Is The Avengers in trouble before it even begins?

When Marvel Studios announced The Avengers, all seemed well. It would bring together all of its heroes into one all-out summer blockbuster. That meant that Chris Evans’ Captain America, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor would be sharing the big screen together, alongside Samuel L. Jackson’s super-spy Nick Fury.

Add in geek-favorite and talented director Joss Whedon (Serenity) and it seemed like things were set for the film to go off without a hitch.

However, is reporting that the studio is having issues with the film’s budget. Apparently, Marvel wants to produce the film for only $160 million, roughly equivalent to the costs of the first Spider-man movie. The announcement has apparently delayed production of the film by weeks.

This is not the first time Marvel’s tried to cut costs. It tried to keep Iron Man 2 to a low budget, initially offering Mickey Rourke only $250,000 for his role as Ivan Vanko. For a while, both Rourke and Jackson had issues with the prices before finally making new deals with the studio.

It’s unlikely that Marvel’s budget goals will be met — a film like The Avengers is going to take a lot of money to make. The only question will be how long until the studio realizes that and loosens the purse strings.