The end of Phase 3 shook up the Marvel Universe. Phase 4 begins and introduces new, younger heroes. After Iron Man and Black Widow, which members of the Avengers could soon leave the MCU?
Since the end of the MCU’s Phase 3 – which concluded with Spider-Man Far from Home in July 2019 – things have changed for Marvel heroes.
The Infinity Saga’s final phase, centered on Thanos, who wiped out half of life in the universe, took the lives of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr). For his part Captain America, then embodied by Chris Evans, chose to stay in the past at the end of Avengers: Endgame. It is his accomplice Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie) who takes up his shield at the end of the Disney + series, Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
While Phase 4 (the first phase to include the series produced by Marvel Studios) started with the film dedicated to Black Widow and many new superheroes are introduced in the MCU (Shang-Chi, The Eternals, Hawkeye, She Hulk…) it’s time to take stock of the historical actors who could soon leave the Marvel Universe.
Note however that with the arrival of the multiverse in the Disney+ Loki series and in the recent Spider-Man: No way Home, the hypothesis of a return of deceased characters, such as Iron Man or Black Widow, is not not to be excluded.
Due in theaters on July 13, 2022, Thor: Love and Thunder will mark the return of Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder. Thor will have to face Gorr, the Godslayer, played by Christian Bale.
But it looks like the Aussie comedian’s contract with Marvel is over. This was revealed Chris Evans in 2019 stating that his contract, that of Robert Downey Jr and that of Chris Hemsworth were soon to expire.
Given that Thor: Love and Thunder sees Jane Foster, still played by Natalie Portman, become the new Goddess of Thunder, it is quite likely that Chris Hemsworth will leave the MCU after Taika Waititi’s feature film.
Present in the MCU since 2011, Jeremy Renner who plays Hawkeye, one of the founding members of the Avengers, could well put his bow and arrows in the closet.
At the end of the Disney + series dedicated to him, Clint Barton finds his family and shares his superhero name with his partner in the series Kate Bishop interpreted by Hailee Steinfeld. The comedian isn’t attached to any other Marvel projects, and a second season hasn’t been announced yet. Hawkeye.
As a reminder, in 2019, rumors were already circulating about the possible replacement of the actor in the role of Hawkeye following a complaint for domestic violence filed by his wife. It could therefore be that the series marks the last appearance of Jeremy Renner in the Marvel Universe.
Especially since she has fulfilled her part of the contract, namely introducing the character of Kate Bishop, who promises to be Clint Barton’s heiress in the Hawkeye costume.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3, slated to hit our screens May 3, 2023, will mark Chris Pratt’s 6th appearance as Star Lord after Guardians of the Galaxy 1 & 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame and Thor: Love and Thunder.
This is – for the moment – the last MCU film on the American comedian’s contract. If Pratt has indicated that he is ready to return to service by renegotiating his contract, no information has yet been released. The third part of the James Gunn saga could therefore mark the end of the collaboration between Chris Pratt and Marvel Studios.
With the upcoming arrival of the series she hulk in which Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Bruce Banner, inherits her powers and becomes Miss Hulk, Mark Ruffalo could well leave the MCU too.
The actor will star in the series broadcast this year on Disney +, and should therefore pass the torch to Tatiana Maslany. It must be said that the actor has played Bruce Banner since the first Avengers in 2012.
Mark Ruffalo has no other Marvel film planned in his filmography and has a string of independent projects: Poor Things by Yórgos Lánthimos, The True American by Pablo Larrain or The Adam Project by Shawn Levy.
A handover that would go with the strategy of Marvel studios to rejuvenate its superheroes and launch the Young Avengers.