Apparently $160 Million is Not Enough to Make Joss Whedon’s The Avengers

$160 million or thereabouts, anyway.

Rumors are running rampant that Marvel Studios, as they are wont to do, is trying to curb cost on Whedon’s upcoming “The Avengers” even before the film starts shooting by limiting the budget to around $160 million (according to I09). That, says some insiders, isn’t nearly enough to make the movie, and as a result, there have been “delays” in the pre-production of the first-ever big-budget comic book superhero team movie.

Some people say it can’t be done. Others say it can be done – even if then, in certain well heeled Los Angeles bars, they assure each other that it can’t. And while some people have walked off the project, others are planning a longer game. Basically do the work, then when they run out of budget (which they believe they will) trust that Marvel Studios and their investors will pony up the extra necessary cash rather than leave the movie unfinished.

Only in Hollywood would $160 million not be “enough” to make a movie. Meanwhile, you give the South Koreans or Japanese $160 million, and they would probably hand you back 4 “Avengers”-sized movies. Or hell, Whedon could probably give you 10 “Firefly” movies with that much money.

Personally, I think this is all very silly. My guess is, Marvel just wants Whedon to know that he’s not working with an unlimited budget, but when push comes to shove, they will of course sign over more bucks to finish the movie. “The Avengers” is a sure-fire mega hit that will launch not just a franchise, but franchises. You don’t turn your back on that just to save, what, $50 extra million? Hell, this movie might make that on first-week DVD sales alone.

So I wouldn’t worry, kids. The Avengers will assemble as expected in 2012.

Joss Whedon, right, fantasizing about how many Firefly movies he could make with $160 million...