Marvel Studios is starting to explore new talent offerings to provide flexibility in case the pandemic or other factors cause the studio to bypass theaters and bring the movies straight to Disney +, TheWrap has learned.
Under the new contract wording, top talent above the line such as actors, writers, directors and producers will receive compensation adjusted depending on whether the film opens in theaters or debuts on the Disney streaming service. +, according to an insider with knowledge of the situation. . Marvel blockbusters typically pay backend bonuses to key talent based on a movie’s box office performance, which can be substantial for MCU movies.
The new contract terms only affect Marvel films that are about to go into production, starting with “Black Panther 2,” which is expected to begin filming in June 2021, the insider said.
A representative for Marvel declined to comment for this story.
It’s unclear whether the new contracts will apply to Disney’s non-Marvel projects as well or whether any deals are being renegotiated for completed films like “Black Widow” with Scarlett Johansson, which is still aiming for a May 2021 opening in. rooms. An insider said the studio was pursuing backing deals with top talent on films that had already finished production. CAA, who represents Johansson, declined to comment when asked if the actress had made such a deal. A Disney representative also made no comment.
Studio insiders make it clear that everyone involved would prefer to release Marvel movies exclusively in theaters, as traditional distribution has proven to be the most profitable for studios and top talent over the years. The MCU series has become the highest-grossing film franchise, with worldwide box office sales of $ 22.6 billion.
But the pandemic has shaken exposure as movie theaters have closed or limited their capacity, with millions choosing to stay at home rather than risk infection. And with the likelihood that it may be more than half of 2021 before the COVID-19 vaccine is widely distributed in the United States, studios have been forced to make contingency plans.
According to two insiders, Marvel began exploring the possibility of updating talent contracts before Warner Bros. Seismic announcement of the simultaneous release of 17 2021 theatrical releases and on HBO Max – a move that is expected to lower box office revenues (and sustained deals for top talent).
Marvel Studios has a loaded slate in the coming year with Scarlett Johannsson’s “Black Widow” set to arrive in theaters on May 7, 2021, “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” opens July 9, 2021, “Eternals, Directed by Chloe Zhao, will now open on November 5, 2021, and the third installment of the Tom Holland “Spider-Man” franchise, “Untitled Tom Holland Spider-Man 3, is scheduled for December 17, 2021.