed a contract for a Black Widow solo film that will earn her $25 million.
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) reports that Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth earned $15 million each for Avengers: Infinity War. It’s unclear what Downey made for Avengers: Infinity War, but Van Sciver’s number of $65 million looks reasonable as THR reports the Iron Man actor made $50 million for the first Avengers movie.
Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman reportedly earned $2 million to star in the film.
Marvel Studios did issue a statement disputing THR’s numbers stating, “Marvel Studios disputes the accuracy of these numbers, and as a matter of policy, we never publicly disclose salaries or deal terms.”
What do you think of Van Sciver’s theory? Do you think Disney is planning on cutting out their core Avengers characters because the actors’ salaries are eating into the bottom line? Are they opting for cheaper labor in the form of female actors like Brie Larson?