Time for some mindless speculation!

The big Vanity Fair piece on the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes a salient point in it first few paragraphs: The contracts for the actors playing the original six Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Hawkeye) are up after that movie. And in the body of the story, MCU jefe Kevin Feige says Avengers 4 will “bring things you’ve never seen in superhero films: a finale.”

So who will stay and who will go? Anybody have any theories? Here are mine:

Obviously, Tom Holland (Spider-Man) will stay; his second movie is scheduled for 2019 and they talk about him as the center of the MCU going forward. So will the Guardians of the Galaxy, whose third outing is scheduled for 2020.

Ant-Man & Wasp, Black Panther and Captain Marvel will flesh out Phase 3, along with Avengers 3 & 4 -- can anybody think of any reason they wouldn't stick around?

Those are the only announced projects with names. Who will stay and who will go?

I think Dr. Strange will stay -- he's only had one movie and one guest appearance, and I'm sure they signed Benedict Cumberbatch for more than that. Anybody know different?

I think Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Chris Hemsworth will go. Robert Downey Jr. has made noise about figuring a way to retire his role with dignity. Thor, as a character, has lost his hammer, left eye, Asgard, most of his supporting characters, even his cape -- in short, everything outside of Tom Hiddleston that made Thor interesting. 

I'm uncertain about Chris Evans. But killing Captain America has the greatest metaphorical impact -- he was the first Avenger, after all, and symbolizes the team to most of us. I have no idea how Evans feels about the role, but he has expressed interest in directing. I lean "go."

Whether Evans stays or goes, I see no reason why that would impact Falcon. I expect him to stay.

I don't know about Samuel L. Jackson, either. I go back and forth about it. His Nick Fury roles are usually in support and aren't real demanding and he makes good money for them. On the other hand, he's over 60 and may want to do other things while he still has time. Dunno.

Maria Hill? Probably stays if Fury goes, probably goes if Fury stays.

I go either way on Mark Ruffalo, too. Feige says he's doing a standalone Hulk movie -- only he's spreading it out as a character arc in Thor: Ragnarok and the two Avengers movies. That may be enough to scratch the Hulk itch for all involved. OTOH, Hulk as a wild card could be fun as an antagonist to the weaker set of heroes to come. But I lean "go."

Black Widow and Hawkeye? Probably gone. Widow didn't get the standalone she deserved, and the schedule is full until 2020 or later for one to be made. ScarJo isn't getting any younger and can do more and make more as a star instead of as a supporting character, so I expect her to go unless a standalone is announced pretty soon. And Jeremy Renner has always complained about how small Hawkeye's role is.

Vision? I don't really care. But he is losing the Mind Gem, so he's probably gone as a character.

Scarlet Witch? Again, don't really care. And what would she do, without Vision and Quicksilver to bounce off of? Avengers 4 will be her fourth movie ... wonder how many she was signed for.

So I'm guessing the holdover MCU characters after Avengers 4 will be Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Dr. Strange, Falcon, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Wasp and maybe Scarlet Witch.

There will, of course, be new ones, too. Any particular ones you guys would like to see?

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I actually have heard rumors about a standalone Black Widow movie, so who knows? Maybe Scarlett Johansen sticks around.

If Downey and Evans go, I'm expecting a recasting of those roles. I'm pretty sure they'll still want those characters around, if nothing else.

An MCU Fantastic Four movie would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

I fully expect Samuel L. Jackson to stick around forever, if not longer.

ClarkKent_DC said:

I fully expect Samuel L. Jackson to stick around forever, if not longer.

I would if I were him. Fan love, easy money, iconic character ... what's not to love?

Randy Jackson said:

I actually have heard rumors about a standalone Black Widow movie, so who knows? Maybe Scarlett Johansen sticks around.

An MCU Fantastic Four movie would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

If Disney has FF, then they'd probably have  X-Men, too. God knows what would happen then. Although, for my part, they seem to work fine on their own little world and I wouldn't mind Disney leaving them there even if they did get the rights. But I would like to see FF incorporated into the Spidey/Avengers world.

As to BW, I hope that solo movie materializes. Long overdue. How many movies has Johansson opened since she started playing Natasha? Her, Lucy, Ghost in the Shell ... not to mention ensemble or lead romantic roles in We Bought a Zoo, Rough Night, Hail Caesar, Don Jon ... the woman can move some tickets.

Scarlett Johansson had her 33rd birthday last month. I think she has a lot of years ahead of her, especially since she actually can act.

Here's CBR's prediction of the next 20 films after Avengers 4. (Feige used that number in an interview.) They don't seem to have any inside information, so it's all speculation.

1. Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel

2. Dr. Strange 2

3. Guardians of the Galaxy 3

4. Captain America 4 (starring either Winter Soldier or Falcon behind the shield)

5. Black Panther 2

6. Spider-Man 3

7. Captain Marvel 2

8. Black Widow

9. Dr. Strange 3

10. Avengers 5 (with a new team)

11. Ravagers (a GotG spinoff)

12. Black Panther 3

13. Ant-Man and Wasp 2

14. Adam Warlock

15. Captain Marvel 3

16. Young Avengers

17. Thor 4 (with Jane Foster Thor)

18. Nova

19. A-Force (all-female team)

20. Open

CBR (and CNBC and whole bunch of other cats) now reports Disney and Fox could announce a deal next week. That would certainly change things!

While that news is fun from a Marvel characters standpoint, i can't bring myself to think that the merger is a good thing. We already have way too much homogenization of thought in the industry. Bypassing all arguments against letting a small group have even more control over what the public thinks and knows, it could make things even harder to get a new idea to the screen. Would Deadpool have ever gotten made if they had to fight the monolithic bureaucracy at Disney? It barely got made just fighting Fox executives who knew what the public didn't want.

I don't know that the trade-off will be worth bringing the Marvel characters under one umbrella.

3 said:

While that news is fun from a Marvel characters standpoint, i can't bring myself to think that the merger is a good thing. We already have way too much homogenization of thought in the industry. Bypassing all arguments against letting a small group have even more control over what the public thinks and knows, it could make things even harder to get a new idea to the screen. Would Deadpool have ever gotten made if they had to fight the monolithic bureaucracy at Disney? It barely got made just fighting Fox executives who knew what the public didn't want.

I don't know that the trade-off will be worth bringing the Marvel characters under one umbrella.

I don't get your point here. I don't have any reason to believe Disney wouldn't have greenlighted Deadpool, and why do you think Disney wouldn't have? 

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