Marvel Studios dropped a bomb Tuesday with the reveal of its entire Phase Three slate of films that will run through 2019. While the announcement confirmed rumors of movies for Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Captain Marvel, it also included a shocker that the third Avengers film will be split into a two-part Infinity War. The big question is how Marvel Studios will make that work with the contracts of major roles like Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) running out. Let's look at the scenarios.
Here's how the contracts currently stand for Marvel Studios' heavy hitters. Evans is up for one more Captain America film, which will be Civil War, and one more Avengers film after Age of Ultron. Similarly, Downey Jr. has run out his contract for Iron Man films plus Age of Ultron and one more. Notice a pattern? It's the same for Hemsworth.
There are other Avengers, of course. Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) signed a six picture deal with five to go as revealed by a Mandatory round-up of contracts. Others like Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) are on a movie to movie contract with Marvel. Meanwhile, Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier) signed a nine picture deal as did Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury).
What that means is that the growing Marvel Cinematic Universe line-up of characters will likely be split between Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Part 2. Some superheroes will carry over from one to the other, but much of that depends on the outcome of Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. Marvel is setting up a schism between the superheroes and that could help set the stage for who is to appear in what part.
The other factor to come into play is the growing number of space-based superheroes. Guardians of the Galaxy will be back for a sequel while Captain Marvel and Inhumans slip between the two parts of Infinity War. While the latter two films are strictly space-based, the origins of Carol Danvers and the Inhumans super powers are. Plus, the Inhumans are somewhat related to Thanos.
It's interesting, though, that the Captain Marvel and Inhumans solo films come after the first part of Infinity War. Will they play a role in that film or the second part? Danvers was rumored to be introduced at the end of Age of Ultron at one point.
Still, it shows the amount of juggling Marvel must do to fit all these characters into two parts and keep the continuity going. Contracts can be renegotiated, as witnessed by Robert Downey Jr.'s extension for another film after Age of Ultron and his part for Captain America: Civil War.
What do you think the team ups will be between the two part of the Avengers films? Will we see contracts extended for Marvel's heavy hitters of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor? Sound off in the comments below.