Here’s What Happens When a Marvel Cast Member Reveals Something About the Franchise

Marvel has tons of secrets. They keep their plans and movie plots under lock and key. It won’t surprise us if they have the entire cinematic universe planned like the Time-Keepers themselves. Anything that comes in the way of their sacred timeline is considered a “variant.” Meaning, anyone who messes with Marvel’s schedule or threatens the secrecy surrounding their unreleased films is considered dangerous. That includes anyone, cast or crew, who reveals even the smallest detail.

Marvel cast attends print ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theater.
Marvel cast | Xinhua/Li Ying/Getty Images

What rules do Marvel’s cast members have to follow?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around since 2008, and in that time, the franchise has become one of Hollywood’s biggest machines, or maybe something closer to a high-speed train, threatening never to slow down or fizzle out. At this point, it’s hard to imagine anything that could derail it. Not even a couple of rogue cast members.

Since its creation, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has attracted even the most seasoned actors. But there are strict rules and regulations that everyone has to follow if they want to be a part of the biggest franchise in the world, regardless of experience.

Some of them are less credible than others, though. According to CBR, Christ Hemsworth says it’s “illegal” for a Marvel cast member to join a competitor like DC, but this has been proven false for the most part. Cast members also have to sign some of the most legally binding waivers and contracts, some of which have multi-film agreements.

If cast members try to dispute their pay (like Terrence Howard did for Iron Man 2) they’re recast. If they’re not in perfect superhero strength by the time they step foot on set, they get a strike. They’re contractually obligated to go on massive world press tours to promote their films and to attend any reshoots that may be required at any point. They have to follow the secrecy agreement, too, outlined in their contracts. They even drip-feed scripts sometimes.

But what happens to a cast member once they’ve breached that secrecy?

Kevin Feige at the premiere for 'Avengers: Endgame'
Kevin Feige and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ cast | Jesse Grant/Getty Images

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Marvel called Mark Ruffalo after he live streamed ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

For the most part, Marvel cast members keep their lips sealed when it comes to their ultra-secret films. On the other hand, some cast members have a daring tongue when it comes to the secret policy at Marvel. For instance, Mark Ruffalo has a long reputation for revealing things.

In 2017, he live streamed the premiere of Thor: Ragnarok and forgot to turn it off when he put his phone in his pocket. Fans got to hear the first 10 minutes of the film. Later, Ruffalo tweeted, “I felt bad you weren’t there with me. I snuck you in. In my pocket. All kidding aside… I’m sorry @Marvel. Can I have my phone back?”

Ruffalo told Entertainment Weekly that he got a “call from up high” shortly after the mistake, but he didn’t get in as much trouble as he thought. There were other times when Ruffalo spoiled Marvel secrets. He also accidentally revealed that everyone dies at the end of Avengers: Infinity War during an interview with Good Morning America.

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Marvel sent Owen Wilson a warning text after he revealed his ‘Loki’ character had a mustache

Newcomers like Owen Wilson probably aren’t completely up to date with how secretive the franchise really is. So it must have come as a shock when Wilson got a text from an unknown sender warning him about revealing the smallest detail about his Loki character Mobius.

Speaking to Esquire, Wilson said, “I let it slip that I’m wearing a mustache as Agent Mobius, [and] I got an ominous text saying ‘Strike 1.’ I don’t know who that was from … we think it might have been Kevin Feige using a burner phone, but that was never confirmed.”

Wilson and Ruffalo aren’t the only cast members who’ve received warnings. Marvel withheld Tom Holland’s Avengers: Endgame script because of his loose tongue. Like Don Cheadle warned Mark Ruffalo, reveal things at your own risk. Ruffalo did, and look where it got him. While we don’t quite know what will become of Hulk, it’s pretty safe to say that Marvel is happy Ruffalo’s largely out of the picture and out of their sacred timeline. Sadly, fans won’t have him to spoil things anymore.