Replacing actors is a judgment by the studio where they have to value how much the actor is to the film/franchise. For instance, Katie Holmes wanted more money than Warner Bros. was willing to pay her to reprise Rachel Dawes in “The Dark Knight” so they replaced her with actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.
It happened early on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe too. Marvel wasn’t happy with Terrence Howard’s performance as Lt. Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes in “Iron Man” so they replaced him with Don Cheadle.
But sometimes it’s not about the actor’s performance or the amount of money they’re demanding; sometimes the studio does so due to explosive new accusations against the key actor.
Robert Downey Jr. has had a roller coaster of a career and one could characterize it as the very definition of resilience and perseverance.
Downey Jr. was one of Hollywood’s most up-and-coming actors in the late 1980’s and 90’s. Following a great performance as a junkie in “Less Than Zero,” his career began to take off in films like “Air America” opposite Mel Gibson, “Soapdish” and he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in “Chaplin” portraying Charlie Chaplin.
But he struggled with drugs the entire time.
From 1996 through 2001, Downey Jr. was arrested numerous times on charges related to drugs including cocaine and heroin, and also gun charges. He largely escaped jail time with probation for the first couple of charges but after violating probation, he spent nearly a year in jail.
Downey Jr. is lucky he didn’t spend way more time in prison. But he turned his life around and showed everyone in Hollywood the past was behind him. He’s been sober for almost two decades.
And in 2008, Downey Jr. landed a hilarious role in “Tropic Thunder” which earned him an Oscar nomination, but it was playing Tony Stark in “Iron Man” that changed his life. He went from rock bottom to one of the biggest movie stars in the world in the blink of an eye.
But Marvel is dealing with a different set of circumstances with actor Jeremy Renner who plays Hawkeye in MCU.
Renner’s ex-wife, Sonni Pacheco, accused the “Avengers” star of threatening to kill her and their nanny confirmed one incident.
The nanny stated, “In one particular conversation, Ms. Moore heard [Renner] state he was going to go to [Pacheco’s] house and kill her and then kill himself, and that it was better that Ava had no parents than to have [Pacheco] as a mother.”
In another incident, via TMZ, Pacheco claims Renner put a gun in his mouth, threatening to kill himself, and then firing a gun into the ceiling while their daughter was asleep in her bedroom. It was also revealed Renner left coke on a bathroom counter reachable by his daughter.
Renner, of course, denies the rumors. But rumors are circulating that Marvel is ready to replace the Academy Award nominated actor in the universe moving forward.
Just heard something. Heard Marvel are considering some options just in case they’ll decide not to use Renner for the Hawkeye show. pic.twitter.com/X8Ztrf97Sp
— Daniel Richtman (@DanielRPK) October 20, 2019
MCU Direct, a fan account, tweeted:
RUMOR: @MarvelStudios is reportedly considering options of how to proceed with @Renner4Real‘s #Hawkeye in light of recent allegations made against him. https://t.co/A3iBEvmFgc pic.twitter.com/dwtkuR1ET9
— MCU Direct (@MCU_Direct) October 21, 2019
As of right now, Renner isn’t under criminal investigation but the accusations are serious.
Marvel may be forced to move on because of the severity of the allegations, regardless if they’re not true. It’s too much bad press.