As Marvel Studios begins to release new projects within Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, later movies and TV shows will begin to introduce actors and heroes into this expansive world for the very first time. That being said, Marvel Studios didn't build up everything they developed during the Infinity Saga for nearly 13 years just to throw the original heroes out the minute something new and shiny comes around.
This is shown in the MCU's debut Phase 4 property, WandaVision , which utilizes the talents of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as series co-stars. Olsen has played Wanda Maximoff since 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier , while Bettany is the franchise's currently longest-standing member, having been in the MCU since it debuted with Iron Man in 2008.
Due to MCU heroes often returning both for sequels and appearances in other sub-franchises, Marvel CCO Kevin Feige tends to sign some of the stars playing higher-profile roles to multi-movie pictures in order to keep them around for years . However, a new press release reveals that this is not the case for one of Phase 4's early headliners.
ELIZABETH OLSEN'S MARVEL CONTRACT
In a recent interview with the Toronto Sun , WandaVision star Elizabeth Olsen revealed that she doesn't have a multi-picture contract with Marvel Studios. Laughing through the interview, she notes how it's "always surprising" to her when she learns where Wanda Maximoff will pop up once more in the MCU:
"I never know how much longer I’m part of the universe (laughs). I don’t have a nine-picture deal or whatever. It’s always kind of changing for the last six years. So it’s always surprising to me when I find out about a new project or a new way to use Wanda."
Olsen notes how this was particularly the case after 2018's Avengers: Infinity War , in which Wanda turned to dust after Thanos killed Paul Bettany's Vision. However, it gives her even more joy to find "a whole new rediscovery of who [Wanda] is" through the uncertainties:
"Especially after they killed Paul (laughs). We thought, ‘Well, they’ll have to figure some way to bring you back. You’re a robot, I’m a witch, they’ll figure something out.’ We just didn’t know to what capacity we’d be able to explore our characters more. But because of this show, and having an opportunity to tell a larger story about her, I feel like I’ve had a whole new rediscovery of who she is. I’ve rejuvenated and given her more life after six years of playing her, so that feels incredible."
WHAT THIS MEANS
Marvel Studios has a history of signing Hollywood's biggest names like Robert Downey, Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson to multi-film deals, which usually end up going through re-negotiations further down the road. This was originally one of Chris Evans' most pressing worries before he took on the role of Captain America, although he ended up making appearances in eleven of the MCU's 23 movies to date (including cameos).
Elizabeth Olsen has played the Scarlet Witch in five MCU films since 2014 before taking on a co-starring role in WandaVision , and it seems to make at least a little sense why she wasn't signed onto a larger deal with Marvel. Her character was originally a mutant in the comics before her origin story was adjusted in Avengers: Age of Ultron , although she became not only one of the most powerful Avengers on-screen, but a fan-favorite off-screen as well.
Her situation is likely similar to many other starring actors' in the MCU, which is constantly evolving and always open to roster adjustments. For the moment, Wanda Maximoff is serving as the epicenter of the MCU after the first two episodes of WandaVision premiered over the weekend , and her journey into madness will be fascinating over the next couple of months.
Episode 3 of WandaVision will be available to stream on Disney+ on Friday, January 22. Elizabeth Olsen will take her portrayal from this series into the plot of 2022's Doctor Straneg in the Multiverse of Madness , which is currently filming.