The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become so secretive in its approach that two title characters from the franchise’s first pair of episodic Disney Plus shows have now revealed that when they were called into a meeting with the top brass, they thought that they were about to be given their marching orders.
Paul Bettany admitted that he was ready to bid farewell to his tenure as a Marvel Studios employee, which dates all the way back to 2008’s Iron Man, but instead found himself being pitched the concept of WandaVision. Anthony Mackie, meanwhile, has now confirmed in a new interview that he was under a similar impression, having been gripped by paranoia before finding out that he too was set to get his own TV series thanks to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
“You never know, man, you never know. They call you and they’re like, Come to L.A.’. So you instantly go online and Google yourself and say, ‘Did I do anything to get fired? I have no idea, what did I do, what did somebody videotape and say I said? What did I do?’. So for about 45 minutes, I Googled myself and I was like, ‘All right, I didn’t do anything, so let’s see exactly how this was gonna play out’. It was great, man. It’s always a pleasure to see those guys, and when they call you in you know something special is gonna come out of that meeting, So going into it, I was very unsure of what possibly the outcome was gonna be. But when they told me the outcome of it, I was very happy.”
Marvel Studios haven’t fired an awful lot of people over the years, with the preferred model of Kevin Feige and his team being to simply let contracts expire whenever a certain character has run their narrative course. Naturally, with the MCU expanding onto the small screen, there are going to be more negotiations than ever going on behind closed doors, and it’ll be interesting to see in the future how many other stars think they’re getting fired before being handed a brand new project.
Mackie was never really in any danger, of course, especially when The Falcon and the Winter Soldier looks to be building towards a finale that could finally establish Sam Wilson as Steve Rogers’ permanent star-spangled successor, although it looks like there are going to be plenty more twists and turns to come over the final three episodes of the hit superhero series, with John Walker’s Captain America still very much in play.