Dwayne Johnson is arguably the biggest and the busiest actor working in Hollywood. And collectively over the last 6-7 years, he has also been the highest-paid actor in terms of the money made solely from movies. His paydays have been insanely huge. That, and his extremely busy yearly schedule would prevent him from ever joining the biggest Hollywood franchise, i.e. the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The MCU did spend big money on actors in the past. Starring in Avengers: Endgame, all the OG Avengers made a minimum of $15 million upfront. ScarJo and Hemsworth bagged $20 million while Downey ended up with $75 million. And now, most of these characters are either out of the MCU already, or they are on their way out. The MCU regularly invests in talented new blood because they are able to make powerful stories by paying less than these huge 8 figure sums. It’s not that they can’t afford to pay big. It’s just that they’ve been doing well by paying much less!
They do need to hold on to a few big names like Benedict Cumberbatch and Chris Hemsworth. Even Tom Holland would bag an 8-figure salary from Spider-Man 4 onwards. But most of them stay around $15 million. So, Marvel probably would not want Johnson into the mix who charges way more.
The Rock Too Big for the MCU?
Looking at what Dwayne Johnson makes per movie these days, it is highly unlikely for him to play a recurring Marvel character. If you check out his recent deals itself, he earned a $23.5 million salary from Red Notice and is bringing in $30 million from Amazon’s Holiday adventure, Red One.
$20-$30 million is a regular norm for him to appear in a film. And these are just the upfront salaries that I’m talking about. The actor makes almost an equal amount (if not more) on the back end as well. And, this number will probably go higher in the future.
Bringing him in would mean that Marvel will get his branding power. But they probably don’t need a big-name actor to market any of their projects. The “MCU” itself is a strong brand to market any project. So, Johnson playing a recurring character could mean less profitability for the studio, as they’d have to pay more every time he shows up.
He even produces most of his movies under his Seven Bucks Production banner. And a producer always makes money on the back end after a movie comes out. If you’ve picked up on the chatter of the last few years, then you would have noticed that this former WWE star also teased a meeting with Kevin Feige. But nothing seems to have come out of that.
Black Adam & Other Disney Involvements
Another major reason why DJ may never join the MCU is that he is also DC’s Black Adam now. That’s a huge IP that he will lead for Marvel’s biggest competitors. And he does plenty for Disney’s other projects. So, he doesn’t need to be in the MCU. And Marvel doesn’t need him either. They are already able to endorse films and shows even with newer faces using their pre-established branding (Shang-Chi). And they’ve got plenty of other big names to keep things going. Not to mention that there’s Ryan Reynolds coming in as Deadpool and he would probably fill the quota of making “Johnson-level” money from Marvel.
We’ve fan cast him as Namor and several other characters in the past. But at best, The Rock could play a one or two-time MCU villain. And I don’t see that happening either after Black Adam.
What do you guys think? Will The Rock ever join the MCU or is our thinking justified? Let us know in the comments.