Marvel contracts are always hotly-debated. Knowing when certain Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) stars could be leaving their characters behind can often clue us in on future plans at Marvel Studios. Conversely, signing on the dotted line could also factor in to future spin-offs and unexpected team-ups, as has been the case for many an MCU movie down the years.
Below, we're going to take you through the major Marvel contract news, including quotes from many of the major MCU actors who will be sticking around in Marvel Phase 4 and beyond. That even includes a look at the story everyone can't stop going on about: Spider-Man leaving the MCU.
Tom Holland's contract situation is a tricky one, though his deal suggests he may not have long left to play the webhead, even if the Sony/Marvel situation is resolved peacefully. So, grab a pen and paper and get jotting down Marvel contract lengths of your favourite stars.
Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier)
Sebastian Stan is in it for the long haul. The Winter Soldier actor told Newsarama back in 2014 that he signed a nine-movie contract with Marvel. He’s currently appeared in five – Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame – and had a fleeting cameo in the Black Panther post-credits scene. Even if that one ‘counts’ as an appearance, he still has three movies left. Plus, there's the small matter of the Disney+ Falcon and the Winter Soldier TV show, and it has been reported that Disney+ contracts "don't negate appearances in future Marvel movies." Speaking of…
Anthony Mackie (Falcon)
The man who plays Sam Wilson told Men’s Health that his original deal was for 10 movies, though it’s implied that the terms of the deal – which should go for everyone on this list with upcoming projects heading to Disney+ – has been re-jigged slightly as Falcon and the Winter Soldier counts as a TV production. With Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron, Civil War, Ant-Man, Infinity War and Endgame behind him, that leaves Mackie with four more movies to play with.
Josh Brolin (Thanos)
Inevitably, questions have been asked about Josh Brolin’s future in the MCU after Thanos’ defeat in Avengers: Endgame. His contract has not turned to dust just yet – because he doesn’t have a multi-picture deal. “I'm on a one movie to one movie basis,” he said during a recent interview with Variety.
Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch)
Despite having a considerable role in the MCU, Elizabeth Olsen hasn’t made details about her Marvel contract public. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that she has been signed on to a six-to-eight episode contract for the upcoming WandaVision, and she also has at least one more movie to come: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Paul Bettany (Vision)
Much like his WandaVision co-star, very little has come out about Paul Bettany’s Marvel contract. He’s appeared in various guises (both as J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision) across eight movies. If he has signed for a specific amount of movies, his Disney+ show won’t affect his current deal.
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
THR’s blowout feature on Marvel contracts and how much money the actors are making is a good a reference point. In it, the trade publication claimed that Cumberbatch only has one more movie left on his Marvel contract. At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, we found out what it was: Marvel Phase 4 movie, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. However, Cumberbatch has been positioned as a main-stay in the MCU, and chances are a renegotiation post-Multiverse of Madness is in order.
Tom Holland (Spider-Man)
Welp. This might all end in tears.
Tom Holland’s Marvel contract isn’t anywhere near as cut-and-dry as the other actors on this list. Spider-Man was, until very recently, licensed out to the MCU and the film rights are owned by Sony, so he can potentially appear in Sony-only films, even if the muddle with Marvel isn't cleared up.
Previously, it was believed Holland had one more Marvel movie left under his belt, according to a Hollywood Reporter article from 2016. That was likely to be Spider-Man 3.
Now, though, Variety is reporting that Sony is lining Tom Holland up for two more Spider-Man movies, indicating he may have an extension to his contract, or a different deal with Sony.
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
File this one firmly under rumour. Chris Hemsworth has supposedly signed a contract for “several Marvel movies” (via We Got This Covered) that will see him through until Thor: Love and Thunder, plus Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Nothing official on that just yet, though the God of Thunder is definitely returning for the fourth Thor movie, so we can pencil Hemsworth in for at least one more rodeo.
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow)
As befitting her character, Scarlett Johansson isn’t restrained by one concrete contract. Instead, as she told Collider back in 2015, her “contract is kind of mutating, I guess… [it has] morphed to fit the demand of the character.” Despite being killed off in Avengers: Endgame, those ‘demands’ will see ScarJo pull out the head-scissors takedown for, presumably, her final Marvel appearance in the Black Widow movie.
Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye)
Jeremy Renner’s Marvel contract was supposedly up after Avengers: Endgame. Variety Fair reported as much back in 2017. Renner, though, is staying put in the MCU – at least on the TV side of things. He’ll be starring in the Hawkeye series in 2021.