You might think that director Joss Whedon took a record-setting paycheck for director Marvel’s The Avengers, which set records at the box office itself. Not so much. Whedon tells the WSJ that he actually made more money from his self-produced Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long blog, a musical that premiered on the internet, than he did from The Avengers.
“They are in the business of hiring the guy who hasn’t had a big success, because they don’t have to pay that guy very much,” Whedon explains. Considering how well known he is now, it’s easy to forget that The Avengers was only Whedon’s second time directing a feature film. His first, Serenity, didn’t do well enough at the box office to lead to a sequel.
However, after the success of The Avengers, Whedon brokered a much more lucrative deal before signing on to consult on Marvel’s Phase 2 films and direct Avengers: Age of Ultron, saying he learned “what it feels like to get paid.” He was apparently paid enough to take some time off from superhero blockbuster following Avengers: Age of Ultron, and work on developing some original works of his own.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1.