Thursday, July 16, 2015

Topic Of The Day: What Makes A Paycheck Player?

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Topic Of The Day. For today's topic, I will discuss two franchise players: On whose obscene payday for his franchise work has been announced and another who suggested that she'll return based on what she could be paid. The reason I would love to go into this is because I am wondering whether these stars are starting to become paycheck players. Here we go:

The first star I will go into is Robert Downey, Jr.. It was recently announced that he just received $80 million for both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. To me, what is so crazy about that is he isn't playing Captain America and yet still getting paid more than Captain America is like a slap in the face. He may be the star of the Marvel universe, but he is starting to overstay his welcome. Also, if you look on his IMDB page, you'll see that he only has the Captain America sequel lined up next, along with the rumored Sherlock Holmes sequel, and will potentially have the next Avengers movie lined up. So I think with his recent comments on indie films and him resting on his franchise laurels, he's starting to seem more like he is in this for the money rather than the craft. On a side note, though, his big paydays are probably an indication of Marvel's rep for being so stingy with their dough.

The next star is everybody's imaginary BFF Jennifer Lawrence. After the hacking scandal at Sony Pictures, where it was revealed in certain e-mails where the female American Hustle co-stars were getting paid less than their male counterparts, Jennifer Lawrence and her team made a deal with Sony for her latest film Passengers where she gets paid $20 million upfront against 30% of the grosses. The fact that she is getting $20 million isn't bothersome because other A-list stars get the same price tag and I never complain. What is crazy is that she would command such a high salary after getting a low pay in American Hustle when she had such a small role in American Hustle. So of course, she is going to get paid less and I don't care how big of a star you are. If you had a small role, you should get the lowest pay. To me, that seems very fair. Also, when she said that she would continue to do more X-Men films, it would depend on how she feels and how much she gets paid if she does agree. That statement was also pretty bothersome because she already stood firm on her Passengers deal and it makes it seem like she is only in the role of Mystique for the money. Now, everybody does a job for the money. But if she were to potentially coast on the franchise while collecting fat paychecks, it would take away from an actress that might want the role more than she does. This sort of thing is why I never ask about pay when I am in a job interview and I am not even a public figure. However, like Lawrence herself said, it depends on if she even wants to come back.

But let me compare RDJ and Lawrence to two other franchise players: Michael Keaton and Keira Knightley. After Tim Burton left the Batman franchise, Keaton could've easily continued on without him despite being offered a big payday and being uncomfortable with the direction the franchise went in. But out of loyalty to Burton and his vision, Keaton left as well, proving that he is about the artistic integrity in the projects he does.

Also, after the third Pirates movie, where her character's story practically ended, Keira Knightley could've easily coasted on the franchise a la co-star Johnny Depp and appeared in more bloated and unnecessary sequels. But because her character's story came to a close, she respectably didn't overstate her welcome in the franchise. But unlike Keaton and Knightley, stars like RDJ and Lawrence don't seem to care about the direction their franchises go in, or whether they phone in a big paycheck gig. Just as long as they get that big paycheck.

So those are my thoughts on why I think RDJ and Jennifer Lawrence are paycheck players that are starting to seem more interested in the digits rather than their craft. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!