It’s Time to Get Rid of Big Names in Big Movies



A poster for Eternals, the Marvel movie that Angelina Jolie stars in releasing November 2021.

We’ve all spent an embarrassing amount of our lives thinking about how life and the world would change if we could shoot webs from our hands, and small actors in the Marvel universe have grown with our dreams, fulfilling them as they show us a universe with actual superheroes. The universe is only made possible by extravagant effects and the raw performances of the up-and-coming actors that play them. But if Marvel Studios adds bigger actors to its movies, these performances become fake, losing their edge. Even worse, the large salaries of the big actors eat away at the production budget of the movie. Therefore, if Marvel continues adding big actors to its movies, they will lose a lot of their unique appeal, including the memorable action scenes and powerful, loaded moments between its actors, that make them so special.

Marvel Studios has generally been very good with their budgeting for actors, especially in older movies at the very beginning of the universe. Arguably the most well-known actor to ever grace the superhero world is Robert Downey Jr. However, when he was starting off in his first Iron Man movie, he only made $500,000. It was his stellar acting that catapulted his salary and paved the way for the Iron Man we all know and love today. Thanks to Marvel, Downey Jr. has 50.7 million followers on Instagram and one of the largest fan followings of any actor or actress in the entire world!  Another example is Chris Evans, who we all know as Captain America. He only made $300,000 in Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011, but, thanks to his stellar acting, he blew up in popularity, achieving movies outside of the universe like Knives Out. He’s also amassed 13 million followers on Instagram. There are many, many more examples of how the MCU has blown up many smaller actors, turning countless smaller actors into some of the most prominent figures in history.

With this budgeting for many of their actors comes a greater budget for special effects and production, leading to some of, arguably, the greatest action scenes of all time (The battle at the end of Endgame was close to perfect). If big actors’ salaries bloat the budget, there would be no level even close to the quality of the action scenes we see today. On top of this, some of these small actors depend on these MCU movies as the main part of their income. For example, Chris Evans, one of the industry’s most prominent actors today, had few to no major movies before The First Avenger, which was why he only took $300,000 for the movie. This was what catapulted him into stardom, and without the MCU, he wouldn’t be in the beneficial financial situation he’s in today.

Now, some may say that bigger actors will automatically increase the quality, and box office intake, of the movie. After all, there’s no denying that Angelina Jolie, soon to act in Marvel’s Eternals, has catapulted the box office numbers and quality of most of the movies she’s been in; take Maleficent, which made a mind-blowing $760 million at the box office. However, Jolie’s also making $40 million from Eternals, a number that exceeds most films’ entire box office collections. With this enormous number bloating the budget, special effects are doomed to be of a lesser quality, overall decreasing the appeal of these movies as well. The smaller actors underneath Jolie will be inevitably shadowed, potentially preventing their big break, and preventing them from inspiring aspiring actors around the world. This is also refuted through movies with smaller actors making truckloads of money from the MCU; take Guardians of the Galaxy, a movie with not too many big actors that made a whopping $772 million. Overall, with smaller actors in MCU movies, viewers get the classic MCU style stories, hidden gems of actors, and amazing action scenes and sequences that we all love. Therefore, Marvel would be wise to not take big actors in their movies in the future, like they did Jolie with Eternals.