There is a delicious irony in the penny-pinching that surrounds Iron Man 2. We're talking about Tony Stark, a Marvel character who is wealthier than God, and whose sequel will bring in millions at the box office. Yet the studio reportedly didn't want to bring Jon Favreau back because they were convinced they could pay a new guy less. Then came reports that they dumped Terrence Howard largely because they had overpaid him. Last week, Samuel L. Jackson told the world that Marvel was feeling the economic crunch, and wouldn't pay his asking price to reprise the role of Nick Fury. Now, Variety reports that Marvel is offering Mickey Rourke the grand total of $250,000 to play Crimson Dynamo, and hints that he may not sign for such a low offer. Seriously Marvel? Of course, actors are hideously overpaid and all, but I think Rourke deserves a decent chunk of change for Iron Man 2 considering what Marvel will make on the film.

Meanwhile the "maybe they aren't overpaid, money doesn't heal humiliation" category, check out this Liev Schreiber quote from Details about playing Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. "I started to read blogs in the comic world with things like 'That's the dumpiest, most out-of-shape Sabretooth I've ever seen in my life!' They gave me a muscle suit at the beginning. I was so humiliated I thought, I've got to try to do this on my own ... I felt like I owed it to the genre to be big." Now take a moment, and be glad Fox cast someone as committed as Schreiber so that you didn't have to see Sabretooth in a rubber muscle suit.


Remember Sleeper, the Tom Cruise, Sam Raimi project based on Ed Brubaker's comic series? In October, Brad Inglesby signed on to write the script, and you may have wondered why Brubaker didn't get the job. It turns out, he didn't want it. Brubaker told Sci Fi Wire: "I've talked to the producers a lot, but, you know, [if] Tom Cruise is going to star in this thing, I've got comics to write ... I would love it if they make it, and I want to go visit and everything. I can't imagine on that level working with like Tom Cruise and Sam Raimi. I think I would actually feel daunted, and I'd prefer not to feel daunted. Plus, I know that movie's going to cost $100 million. Even if I wrote a draft, I'll be better off letting them hire a bunch of other writers and then send me scripts to fix." The project is on the fast track after the success of Valkyrie, but they don't yet have a full script.

Never fear, Watchmen fans -- even the ugliest moments between the characters will be faithfully portrayed. "It's rated 'R' for a reason," Jeffrey Dean Morgan told MTV. If you haven't read the book, there's some major character spoilers, so I just thought I'd warm the cockles of your geek hearts by quoting that.

Finally, The Hollywood Reporter has a charming video of Hugh Jackman telling everyone why it's cool to be Wolverine -- and maybe it was something about that macho set, but he seems to have a moment of poor self-esteem to rival Schreiber's. I've embedded it below so you can listen to him reveal which mutant he thinks is more popular than Wolverine. Reassure him in the comments, would you?