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Hollywood now views action movies stars as disposable (New York Times)

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Guevara

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Interesting article about how action movies stars have basically become replaceable and disposable.

Jason Momoa (the man-eating alpha dog), learned about this disposability firsthand. For years, a reboot of the “Conan” franchise had been in the works, possibly starring Schwarzenegger as the aging savage. But when Avi Lerner’s Nu Image Films decided on the revival, in 2008, Lerner and his partners opted to go with an unknown, which would be much cheaper. “Everybody knows I’m a money man,” Lerner told me. “I’m not out to win an Oscar. If I spend $60 million on a movie, I want to make a 20 or 30 percent return.” The “Conan” bake-off reportedly included a not-yet-famous Chris Hemsworth and other relative unknowns, like Kellan Lutz, Jared Padalecki of the TV series “Supernatural” and Momoa, who is best known as the warrior Khal Drogo in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

When the producers finally settled on Momoa in 2010, he threw himself into the role, embarking on an intensive six-week training regimen, working out six hours a day — including two hours of samurai sword practice. He ate a boiled chicken breast every two hours or so, roughly 56 per week, and packed on an additional 30 pounds of muscle to his already brawny frame. A few months before the film opened, in 2011, the trade show ­CinemaCon presented Momoa with its Rising Star award. During the lead-up to the movie, Momoa told reporters that a sequel was in the works and that this time around he was involved with the writing process.

But “Conan” suffered a dismal opening weekend, earning only $10.5 million domestically. “I let myself cry for a day, then I moved on to the next one,” Lerner said. “We make more than a dozen of these things a year. We don’t stop.” Another high-powered executive, who asked not to be identified, noted a deeper problem. “No one cared. It’s a comic book that existed 40 or 50 years ago.” Nonetheless, Paradox Entertainment, the company that owns the rights to “Conan,” announced in October that it was leasing them to Universal for yet another version. Momoa took the job as a man-eating alpha dog and pledged to start over.
According to reports, Chris Hemsworth made a pittance for “Thor” and received a pay increase of only $500,000 for the sequel.
Hollywood has gotten creative in its hunt for the next big action star. Producers have considered scouting high-school football games. Brett Norensberg, an agent at Gersh, decided to structure a significant part of his practice around recruiting mixed-martial-arts fighters, professional wrestlers and martial artists. His list includes a karate whiz named Leo Howard, the star of Disney XD’s “Kickin’ It.” “He’s just turning 16. He’s almost 6 feet tall, and he’s got an eight-pack. He’s a thicker Keanu Reeves. The sky’s the limit for him.”

These efforts, though, belie a truth about action heroes: Almost any actor, even some of Hollywood’s most scrawny, can be physically transformed for the part if he’s willing to put in the hard work.

A lot more at the link. All your favorite actors basically are working much harder for a lot less money. They also need more than one or two films to make it




http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/magazine/the-last-disposable-action-hero.html
 

Arde5643

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Aug 18, 2007
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They kinda look all the same too - I guess Hollywood can only cast certain types in the action star roles.
 

SwiftDeath

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The way I see it, Hollywood has failed to create new "superstar" actors in the last 15 years or so

I mean they were clearly trying to with Shia Labeouf with all the roles he got but yeah that's never going to happen

I mean when was the last super star actor made?

Harrison Ford for instance had some crazy ass contract with the studios back in the day that clearly showed how they saw actors of his level a real investment, not some disposable set piece
 
Sep 16, 2012
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The way I see it, Hollywood has failed to create new "superstar" actors in the last 15 years or so

I mean they were clearly trying to with Shia Labeouf with all the roles he got but yeah that's never going to happen

I mean when was the last super star actor made?

Harrison Ford for instance had some crazy ass contract with the studios back in the day that clearly showed how they saw actors of his level a real investment, not some disposable set piece

Chris Pratt is gonna make it.

hopefully
 

Balphon

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Feb 24, 2010
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Sucks for Momoa; he seems like a decent guy.

Still, it's really hard to empathize when the standards in place result in you describing an undoubtedly six-figure income as a "pittance" and lamenting that someone has to settle for a "pay increase of only $500,000."
 

Sectorseven

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Part of it is because they're not using original IPs. There's no source material for an Indiana Jones or Terminator, so it's a lot easier for the actor to make the role his own.
 

massoluk

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Dec 19, 2011
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They... uhh... they all look the same.

That came out racist...

Stallone, Schwarzengger, Willis, and Seagal have uniqueness to their on-screen presence. These new generation action stars all looked the same.

Case in point, Stathom has that uniqueness, he made it out.
 

Stevetopsy

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Makes me wonder even more than I already did how Momoa could possibly turn down Guardians of the Galaxy. It could have only helped his career, even if they were paying him very little.
 

gutshot

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They... uhh... they all look the same.

That came out racist...

Stallone, Schwarzengger, Willis, and Seagal have uniqueness to their on-screen presence. These new generation action stars all looked the same.

Case in point, Stathom has that uniqueness, he made it out.

Momoa, though, is nothing like these other guys, yet he didn't make it.
 

FairyD

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Hollywood time for you to go in the opposite direction. Hire me instead for your next summer action flick.
 

mechashiva

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Sucks for Momoa; he seems like a decent guy.

Still, it's really hard to empathize when the standards in place result in you describing an undoubtedly six-figure income as a "pittance" and lamenting that someone has to settle for a "pay increase of only $500,000."
Considering that his look as Thor brings a ton of ladies and that sequel did quite well he is very underpaid.
 

Aaron

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Because they're all completely forgettable. If they're not going to be a draw, of course Hollywood is going to cast someone cheaper, and usually younger. That's the nature of the business.
 

entremet

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They... uhh... they all look the same.

That came out racist...

Stallone, Schwarzengger, Willis, and Seagal have uniqueness to their on-screen presence. These new generation action stars all looked the same.

Case in point, Stathom has that uniqueness, he made it out.

They also had charisma and personality.
 
Jan 7, 2007
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Makes me wonder even more than I already did how Momoa could possibly turn down Guardians of the Galaxy. It could have only helped his career, even if they were paying him very little.

Last I heard he was getting sick of being typecast, so maybe he declined the Drax role for that reason (in fact I'm 99% sure I read an interview with him where he said exactly that). Besides, Batista ended up looking better in the role - which Momoa admits.
 

MattKeil

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Sucks for Momoa; he seems like a decent guy.

Still, it's really hard to empathize when the standards in place result in you describing an undoubtedly six-figure income as a "pittance" and lamenting that someone has to settle for a "pay increase of only $500,000."

Considering the amount of money the Thor films and Avengers pull in, paying Hemsworth $500,000 is a "pittance" when you're talking about that scale of blockbuster money. RDJ is allegedly the only member of the Avengers cast who was paid over a million (and estimates place his total pay for it at around $70 million, because he negotiated an amazing deal after the success of the first Iron Man), and it's said that Evans and Hemsworth were only paid around $250,000 for Avengers, and it took RDJ throwing some weight around to even get Marvel to up their pay beyond that after the movie made a billion dollars.

Yeah, on one hand there's an aspect of "suck it up, you make ten times what we make" with this, but on the other, being Thor is very much a 24/7 job for Hemsworth, because he has to look like Thor. If a series is doing phenomenally well, that should be reflected in the stars' salaries in a proper ratio. The actors are where the proverbial rubber meets the road, after all.
 

MC Safety

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When I saw the graphic of those actors, I could definitely see how they might not only be disposable but also interchangeable.
 

entremet

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Seems like the studios are getting miserly after the 20 million per film stars started getting out of control.
 

jred2k

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The closest thing to an action star Hollywood has produced in the past 5 years is Liam Neeson.
 

Grassclipper

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A lot of them act charisma and are not that fun to watch honestly. Chris Hemsworth as Thor really works and I think he brought a lot to the role. But at the same time his role in Snow White wasn't memorable at all, which might say more about the movie though, I don't know.

But it's like that picture with Taylor Kitsch being the next Brad Pitt, how many of the megastars we have today actually started out as big blockbuster actors? There are some like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Ford and so on. But Pitt, Clooney and Damon all started with smaller roles and built their portfolio.
 

Blader

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These efforts, though, belie a truth about action heroes: Almost any actor, even some of Hollywood’s most scrawny, can be physically transformed for the part if he’s willing to put in the hard work.

Is this really a bad thing? As has been said in countless armchair casting threads here, acting talent is more important than looks. If you have a talented, charismatic actor who is physically capable of packing on muscle then why wouldn't you go for that over a body builder who only looks the part?
 
Jan 7, 2007
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Maybe Terrence Howard getting shit-canned after Iron Man 1 due to a pay dispute has scared the Marvel actors into keeping their mouths shut. Thankfully good guy RDJ knows whats up.
 

Balphon

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Considering the amount of money the Thor films and Avengers pull in, paying Hemsworth $500,000 is a "pittance" when you're talking about that scale of blockbuster money. RDJ is allegedly the only member of the Avengers cast who was paid over a million (and estimates place his total pay for it at around $70 million, because he negotiated an amazing deal after the success of the first Iron Man), and it's said that Evans and Hemsworth were only paid around $250,000 for Avengers, and it took RDJ throwing some weight around to even get Marvel to up their pay beyond that after the movie made a billion dollars.

Yeah, on one hand there's an aspect of "suck it up, you make ten times what we make" with this, but on the other, being Thor is very much a 24/7 job for Hemsworth, because he has to look like Thor. If a series is doing phenomenally well, that should be reflected in the stars' salaries in a proper ratio. The actors are where the proverbial rubber meets the road, after all.

You aren't wrong, but I still don't care. Plenty of people have difficult, demanding jobs. Likewise, even if you limit yourself to looking at the economic value a particular person brings to whatever enterprise they're a part of, even LeBron James is underpaid.
 

AlteredForms

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You should have named the title of this thread as: 'Action movie stars are expendable' - See what I did there?
 

Grassclipper

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Considering the amount of money the Thor films and Avengers pull in, paying Hemsworth $500,000 is a "pittance" when you're talking about that scale of blockbuster money. RDJ is allegedly the only member of the Avengers cast who was paid over a million (and estimates place his total pay for it at around $70 million, because he negotiated an amazing deal after the success of the first Iron Man), and it's said that Evans and Hemsworth were only paid around $250,000 for Avengers, and it took RDJ throwing some weight around to even get Marvel to up their pay beyond that after the movie made a billion dollars.

Yeah, on one hand there's an aspect of "suck it up, you make ten times what we make" with this, but on the other, being Thor is very much a 24/7 job for Hemsworth, because he has to look like Thor. If a series is doing phenomenally well, that should be reflected in the stars' salaries in a proper ratio. The actors are where the proverbial rubber meets the road, after all.

If you include total pay for RDJ you have to do the same for the other actors. It is still comparatively low but ended up around from 2 to 6 million depending on the actor. Source

EDIT: Okay so I saw that you elaborated on that in your post already, my bad.
 

Father_Brain

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The way I see it, Hollywood has failed to create new "superstar" actors in the last 15 years or so

I mean they were clearly trying to with Shia Labeouf with all the roles he got but yeah that's never going to happen

I mean when was the last super star actor made?

Harrison Ford for instance had some crazy ass contract with the studios back in the day that clearly showed how they saw actors of his level a real investment, not some disposable set piece

Failed? Seems more like a feature than a bug. With increasingly rare exceptions, the studios don't want to pay an actor eight figures per film.
 

Abounder

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The Last Action Hero indeed. They are truly The Expendables.

Whose name can sell a movie nowadays anyway? Downey Jr? Cruise?
 

ivysaur12

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Chris Hemsworth will continue to have a great film career, and Amell will always have a great television career. Everyone else is a bit dry.
 

Ken Masters

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They're disposable because a memorable action star hasn't come along in years


I mean the biggest action star in Hollywood is 60 year old Liam Nielsen
 

ccbfan

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They haven't found a young action star that can make people pay attention to the screen for a while.

I think Dwayne Johnson is the most recent and he's not even young.

With Arnold, Stallone, Li, Chan, Willis

We went to see the "Jet Li" Movie. I don't remember his name in most of his movies. All I know is that Jet Li is in it and he's gonna fight.


Chris Hemsworth? Who is he? The guy who dated Miley Cyrus? Oh he was Thor.
 
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