Avengers: Endgame screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely say the respective salaries of their high-profile stars and their schedules “didn’t necessarily dictate” how the film played out in the writing process.
Asked by THR if they considered actors’ often expensive salaries when penning Infinity War and Endgame, Markus answered, “Not the financial aspect of it.”
“On the now increasingly legendary set of baseball cards that had all of the Marvel people on it, you could flip it over and see how much were they contracted for or would they require a new contract,” Markus said. Added McFeely, “We didn’t have salaries [on the back].”
“It didn’t necessarily dictate anything,” said Markus. “If they didn’t have a contract and we needed them, they’d just make a new deal. But it was kind of interesting to see.”
Such a tool was “helpful when it said ‘run of show,’” McFeely added. “Oh, this person is committed to this movie and we won’t have to play any scheduling games.”
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo previously explained to THR they blocked the two-part Avengers by “economizing” the time needed from their many stars, including the actors who returned when time-traveling resulted in Endgame’s plentiful character cameos.
“It was a huge financial issue on this one, and really the way it manifested for us was the fact that we shot these movies back-to-back. The primary motivation to shoot these movies back-to-back like this and to block them was so that we could condense actors’ work so we were basically buying them for a little more than one movie rather than two full movies,” Anthony said.
“Marvel and Disney were able to structure deals with the actors because we were economizing their time commitment by blocking the movies this way. That was the only reason to shoot these movies this way. Of course, there was a huge creative upside for Joe and I, in that we got to tell a story with all these characters and all these wonderful actors. Everything else about blocking these movies together is a downside. It was really difficult. Each of these movies was the most difficult, complex movie we've ever made individually and to do them back-to-back together was a really daunting task.”
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