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

Avengers Endgame Marvel Contracts Expire

Which Avengers stars are still signed on to Marvel contracts? Rich Polk/Getty Images

Avengers: Endgame is upon us (our box office comparison measures how it stacks up to other contemporary franchise conclusions) and, with it, the conclusion to the first iteration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though the MCU will continue ever onward until movie theaters are shuttered completely in favor of electrical signals beamed directly into our brains, many of the franchise’s core stars will be making their exit. Which means now is the perfect time for a status update on just how long our heroes and protagonists will remain in this world.

“Some of these films will feature characters that you already know,” Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said of the post-Endgame MCU. “Some supporting characters will assume leading roles, while some new characters will be introduced. The reward for all of these films working is that we get to try to do it again and do it differently and learn from our mistakes and try something we haven’t tried before.”

Below, who’s in, who’s out and whose fate is up in the air.

Subscribe to Observer’s Entertainment Newsletter

Iron Man Robert Downey Jr Avengers 4 Marvel

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, Avengers: Endgame

Upcoming Appearances: None

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. While he has no more MCU appearances left on his contract, he could always renegotiate to fill the Nick Fury mentor role assuming he survives Endgame. Then again, Marvel could also recast that role.

Avengers: Endgame Theories Marvel Spoilers

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, Avengers: Endgame

Upcoming Appearances: None

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

Black Widow Solo movie

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, Avengers: Endgame

Upcoming Appearances: Black Widow Solo Movie

Johansson has given some vague answers when it comes to the fate of her contract, but we assume her main deal runs out with Endgame. However, after years of waffling Marvel is moving forward with the character’s solo movie, with Cate Shortland set to direct.

Avengers: Endgame Thor Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth

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

Upcoming Appearances: None

Hemsworth has sadly confirmed that Endgame marks the end of his current Marvel contract. However, no other character has enjoyed as wonderful of two-film run like the one Thor has leading into Endgame. He has previously said he’s up for a fourth Thor standalone film if Ragnarok director Taika Waititi returns (assuming they don’t recast the character). Although Waititi is busy with a handful of projects, he, too, has expressed interest in returning. Never say never for this one.

Avengers 4 Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo

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

Upcoming Appearances: Unknown

Distribution rights to a solo Hulk picture still belong to Universal, which is the main reason why Feige and company have not tried to revive the franchise after 2008’s poorly received Incredible Hulk, 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. Our prediction: Bruce Banner and the Hulk personas split at the end of Endgame, allowing Ruffalo to continue in the role in human form if both sides agree to it.

Avengers 4 Theories

Jeremy Renner

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

Upcoming Appearances: Untitled Hawkeye Series on Disney+

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. Perhaps that’s why he’ll be headlining his own Disney+ series in which he’ll pass the mantle to Kate Bishop. This could be an example of Marvel using Disney+ as a minor league development system. Given that he also signed a six-picture deal, it’s possible Renner could return after Endgame thanks to his no-show in Infinity War.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Sets up Marvel Cinamtic Universe

Guardians of the Galaxy

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

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

Upcoming Appearances: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Initially, the only confirmed MCU property on the schedule after Avengers 4 was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, with writer-director James Gunn promising the trilogy capper will set up the next 20 years of Marvel movies. However, Gunn was then fired over offensive tweets from 10 years ago and then rehired 10 months later, throwing GOTG3‘s production schedule out of whack. Once Gunn completes his work on Warner Bros.’ The Suicide Squad, he will return for the third Guardians feature. Unfortunately, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora may be dead for real.

Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange.

Benedict Cumberbatch

MCU Credits: Doctor Strange, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Upcoming Appearances: Doctor Strange 2

One of the main reasons Joaquin Phoenix passed on the Stephen Strange role was because he wasn’t comfortable with the six-picture deal he’d have to sign. That wasn’t an issue for Cumberbatch, who will be a main figure on the new roster of Avengers moving forward. In December, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson officially signed on for a sequel.

Black Panther 2 Marvel

Chadwick Boseman

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

Upcoming Appearances: Black Panther 2

After Black Panther raked in $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 we’re guaranteed to see a Black Panther 2 sooner rather than later—writer-director Ryan Coogler recently signed on for a sequel.

Spider-Man: Homecoming 2

Tom Holland

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

Upcoming Appearances: Spider-Man: Far From Home

Holland has also confirmed that he signed a six-picture deal, but his character is co-owned by Marvel and Sony, making his future murkier than the rest of the Avengers. On one hand, Sony is making a fortune off Spidey’s involvement in the MCU and should renegotiate for more appearances once Far From Home fulfills the current contract. On the other, the studio may want to keep the web-head for their own shared Marvel-verse following the box-office success of Venom. Keep an eye on this one.

Brie Larson in Captain Marvel.

Brie Larson

MCU Credits: Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame

Upcoming Appearances: Unknown

Initial reports said Larson had signed a seven-picture deal with Marvel, though she later disputed that figure. What is clear as day, however, is that Marvel has set up Carol Danvers to be a leading figure in the MCU for the foreseeable future, especially after her solo film crossed $1 billion worldwide. Expect to see a lot of her.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Movie Review

Paul Rudd

MCU Credits: Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Endgame

Upcoming Appearances: Unknown

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. Ant-Man and the Wasp earned enough to justify a threequel, which would be his fifth appearance.

Avengers: Infinity War Budget Box Office

Anthony Mackie

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

Upcoming Appearances: Untitled Falcon and Winter Soldier Limited Series

Mackie will co-star in a blockbuster limited series for Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+. Since the character has also taken up the Captain America mantle in the comics, he could also return to the big screen.

Sebastian Stan Marvel Avengers: Endgame Contract

Sebastian Stan

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

Upcoming Appearances: Untitled Falcon and Winter Soldier Limited Series

We know that Stan signed a massive nine-picture deal with Marvel, giving him ample room to return to the big screen following his Disney+ series. Bucky Barnes may very well be sticking around for awhile (if he returns from the Snappening, that is).

Disney Fox Netflix HBO

Elizabeth Olsen

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

Upcoming Appearances: WandaVision

Olsen is set to co-star with Paul Bettany’s Vision in an upcoming limited series for Disney+. Other than that, the specifics of both their Marvel contracts have not been made public.

Loki Endgame Marvel Tom Hiddleston Contract

Tom Hiddleston

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

Upcoming Appearances: Untitled Loki Series

Thanos killed Hiddleston’s Loki in Infinity War and, in response to fan complaints, succinctly declared, “no resurrections this time.” That makes sense, as the Loki series for Disney+ is rumored to take place before the events of the MCU. Bottom line: It’s doubtful we’ll see Hiddleston in another Marvel feature at this point.

Avengers: Endgame Don Cheadle Marvel Contract

Don Cheadle

MCU Credits: Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Upcoming Appearances: Unknown

Counting Terrence Howard’s portrayal in 2008’s Iron Man, James Rhodes has been in the MCU since the very beginning. The prevailing belief is that Endgame will be the character’s final appearance.

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