Louis-Dreyfus, an Emmy-winning comedy legend, joined the MCU with a minor role in 2021's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as the mysterious Valentina, which saw her showing signs of putting a team together.
The actress has since racked up a fair share of movie and TV appearances across Black Widow and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with two more movies set for next year in Captain America: New World Order and Thunderbolts.
Julia Louis-Drefus Teases Massive MCU Future Plans
During an interview with Rolling Stone, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was asked to comment on her Marvel Studios contract and how long she will hold her mysterious role as CIA director Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in the MCU.
After being questioned on whether she is "signed to a 20-picture deal" and how long she will be playing Valentina, Louis-Drefus teased "For a while, it seems!"
Hearing Louis-Dreyfus tease her massive contract comes as a surprise after Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige appeared to indicate the studio's days of inking mega-deals with actors are behind it.
A former Marvel Studios attorney later explained the decision to abandon these mega-deals was to create "more of a talent-friendly approach" and make these roles "a little bit easier to sell" to actors.
The attorney also shared Marvel Studios' desire to recruit talent who are "excited to be in the universe." And Louis-Drefus certainly seems to be excited about her next MCU appearance with 2024's Thunderbolts, having told Collider how "it's going to be absolutely wild:"
"I’m really excited to shoot Thunderbolts, which we’re going to do this year. It’s going to be absolutely wild.”
How Valentina Will Be Key To The MCU's Future
Valentina currently holds a key position in the MCU as the director of the CIA, and with that an important figure in the US government. As Marvel Studios tells multiple connected stories involving street-level crime, Multiversal chaos, and political drama, Julia Louis-Drefus' character is poised to be central in the latter.
Looking at the Multiverse Saga, politics has played into The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Black Widow, and Black Panther 2, all of which featured Valentina. That theme seems set to continue next year with Captain America 4 and Thunderbolts, while many speculate she will be back before then in Secret Invasion.
Some had theorized a connection between Valentina and Kingpin during Hawkeye, and with Wilson Fisk seemingly heading into politics through a New York mayoral campaign in Daredevil: Born Again, perhaps Louis-Dreyfus may find herself popping up in one of those 18 episodes.
Valentina certainly seems to have a master plan and an agenda in mind, with her assembling the Thunderbolts, sending Yelena Belova to kill Clint Barton's Hawkeye, and even pushing the US toward a direct conflict with Wakanda.
It remains unclear yet whether she falls into the heroic or villainous categories - that ought to become more apparent after Thunderbolts - but for now, it appears Valentina comes as more of a morally gray character.
As it seems unlikely Valentina will be able to fit in too many more appearances after Thunderbolts in the Multiverse Saga, with Phase 6 likely to have a big push on more sci-fi projects, there's a good chance Louis-Dreyfus will be sticking around with her massive contract into the next saga.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus' next confirmed MCU appearance as Val comes with Thunderbolts which hits theaters on July 26, 2024.