In my mind, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the top five overrated actors currently employed in Hollywood. He chooses bad parts, and then proceeds to make them worse by either overacting or underacting to the point of lunacy. Despite this, Jackson is still considered a major Hollywood star, primarily due to his magnetic turn in Quentin Tarantino'sPulp Fiction way back in 1994. Tarantino handed Jackson that plum role on a platter with a big bow on top of it, and Jackson has managed to squander every last bit of the goodwill it delivered to him in the years since. Few will ever forget his charisma-free performance as beleaguered Jedi Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels. Coupled with embarrassing turns in pathetic crap like Snakes on a Plane and The Spirit, Jackson has revealed a surprising lack of actual talent. So when he showed up at the end of Iron Man as Nick Fury, my heart sank a little bit. Sure, the character was remodeled after Jackson's unique mug, but what could Jackson bring to the role that would enhance this realistic world that director Jon Favreau had so carefully constructed? Well, it looks like the inevitable sequel will be spared destruction by Jackson's theatrics. The L.A. Times is reporting that Marvel refuses to pay Jackson the hefty sum he is undoubtedly seeking to portray Nick Fury in Iron Man 2. I know I part from my fellow fanboys on this, but I am secretly happy that Marvel is playing hardball on budgets. These films are very expensive to produce, and tacking on another $20 million for the dubious services of someone like Jackson is absurd. While Iron Man 2 will undoubtedly be a massive worldwide hit, does it really need to feature Samuel L. Jackson in this role? I will admit that Marvel has definitely played this wrong. When making films like these , you need to lock up your actors if you wish to continue certain plotlines. For instance, the whole Terrence Howard/Don Cheadle mess from late last year could have ben avoided had they locked up Howard at a base fee at the outset, or simply hired a cheaper actor to a cheaper multi-film contract. In the case of Jackson, you don't put him in at the end of Iron Man without some sort of contract in place to do the next film. Of course, Marvel is fairly new to the moviemaking business, so I guess we can forgive their lack of savvy on this issue. But what Marvel is doing is ultimately good for Hollywood business. Like baseball, you cannot continue to operate while paying outrageous sums of money to egotistical divas; not everyone has pocketbooks like Steinbrenner. As my St. Louis Cardinals demonstrated in 2006, the little guys who remain cautious about how they spend money can sometimes win the World Series against the big guys. In other words, Marvel can find someone to replace Jackson - who is overrated anyway - and still make a mint. As for Jackson, he could use a dressing down. It's time for him to step up his game.