With a Cinematic Universe such as the one Marvel has created, there also comes the fear of the films becoming stale as they progress despite their previous success.
This fear started with Rober Downey Jr., not because of the shortcomings of Iron Man 2 since the third has been very successful, but for the fact that he himself feels that his time as Tony Stark is nearing it’s end. It’s this kind of doubt that causes actors to give up their role before they can supposedly run it dry. While it is in their best interest, it does nothing for the role they play or the franchise it supports. New actors could have to be called in and it ruins the flow of the movie or feelings towards that particular character. Not to mention once one feels that way, or in this case about the Avengers chain of films, others might follow thinking they want to hang up their tights before they “overstay their welcome”. There isn’t much anyone can do in this situation but make it so that the actor feels comfortable as the films progress into the next phase, more importantly the third phase.
This means that a different route must be taken to make sure the appeal stays in the story they are trying to create and evolve. Robert Downey isn’t that old, and even if he got a bit older it shouldn’t affect his potential to remain the same Stark we find entertaining. They don’t have to continue with another Iron Man film if he isn’t up for it, but that doesn’t mean that Iron Man should be taken out of the story or replaced. What is a great idea is to leave it at Iron Man 3, take him into Avengers 2 and give him a break. Bring him back into the story when Avengers 3 comes around, but someone like him doesn’t need another film. What’s the point in running that risk when you’ve laid down the foundation for his character already?
Others may only be in their second movie such as Thor: The dark World and Captain America 2, yet they can end there as well. They fulfilled their purpose. The are popular, they are known, and they are Avengers. It’s time that they be used as stepping stones for those like Guardians of The Galaxy and Ant-Man to take stage. They are mostly unknown and many don’t know what to expect from them. Going into Phase 2 and 3, Hemsworth and Evens need to be able to step aside as well as Downey to let these other heroes be introduced.They can come in as well when the actual Avengers movies happen, but their own movies just aren’t necessary anymore. Black Widow and Hawkeye on the other end being connected to S.H.I.E.L.D. can easily be thrown into any of these films as side characters. They and Fury are there to be the bridge between these other heroes movies and the bigger picture to come.
Ruffalo is a different case from the others being someone who signed to appear as Hulk for 6 films, counting the Avengers film that has passed. This doesn’t mean that he will get his own movie, unless plans change in the near future, but it means that of all the movies to come he has a chance to be exposed more as the Hulk and set his footing in the Universe. He can appear in the Ant-Man film, Guardians, or any of the big three to premiere this year, but any way it goes we will see him on more than a few occasions between solo films and the future Avengers films.
Could they do something like this? Who knows, but with the ways things look now, any route is possible to consider which would ensure that this Universe stays relevant and entertaining to the fans to continue to shows support.
And stay tuned!