Why Emma Stone Supposedly Turned Down a Fantastic Four Movie Role

Rumor has it that Emma Stone has turned down the role of the Invisible Woman aka Susan Storm in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Fantastic Four reboot movie. She supposedly turned down the role because Marvel wouldn’t pay her what she asked for.

Emma Stone (who is well known for many roles such as Easy A, La La Land, and even The Amazing Spiderman) is rumored to have asked for $20 million dollars to play Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four. While this isn’t an outrageous sum for a superhero actor, it is in the high range for a first movie of the franchise.

To put things in perspective a bit, Chris Evans reportedly made $300,000 for his first appearance as Captain America in Captain America: The First Avenger and reportedly made $20 million for his last appearance which was Avengers: Endgame. If Chris Evans were to come back, he would probably be asking for $20 million or more. These numbers make it seem like Emma Stone may be asking for too much (if the report is even true). Chris Evans and others started out with a smaller paycheck, and as Marvel and the individual franchises grew, so did their salaries.

Marvel Studios

One could argue that given the success of Marvel Studios, they are in a place to pay higher wages. When Chris Evans was starting out, the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe looked promising with the success of 2008’s Iron Man, but there was no guarantee that Captain America would see similar results. After all, 2008’s Incredible Hulk made just over $265 million which was only 1.9 times its budget. It is often said that a movie needs to make 3 times its budget to be successful. Iron Man was a little over 3 times its budget with a box office of just over $585 million. Captain America: The First Avenger ended up making just over $370 million which was 2.6 times its production budget. It was enough for Marvel to know that they still had something special, and when Avengers came around, there was a lot of money to be made for everyone involved.

Chris Evans went on to make around 3 million for his part in the first Avengers movie, and his salary steadily climbed over the years. It seems that if Emma Stone did join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a similar path could be followed. There is no guarantee that audiences will show up to see the Fantastic Four movie even if it is a part of the MCU, so it makes sense for Marvel to start their actors out with smaller salaries. At least, in that regard.

Shang Chi and the Ten Rings Feature 4K

The Ups and Downs of Phases 4, and 5

Although, Marvel Studios has seen tremendous success since the first Captain America, there have been a lot of ups and downs since the pinnacle that was Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Those two movies followed up by Spiderman: Far From Home cemented the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the most successful movie franchise ever.

Unfortunately, since then, the MCU has had some difficulty finding it’s way. There was another successful Spiderman movie (No Way Home), but Marvel Studios doesn’t even get to see much of the money from that one since Sony holds the distribution rights. Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder both made some money, but they weren’t nearly as successful as they were projected to be, and the quality of the movies was lacking, especially with Thor: Love and Thunder.

Now is probably not the best time period in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for an actor to ask for $20 million unless there name is Chris Evans. Of course, if he came back, he should probably ask for more than that. Robert Downey Jr. would definitely ask for more since he made around $75 million for Avengers: Endgame. Although, a large part of that was made because of his deal to get 8% of the profits. Scarlett Johansson could ask for more, and really most of the actors who took part in Marvel’s first 3 phases, but the story seems different for a new comer.


The Star Power Factor

Now while Emma Stone isn’t in an established MCU franchise already, she is a very prominent actress. Star power doesn’t seem to be what it once was, but Emma Stone may be one of those actors who can draw in new crowds. She may also be able to bring back some of the jaded fans, but it’s hard to say on both accounts. The Fantastic Four franchise has been tackled several times, and has had some very successful and very likable actors attached before, and those previous versions ultimately didn’t work out very well (although, I do enjoy the two movies with Chris Evans in them).

Star power may be a bargaining chip for Emma Stone, but the MCU has been built with many lesser known actors who went on to become stars after their time in the MCU. Of course Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Scarlett Johanssen were all fairly well known before their time with Marvel, but they weren’t nearly as big as they are now. While they none of those three are involved with other big franchises, they appear to be doing whatever projects they want to while enjoying the nice chunk of change that they each made during their time with Marvel Studios.

Guardians of the Galaxy 1 Hardcover

The Guardians Comparison

Another reason that Emma Stone is reportedly asking for $20 million is that the character she is supposedly up for in the Fantastic Four is rumored to be the main focus of the movie. The Fantastic Four is a team, but the rumor is that Sue Storm aka Invisible Woman will be a main character of sorts. After learning of this report, I like to compare the Fantastic Four to the Guardians of the Galaxy. I don’t think there is a better comparison for the MCU. The Guardians came together in their first movie, and didn’t have individual movies to help us get to know them more like the Avengers did. It’s been said that this Fantastic Four movie won’t be an origin story, but it will be similar in that this is the first time we will meet this version of the team.

Don’t get me wrong, the Avengers journey from individuals to a team was incredible to watch, but being introduced to the Guardians of the Galaxy and having them team up in one movie was also incredible to watch. With the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, one could argue that it was Rocket Raccoon’s story all along, however the first scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 introduces us to a young Peter Quill who loses his mom and gets abducted by aliens. We then see him as Star Lord, stealing a rare artifact in order to sell it and make a profit.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 was definitely Star Lord’s story overall. It was about him meeting the other characters, and becoming the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, the other characters were so strongly developed that it sometimes felt like it was their story, and it didn’t hurt the movie when it did this. In fact, it actually helped. If the writers, and the director of this upcoming Fantastic Four movie can integrate this way of story telling then this movie may have a chance of being successful.

Chris Pratt made $1.5 million for his role as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, and eventually went on to make between $15 and $20 million. Again, with numbers like those, a first ask of $20 million seems high. If Fantastic Four is successful, $20 million may not seem like too much of an ask for a second movie, or an Avengers team up movie depending on Sue Storm’s screen time in the movie. Another route would be to take a base of say $5 or $10 million and add on a percentage of the movie’s profits. That seems reasonable for a main character of an introductory movie. At least to an industry outsider like me.

Invisible Woman: Partners in Crime

Sue Storm is the Glue of the Fantastic Four

In the comics, Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic is the leader of the Fantastic Four. Then there is Sue Storm, her brother Johnny, and Reed’s friend, Ben Grimm. They all act like leaders at one point or another, and Sue is definitely the glue that holds the team together so it’s not a stretch to make her the focus as long as they do it right.

Although they are all friends, all of the members of the Fantastic Four have contrasting personalities. At the core, Reed is a super logical scientist, Johnny is an adrenaline junkie, Ben Grimm is street smart, and Sue Storm is a little bit of everything, but most of all she is caring. All of that combined helps her connect with rest of them, and helps them get along with each other. Sue’s compassion for her team or family could be a strong way for the audience to connect with the movie. If Emma Stone is the best person to convey all of these qualities then she may well be worth the $20 million. Of course, none of this is confirmed. I mainly just wanted to write another post about the Fantastic Four.

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