Actress Emma Stone reportedly rejected the role of Sue Storm for Marvel Studios’ upcoming Fantastic Four film because the studio refused to meet her asking price.
This new report comes from scooper Jeff Sneider during an appearance on John Rocha’s The Hot Mic show on YouTube.
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Sneider detailed, “Now, I don’t know who is playing Sue Storm, but I heard a rumor this week from a good source about who they went to on Sue Storm and it was pretty interesting.”
“So the way that it all came up though was that no one seems to be — everyone’s like, ‘This person would be great as so and so. This person would be great as so and so. Wouldn’t it be great if so and so played so and so.’ And what they’re not taking into account is so and so costs money. And some so and so’s cost more money than others,” he prefaced.
He continued, “Now, if you’ve been paying attention to headlines, Disney is looking to pull back a little bit. Marvel’s looking to pull back a little bit. I don’t necessarily mean too much because I also said Marvel shelled out for the better writers lately.”
“But Fantastic Four is clearly the most important thing that Marvel has going, right,” Sneider went on. “Not that they’re sparing no expense, but they’re also willing to go above and beyond for certain talent or whatever. But they also have to draw a line.”
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He then revealed that Feige is under pressure to keep costs down on future projects, “So I don’t think that Kevin Feige wants to go into this movie with $60 million in talent costs. That’s if you hired four $15 million roster to play. I think he’s got to hold — I don’t know what that magic number is, but I don’t think you can do $50 or $60 million on talent for the four.
“I think you almost need to hire the level of star who’s at like an Eternals level, maybe a little bit higher,” Sneider asserted.
Given Feige’s and The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger’s recent comments. This makes perfect sense. Back in February Feige told Entertainment Weekly that the company would be cutting back on its Disney+ programming.
He explained, “We want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand above. So, people will see that as we get further into Phase 5 and 6. The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine.”
When asked if he would be spacing them out or putting out fewer shows per year, he responded, “Both, I think.”
Later in the interview he would reveal, “I think when we are doing about eight projects a year — and again, I said this is going to shift a little bit — they all have to be different. They all have to stand apart and stand alone and be different from one another.”
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Bob Iger has made it abundantly clear that the company will be making cuts across the board including at Marvel Studios. During the company’s Q1 FY 23 Earnings Results call, Iger said, “In additionally we are going to lean more into our franchises, our core franchises, and our brands. I talked about curation in general entertainment. We have to be better at curating the Disney, and the Pixar, and the Marvel, and the Star Wars of it all.”
“And, of course, reduce costs on everything that we make. While we are extremely proud about what’s on the screen, it’s gotten to a point where it’s extraordinarily expensive. We want all the quality. We want the quality on the screen, but we have to look at what they cost us,” he continued.
So, we are going to continue to go after [subscriptions], but we’re going to be more judicious about how we do that. We are going to look carefully at pricing,” Iger said. “We’re going to reduce costs both in content and, of course, infrastructure, there’s a lot that we’re getting at that there.”
“Marketing is another area where we are going to try and rebalance marketing the platform versus marketing the programs,” he added.
Nevertheless, Sneider went on to cite a tweet from Deadline reporter Justin Kroll from February that detailed Sue Storm was the piece that Marvel Studios would build their Fantastic Four around.
Kroll wrote in February, “While the film won’t shoot till top of 24, word around town is the Marvel will begin gearing up casting process of F4 this month. No names rumored for now but the belief is the focus will be casting Sue Storm first and building out the rest of team after she is set. Stay Tuned.”
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Sneider then shared his information,” This is what I’m told happened. This was the first choice for Sue Storm here. It makes total sense by the way. I’m told they went to Emma Stone and for 72 hours Emma Stone was looking like Sue Storm.”
“And then Emma Stone, as she should, because Emma Stone knows her worth as Scarlett Johansson did, Emma Stone’s like, ‘I’m down to do it, but you got to pay me.’ I’m talking like $20 million. She’s probably around the $20 million mark for a movie like this,” he elaborated.
From there Sneider said, “I feel like Emma Stone asked for too much money. She asked for her full quote or whatever it was and they were just like, ‘We can’t do it because we got to build the rest, we’ve got to have enough for the rest of the team.'”
What do you make of this rumor that Emma Stone was approached to play Sue Storm, but turned it down because Disney wasn’t willing to pay her what she wanted?
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