When Does Each ‘Avengers’ Star’s Marvel Contract Expire?

Marvel Actor Contracts Salaries

Actor Robert Downey Jr. and cast and crew of ‘Avengers: Infinity War.’ Jesse Grant/Getty Images

Now that Avengers: Infinity War has finally arrived (and upended the film industry’s economy in the process), now seems as good a time as any to ruminate on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s legacy 10 years in.

The Highlights:

With 2008’s MCU-launch pad Iron Man, Marvel paved a new path ahead for the superhero genre, leaning into the action-comedy balance that stood in stark contrast to that year’s other superhero triumph, The Dark Knight.

With 2012’s The Avengers, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige brought the apex of comic books—the ultimate superhero team-up cross-over—to the big screen and officially birthed the shared cinematic universe, a concept every other major movie studio has been chasing ever since.

In 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel further cemented its own brand power by giving a group of mostly unknown comics characters their own adventure to the tune of massive box office success and critical acclaim.

And so on and so forth; the accomplishments continued to roll in as the MCU made its claim as this generation’s Star Wars.

While Feige’s stewardship of this massively ambitious ship is largely responsible for its success, an undervalued contributor has been the universe’s spot-on casting. From Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill (and just about everyone in between), the faces of our characters have been pitch-perfect. Marvel has proven to be a star-maker.

But with this specific iteration of the MCU coming to a close in the near future, it’s worth noting just how long our heroes and protagonists have left in this world.

(For the purposes of this list, cameos have been excluded.)

Robert Downey Jr.

MCU Credits: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4

The Captain America franchise may be Marvel’s best individual film series, but RDJ is unquestioningly the MCU’s most valuable asset. He is the biggest box office draw in this whole crazy fever dream and helped establish the entire MCU’s tone. Sadly, he has just one film left on his contract, though Marvel could re-cast the role at some point in the future.

Chris Evans

MCU Credits: Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4

If Tony Stark is the gusto of the MCU, then Steve Rogers is the heart and soul. The unassailable Captain America has proven to be the foundational character in this interconnected web of stories, a worthy centerpiece in this sprawling narrative. Evans has spoken numerous times about his desire to branch out beyond the comic book world once his contract expires with 2019’s untitled Avengers film.

There’s always the possibility that he could sign on for more movies, but at this point, he is the most likely actor never to be seen again in the MCU.

Sad, I know.

Scarlett Johansson

MCU Credits: Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4, Black Widow Solo Movie (rumored)

Scarlett Johansson has given some vague answers when it comes to her contract, but it is generally assumed that her main deal runs out with Avengers 4. However, Marvel recently hired screenwriter Jac Schaeffer to pen a script for a Black Widow solo film. That doesn’t mean Johansson’s master spy will end up headlining her own movie, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

While we shouldn’t ever expect that talked-about all-female Marvel film to ever become a reality, my money is on a Black Widow solo film hitting theaters by 2022.

Chris Hemsworth

MCU Credits: Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4

Not to be mean, but Hemsworth’s box office prowess outside of the safety net that is the MCU has been less than stellar. For that reason alone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign on for more films at some point. However, Feige has noted that these last two Avengers films are built around a sense of “finality.”

Maybe the powers that be want to start from the ground-up again.

Mark Ruffalo

MCU Credits: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4

Distribution rights to a solo Hulk picture still belong over at Universal, which is the main reason why Feige and company have not tried to revive the franchise after the poorly-received Incredible Hulk from 2008 (which starred Edward Norton in the lead role).

Ruffalo himself has spoken openly about the six-film deal he signed with Marvel, making him one of the few core Avengers who could return after Avengers 4, contractually speaking.

Jeremy Renner

MCU Credits: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4

It is rumored that Renner’s Marvel deal also includes the option for a Hawkeye standalone feature, but let’s be real, not even the other Avengers are interested in seeing that. Given that he also signed a six-picture deal, it’s possible that the SHIELD agent/Avenger pops up after 2019’s Avengers 4.

Guardians of the Galaxy

(There are too many actors to list so we’re lumping them together in one. Deal with it.)

MCU Credits: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Fun fact: the only confirmed MCU property on the schedule after Avengers 4 is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Interestingly, writer/director James Gunn has said that the trilogy-capper will set up the next 20 years of Marvel movies. Presumably, this suggests that the MCU will further explore the cosmic side of its storylines.

It’s also possible that we get an entirely new iteration of the Guardians after Peter Quill and the gang hang it up. Regardless of what the future holds, the majority of the core roster must survive the Avengers saga to make it to their third solo feature.

Benedict Cumberbatch

MCU Credits: Doctor Strange, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4

Here are two things you can bet on: 1) Doctor Strange will appear in Avengers 4 and 2) He will receive a sequel to his standalone film (the 2016 film earned more than $670 million worldwide).

One of the main reasons why Joaquin Phoenix passed on the role was because he wasn’t comfortable with the six-picture deal he’d have to sign. Cumberbatch will be a main figure on the new roster of Avengers moving forward.

Speaking of main figures on the new roster…

Chadwick Boseman

MCU Credits: Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4

After $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office, you can guarantee Marvel is hitching its wagon to this breakout Avenger. Rumors suggest Boseman signed a five-picture deal, and it’s a guarantee that we’ll be getting a Black Panther 2 sooner rather than later. Something tells us he’ll be signed on for more appearances, if he hasn’t been already.

Tom Holland

MCU Credits: Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4, Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel

Tom Holland has also confirmed that he signed a six-picture deal, but his character is co-owned by Marvel and Sony, making his future slightly tricker than the rest of the Avengers. However, if both studios know what’s good for them, they’ll continue their working relationship and establish Peter Parker as a central piece of the MCU alongside T’Challa moving forward.

Given that Holland is only 21, it’s possible he could challenge RDJ’s decade-plus run in the MCU.

Brie Larson

MCU Credits: Avengers: Infinity War (sort of)

Upcoming Films: Captain Marvel, Avengers 4

Only the second hero with their own movie in between the closing two Avengers chapters, Captain Marvel will serve as a prequel of sorts for the MCU as it takes place in the 1990s. Although Larson doesn’t have a host of confirmed official Marvel projects on her slate, you can bet that Disney signed the Oscar-winner to a lengthy deal to ensure she sticks around for awhile.

Given the success of Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman, Marvel is likely hoping to position Carol Danvers as a major player in their shared cinematic universe moving forward.

Paul Rudd

MCU Credits: Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers 4

According to Rudd himself, his deal with Marvel is a “three-plus-plus” contract, giving the studio options to bring the character back when it makes sense. Rudd’s Ant-Man has been given the rare distinction of having another franchise entry in between Infinity War and Avengers 4 (co-starring Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp).

Will it help set up future team adventures? Find out this summer.

Anthony Mackie

MCU Credits: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Unknown

We’re still not 100 percent sure what Falcon’s deal is going forward, but given that the character has assumed the Captain America mantle in the comics, we assume Mackie will be back.

Sebastian Stan

MCU Credits: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War

Upcoming Films: Avengers 4

Yeah, you know what we said about Falcon replacing Steve Rogers as Captain America? Scratch that, it’s definitely Bucky.

We know that Stan signed a massive nine-picture deal with Marvel, and we also know that he will be in Avengers 4. After that, he still has four films left on his deal.

Coincidence? I think not.

Avengers 4 is set to hit theaters May 3, 2019.

When Does Each ‘Avengers’ Star’s Marvel Contract Expire?