|Robert Downey Jr|
The 48-year-old star has played the role of Iron Man/Tony Stark in the superhero trilogy and 'The Avengers', and - if a two-film deal is reached for him to reprise the part in sequels to the comic book blockbuster - he could soon become the best-paid actor in the history of Hollywood.
Downey's agents are said to be meeting with Marvel bosses to negotiate a new deal in the coming weeks, with the actor's representatives saying he "may consider" a guaranteed $100 million deal, plus an increase on the seven per cent of box office receipts he already receives.
The actor admitted this month Marvel Studios were already embarrassed after he confirmed he received $50 million for his role in 'The Avengers'.
He told GQ magazine: "Isn't that crazy? They are so p***ed. I can't believe it either. I'm what is known as a strategic cost."
Kevin Feige, president of the studios, is said to want Downey to reprise his part as the superhero - and his billionaire playboy alter ego Tony Stark - but insisted he would be willing to look into cheaper alternatives, while the actor claimed he could quit just nine months before filming starts for 'The Avengers 2'.
However, movie analyst Doug Creutz of Cowen and Company warned dropping Downey would cut box office takings by nine per cent - or $1 billion.
It was reported last week the studio still hasn't secured key actors, with Robert leading his cast mates in a battle for better deals.
A source had said: "He's the only guy with real power in this situation, and balls of steel, too. He's already sent a message that he's not going to work for a place where they treat his colleagues like s**t."