Not all that glitters in the Marvel universe is gold. Being part of the multimillion-dollar superhero movie company supposes great sacrifices for many actors that go beyond learning the script or complying with necessary physical characteristics. As some of the members who have been part of the Marvel saga at some point in its history have been revealing over the years, the clauses they have had to sign are far from a simple employment contract. From investigating the past of the interpreters to forcing the actors to read the scripts without mobile phones nearby, all to avoid leaks or future scandals that tarnish the image of the company.
The last example has starred Benedict Cumberbatch, who a few weeks ago conducted an interview on Zoom focusing the camera all the time towards the ceiling. The reason? His contract prevented him from showing his face before the promotion of the film. “You are looking at the ceiling because I cannot show you my face. I’m shooting the new Dr. Strange and everything is completely seized. Anyway. I just wanted to explain to you why I am focusing on this very attractive roof ”, explained the actor on his social networks.
And it is not the first time that a minimal leak or the simple fact of letting yourself be seen as you are can entail a great financial penalty and even dismissal. This was the case of the Spanish dubbing actor Rodri Marín, who was fired from Scarlet Witch and Vision for revealing the name of a character who appeared in one of the episodes before its broadcast.
As if it were a great classified information of the State, the great directors of Marvel force their actors and actresses to read the scripts in a room without windows or mobile phones, and have even sent the texts with only a week in advance or with fake shots to avoid any leakage. Nor can they shoot their own stunts despite being offered and in good shape. In addition, they must preserve their physique beyond the promotion of the films because by contract they continue to be the image of the company also after the premiere. And for those actors who have a past to hide, let them forget to belong to the Marvel universe, because before the contract the bosses always investigate the history of the artists to discover legal problems or racism that in the future could lead to a scandal in the press. .
While the contract with Marvel lasts, the actors cannot work with the competition either. This was revealed by Chris Hemsworth in an interview in 2017, where he said that his contract with Marvel stipulates that he cannot participate in a competing film, even if it is a secondary role. And you have to remember that Marvel contracts usually include the recording of more than one movie in the saga. Another actor who was honest about the impositions of the superhero universe was Idris Elba, who said that filming movies for Marvel and having other projects was “true torture.” According to him, he was obliged to always be available to re-record scenes in case the directors were not satisfied with the quality or the result, which can take months to fulfill.
Outside of these eccentric clauses are also those actors who showed their disagreement with a decision. This is the case of Edward Norton, who wanted to retouch some parts of the text of The incredible Hulk, which he starred in, and met with the refusal of all the producers. This motivated the actor to distance himself from the promotion of the film and terminate any relationship with Marvel. Natalie Portman also ended badly with that universe. It was in the glasses Thor: The Dark World (2013). First, Kenneth Branagh, director of the first film, resigned from the project; later, director Patty Jenkins was hired, but she also left on the grounds of “creative differences” with Marvel executives. Jenkins’ departure made Natalie Portman, who plays Jane Foster, very angry. The actress even threatened not to be part of the film because of this, but she had to do so out of contractual obligation. What Portman missed was the post-credits scene, in which Thor and Jane finally kiss.
Despite its strict rules, Marvel cannot always assume full control over its actors and has occasionally lost control. An example of this is the recent death of Chadwick Boseman, the actor of Black Panther who died last August from colon cancer. A disease that, as noted The Hollywood Reporter, both Marvel and Disney were unaware.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.