Just yesterday I pointed out that the two most important words in our current culture are Spoiler Alert. Well, it should be pointed out that there are two other words that movie studios love to roll around: Cash Grab. Call me cynical, but that surely can be the only reason why the third Avengers movie (in the works already, and they haven’t even put the finishing touches on the second) will be split into two parts. The reasoning, of course, may be simply because the story is too complex to tell in one film (stop laughing.) According to ComicBook.com, a Marvel Studios insider let it slip that “the battle with Thanos will play out over two films; it could simply be that Avengers 4 will be needed to win the day, or that the third film will be subdivided.”
This is not the first time a major franchise has split a story in two: think Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, and Peter Jackson has gone one more, dividing The Hobbit into three three-hour movies. Badass Digest, however, has an interesting spin on the rumor, involving the legal disputes that arose from the making of The Three Musketeers. Basically, producer Alexander Salkind split the The Three Musketeers into two films without telling the cast (including Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston, Richard Chamberlain), “who found themselves starring in two movies but only being paid for one, and lawsuits were filed. Eventually the Screen Actors Guild included new language in the standard actor contract, known as the Salkind Clause, which says the actors must know how many movies they’re making when they sign up–ie, you can’t just use all their extra footage to make another movie without paying them for another movie.” This is important for the Avengers production and for Marvel “because Avengers 3 will mark the contractual end of the line for both Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans; Evans will have finished his sixth Marvel film, and Downey renegotiated his contract to carry him through Avengers 3. Marvel cannot simply shoot a lot with these guys and then split the movie in two–they would need to renegotiate their contracts to split Avengers 3 in half, and that would mean that Evans and Downey would straight up have the studio over the barrel.” So, yeah, Cash Grab. Marvel Comics very often use ancient myths and lore as the basis of their universe, and this is just another old story: when someone says it isn’t about the money, it’s about the money.