It has been reported that Robert Downey Jr. is in talks with Marvel to return for The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3, But the actor isn’t even discussing Iron Man 4.
This might be why:
Downey Jr. earned somewhere between $50 million and $80 million on The Avengers and has already earned over $35 million for his work on Iron Man 3, but his The Avengers co-stars aren’t making anything close to that. In fact, most of the actors are being paid around $200,000, far less than they would earn on any other movie.
Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth received only a $500,000 pay increase for returning for the Captain America and Thor sequels. And unlike Downey Jr., the actors will earn only $500,000 more if their movies break the $500 million mark at the box office.
Despite having a contract, Hemsworth considered backing out of Thor 2 because he earned $5 million working on Snow White and the Huntsman and Marvel isn’t offering anywhere near that, despite the fact that Thor and The Avengers are massive franchises. Scarlett Johansson is also fed up and isn’t willing to take a pay-cut to return for The Avengers 2.
Marvel is known for low salaries and replacing any actor who doesn’t accept the company’s way of doing business. In fact, the studio has already threatened to replace Hemsworth. But Marvel doesn’t want to replace Downey Jr. at this point and it seems that the actor is using that leverage to fight for his co-stars by threatening not to return for Iron Man 4 and possibly any other Marvel film unless they all get appropriate pay raises.