How Long Will The Avengers Survive? What Their Contracts With Marvel Could Reveal About Avengers: Infinity War

Earlier this month, Marvel fans couldn’t contain their excitement when the studio released the second trailer for Avengers: Infinity War. Just this week, we saw the reveal of 5 new group posters all color-coded to match the Infinity Stones, except for the obvious orange missing. These reveals opened up multiple levels of speculation, including why certain characters are grouped, why they’re grouped to a specific color, why orange is missing, why we haven’t seen certain characters in the trailer or on the posters, and what it all means for Infinity War.

New Avengers: Infinity War posters

Vanity Fair recently reported that the cinematic Avengers will be ending with 2019’s fourth Avengers film.

“After Avengers 4, an ambitious multi-franchise crossover movie slated for release in 2019, at least some of the original characters who sit at the center of the billion-dollar Avengers team will be hanging up their capes and shields. That’s partially because the Marvel contracts with the actors who play them – Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) – are coming to an end.”

Instead of focusing on the significantly colored posters, we’re taking an equally scientific approach to it all. How long is left on the original Avengers’ contracts?

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War

Robert Downey Jr.

Tony Stark / Iron Man

Marvel film appearances:

  • Iron Man
  • The Incredible Hulk (cameo)
  • Iron Man 2
  • The Avengers
  • Iron Man 3
  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is the cornerstone of the MCU and, not that he isn’t worth every penny, but Marvel has shelled out $50 million for his appearance in The Avengers, $75 million for Iron Man 3, and Civil War earned him a cool $40 million. That’s over $165 million for just these three films and doesn’t include his recent Marvel projects, Infinity War and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

His original contract was set to end after five movies (not including cameos), which means he would have completed his contract after Avengers: Age of Ultron. His contract was extended to include Captain America: Civil War, Infinity War, and (unofficial) Avengers 4, with Spider-Man: Homecoming negotiated as a separate deal. Last year, Downey dropped hints about his involvement in Iron Man 4, but his Avengers co-star, Chris Evans, told USA Today that “Downey is close[r] to reaching that point where he may walk away.” 

Chris Evans as Captain America in Avengers: Infinity War

Chris Evans

Steve Rogers / Captain America

Marvel film appearances:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Avengers
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Thor: The Dark World (cameo)
  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (cameo)

Chris Evans said a couple of years back that he’d be exploring new projects once his six-movie contract with Marvel expired, noting that he still had two films left. Evans is still set to star in Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers 4. “I walk away with no regrets and endlessly thankful,” Evans said. He’s confirmed that he does not expect to sign any extensions to his current contract.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Avengers: Infinity War

Chris Hemsworth

Thor

Marvel film appearances:

  • Thor
  • The Avengers
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Thor: Ragnarok

Despite his absence in Civil War, Chris Hemsworth was still very much a part of the MCU. After his most recent film, Ragnarok, he has two more films lined up at this point. He has expressed interest in doing a Thor 4 past his current contract, and we’re hoping that Taika Waititi will return as director.

Hemsworth has made appearances in two Avengers films and he’s contracted for the next two Avengers sequels. Sadly, the actor revealed that the upcoming Avengers 4 movies will be his last on his current contract with Marvel.

“My contract’s coming to an end,” Hemsworth said. “Who knows what the future holds? We felt like we reinvented the last one in a big way. We might have a conversation if there’s another great script that comes along. But at the moment that’s it.”

Mark Ruffalo as Hulk in Avengers: Infinity War

Mark Ruffalo

Bruce Banner / The Hulk

Marvel film appearances:

  • The Avengers
  • Iron Man 3 (cameo)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Thor: Ragnarok

As “the strongest Avenger”, Hulk is one Avenger that has the best chance at taking on Thanos. Currently, Ruffalo is at the end of a six-film contract with Marvel. Since cameos don’t count, once he wraps Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, he has one movie left on his contract. This is great news since he is likely the only Avenger that will continue after Avengers 4. However, the Hulk solo movie is still not happening.

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Avengers

Scarlett Johansson

Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow

Marvel film appearances:

  • Iron Man 2
  • The Avengers
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Captain America: Civil War

If you’ve ever read a Black Widow comic book, then you know that no Avengers character deserves a stand-alone film more. There’s isn’t an official answer out there on how many Marvel movies Johansson has left as originally, she was only signed for Iron Man 2 and has been renewing her contract ever since.

Her quotes in that recent Vanity Fair article indicate that she is departing the MCU after Avengers 4. Kevin Feige has also teased a solo movie for Black Widow, and it’s been reported that screenwriter Jac Schaeffer has been contracted for the project.

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye in Avengers

Jeremy Renner

Clint Barton / Hawkeye

Marvel film appearances:

  • Thor (cameo)
  • The Avengers
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Captain America: Civil War

Jeremy Renner’s contract is expected to end with Avengers 4, despite that fact that his original contract called for an option for a Hawkeye solo film that never happened. He is onboard for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. At this point, if we are to assume the standard contract of six films, he’s only appeared in five MCU movies not including cameo. Even after an appearance in Infinity War and Avengers 4, he could contractually appear in at least one more film after 2019.

Sadly, however, we’ve also seen reports that Renner’s contract was for only four Marvel films so it could be that his appearance in Avengers 4 is either an extension of his contract or the start of a new contract, though it’s unlikely.



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