Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has changed his company’s policy of handing out extensive multi-film contracts.
Previously, a huge amount of attention was paid to expansive deals that saw Samuel L. Jackson sign on to play Nick Fury in nine films, or actors like Captain America star Chris Evans make six-picture pacts.
However, Feige said he is now wary about locking stars into tight long-term arrangements, and instead entices them to stay on with offers of greater creative control and involvement in new, exciting projects.
He told The Hollywood Reporter: “It varies now. It varies, project to project, cast to cast. Really, what we want are people that come in, are excited to be in the universe, are excited at the opportunity to do more things, as opposed to being locked into contractual obligations.”
It’s a policy that has worked well, with its current stars getting more involved in projects within the universe. Scarlett Johansson is an executive producer on the new Black Widow standalone movie, making her the first Avengers star to hold that title for a Marvel movie.
Discussing her role behind the camera, development executive Brad Winderbaum said: “I think she did as much work in front of the camera as behind the camera. She was fundamental in supporting (director) Cate Shortland and supporting the production and really helping us craft the story.”
A host of characters have also been given their own TV series, with WandaVision, Loki, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier all debuting this year.
The next Marvel movie set for release is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will hit cinemas in September.