Actor contracts are coming to a close, where does that leave “Avengers 3?”
Marvel Studios’ not only revitalized the world’s interest in superheroes and made geek chic, but also revolutionized the industry with their actor contractual deals that have generated massive, multi-picture character arcs that, amazingly enough, maintained plot continuity. But, even though fans may not have realized, Marvel has been using up those contracts faster than Quicksilver can slap the Blob.
As Marvel Studios enter Phase Three, some of the core Avenger actors, like Chris Evans (Captain America) and Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), will have reached their 6 picture deal. Captain America, with the announcement of Captain America 3, will have one film left on his contract and Iron Man will be reaching his last contractual film after Avengers 3. So with this in mind, what is going to happen to our beloved Avengers and who, if it comes to it, will pick up the mantle?
Of note, Marvel already has a “get out of jail free” card with Captain America if Bucky gave up the mantle of Winter Soldier and took over as Captain America. Since Sebastian Stan, Bucky’s actor, still has multiple films left on his contract, he could pick up the mantle if Chris Evans bows out. However, none of the other films had a convenient setup like Bucky and The Captain. If they follow the comics, Steve Rogers ‘died’ at the end of the Civil War. The Civil War arch is probably the easiest way and the biggest cop out method for Marvel to introduce new characters. However, they will more likely go with the Infinity Gauntlet, which they’ve been setting up with “Avengers,” “Thor 2,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But, speculations and hopeful predications are impossible to make until after watching “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” due to come out in theaters in 2015. But, no doubt Marvel enjoys watching fans “shiver with antici…pation.”
Additionally, if they filled “Avengers 3” with a “scratch team” of lesser characters, such as Quicksilver, the Vision, etc, they could save their heavy hitters with one contractual film left for a massive “Infinity Gauntlet” crossover movie that would involve all the “Avengers” characters plus “Guardians of the Galaxy” and, if they successfully negotiate a sharing agreement with Sony, Spider-Man. There have already been talks of Black Panther and Dr. Strange is said to be in heavy pre-production. The introduction to second tiered, yet important and interesting characters, is a great idea and no doubt Marvel Studios’ team has writers excited to meet the challenge of making viewers fall in love with these characters the same way we fell in love with Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Starlord in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But, as for Phase 3 and its ability to show off lesser known Avengers, it all might rest on the success or failure of “Ant-man.”
Will they pull it off?