Marvel pays writers just $5,000 for billion-dollar MCU films
With the storylines being the only distinguishing factor between Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies and its rivals, a new report by The Guardian highlights that writers who create these epic stories for movies grossing billions of dollars receive just "an invitation to the premiere and a check for $5,000." Several writers have corroborated this woefully low payment news and called Marvel out. Here's more.
Ed Brubaker's newsletter brought the issue to the fore
According to The Guardian, the underpayment issue was first brought up by comic book writer Ed Brubaker who published a newsletter expressing his "mixed feelings" regarding the Disney Plus series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Brubaker and Steve Epting revived the Captain America sidekick Bucky Barnes to create the Winter Soldier portrayed by Sebastian Stan in the MCU.
'Thanks' and $5,000 don't pay bills until writers' next film
In the newsletter, Brubaker wrote, "For the most part, all Steve and I have got for creating the Winter Soldier and his storyline is a 'thanks' here or there, and over the years that's become harder and harder to live with". It's no secret that "thanks" doesn't pay bills and sparing just $5,000 for writers without whom the films wouldn't exist isn't acceptable.
Creator Jim Starlin negotiated bigger payout for Thanos's key role
The treatment meted out to other writers is reportedly no different. Three different sources confirmed that a "premiere invitation and $5,000 cheque" is standard practice. Jim Starlin who created Thanos's character that played a pivotal role in recent films "negotiated a bigger payout after arguing that Marvel had underpaid him for its use of Thanos as the big bad of the MCU."
'X-Men', 'Avengers' writer struggled to get name included in credits
Similarly, Roy Thomas who wrote prolifically on The Avengers and The X-Men "got his name added to the credits of the Disney Plus series Loki after his agent made a fuss. So far, Marvel has released 24 films in the MCU with three releases slated for this year and four for 2022. Marvel reportedly cited privacy concerns and refused to comment on the matter.