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MCU: 10 Rules The Cast & Crew Have To Follow


The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s behind-the-scenes story is a remarkable tale, with Marvel Studios’ expanded universe having spawned an impressive 29 films. This unprecedented feat of filmmaking is not without its challenges, however, with Kevin Feige having been forced to impose several rules to ensure these productions go smoothly. With Harrison Ford confirmed to be joining the MCU as Thunderbolt Ross in Thunderbolts (via GQ Magazine), this marvelous superhero franchise shows no sign of struggling to attract big-name talent, despite its harsh backstage rules.


Upon joining this epic comic-book saga, actors and crew members are expected to follow various firm guidelines. These strict regulations aim to protect the secrets of Marvel Studios’ releases, ensuring audiences are amazed by the action-packed spectacle of the superhero series.

Multi-Movie Deals

Avengers Endgame poster, Black Panther poster

Since its early beginnings in 2008, the MCU has spawned several thrilling cinematic franchises, covering a few of their most weird and wild superhero creations. The series’ grand scope could not have been achieved without Marvel’s multi-movie contracts, however, which see its stars sign a contract for multiple cinematic outings (via Quartz).

RELATED: 10 Essential Rules About Magic In The MCU That Every Doctor Strange Fan Should Know

The MCU’s biggest names are legally bound to appear in numerous feature-length offerings, with some of its actors having previously signed nine movie deals (via These contractual obligations ensure the Earth’s mightiest heroes never disappear from the big screen, continuing their glorious adventures for moviegoers to enjoy.

No Spoilers

Doctor Strange Spider-Man MCU Release Date Changes

Being a Marvel Cinematic Universe fan can bring its fair share of challenges, with the internet making it considerably hard to avoid spoilers. Fortunately, Marvel Studios have attempted to prevent these leaks from getting spread, by ensuring their more loose-lipped stars are accompanied by cast members who are better at keeping secrets.

One prime example is Marvel’s treatment of Tom Holland, who has developed an unfortunate reputation for revealing confidential information. To stop the Spider-Man actor – whose character is considered one of Phase Four’s most intelligent heroes – from spoiling Avengers: Infinity War’s narrative, Marvel paired him with Benedict Cumberbatch, who was instructed to cover Tom Holland’s mouth (via IndieWire). This necessary measure guaranteed audiences were surprised by Marvel’s most ambitious movie, as Thanos emerges triumphant against the Avengers.

Reshoot Commitments

Heimdall watching from Asgard

Reshoots are a common practice within the film industry, with some of Hollywood’s biggest releases requiring new scenes to improve their respective screenplays. Marvel Studios take a stricter stance on reshoots than most production companies, however, with Kevin Feige’s studio demanding that their stars film these new sequences at their earliest available opportunity.

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This aspect of Marvel Studios’ terms greatly upset Idris Elba, who was left “frustrated” by his reshoot obligations for Thor: The Dark World (via The Telegraph). The Heimdall actor was forced to return to the Thor set shortly after arriving back in England, following an overseas shoot for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, giving him no chance to rest after his long flight the day before.

Don’t Talk About The Working Conditions

Arthur Harrow suspecting something

Working at Marvel Studios is an exciting prospect for many within film and television, as the studio produces several hugely ambitious productions. However, while these highly talented individuals may be eager to discuss their role within Marvel’s releases, their contract prohibits them from discussing their time at the studio.

Ethan Hawke, who has starred in some great movies, finds this rule especially irritating. In an interview with IndieWire, the Moon Knight star revealed how he signed an NDA, which prevents him from discussing what it’s like to work for Marvel Studios (via IndieWire).

Directors And Writers Must Follow The MCU’s In-Universe Rules

Ultron's eyes glowing red as he floats in an armor with the Infinity Stones in Marvel's What If...?

Connectivity is an important aspect of the MCU, with its incredible stories taking place within the same shared universe. To make these plotlines feel connected, they must all follow the same narrative rules. What If’s writer and director team A.C. Bradley and Bryan Andrews have disclosed how Marvel expected them to understand these in-universe guidelines (via Slashfilm).

Citing the Infinity Stones as an example, What If’s creative team has told how Marvel Studios forbid them from following the rules established in the comics, with the MCU having deviated from the comics many times. Following the film world’s guidelines is essential to confirming these projects are set within the same continuity, reducing the risk of plot holes that cause the audience to doubt their canonicity.

Don’t Go To DC

The DCEU Justice League movie from 2017

Marvel and DC have established a rivalry across their comics history, with both companies competing for the attention of avid comics readers. Although the DCEU has produced some high-grossing movies, Chris Hemsworth has declared Marvel Studios’ actors are not allowed to star in DC’s cinematic output, calling it “illegal” (via ScreenRant). While it’s likely Hemsworth said this in jest, there may be truth to the statement.

With DC’s films aiming to attract the same demographic as the MCU’s releases, the comic-book studio’s feature-length outing provides some strong competition for Marvel Studios. Marvel may be worried that their stars crossing over to DC’s film universe could harm their own movies’ box office, with audiences forced to choose between viewing Chris Hemsworth in either a DC or Marvel production.

Extensive Training

Captain America: Civil War - Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)

Marvel’s action-packed spectacles feature many awe-inspiring stunts, leaving audiences mesmerized by these jaw-dropping sequences. For these hugely impactful scenes, the MCU’s actors are required to train extensively, with the late Chadwick Boseman having worked for months with martial arts fighter Marrese Crump (via Tampa Bay Times).

RELATED: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Kevin Feige’s Time At Marvel Studios

As these roles involve lots of intense superhero battles, the MCU’s cast must learn how to fight with the studio’s experienced fight choreographers. Additionally, stars, including Chris Pratt, have undergone grueling workout routines for many months, as well as a harsh diet regime, ensuring that their bodies are prepared for these action-heavy parts (via Esquire).

Chris Hemsworth And Chris Evans Can’t Do Press Together

Captain America saying he can do this all day; Thor happy to see Hulk in the MCU

Press tours are an essential aspect of Marvel Studios contracts, which see the franchise’s large cast obliged to promote the superhero epics. Despite these promotional appearances fulfilling an important part of their MCU duties, Chris Hemsworth – who has delivered some of the best Thor quotes – has confirmed how he is banned from doing press with his co-star Chris Evans (via Variety).

Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans have been forbidden from attending these tours together, as the pair have developed a reputation for “screwing around” as Hemsworth puts it. Marvel Studios are concerned by the duo’s tendency to embark on wild tangents, rather than advertising their movies, and as a result, the production company ensures that they complete their obligated press appearances separately.

The Screenplays Can’t Be Taken Home

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Marvel Studios operate a strict spoiler-free zone during their production cycles, with the production company aiming to protect some of their greatest secrets. Among their craziest attempts to stop leaks from making their way online is their decision to prohibit actors from taking their films’ screenplays home, with Elizabeth Olsen having described Marvel’s script policy to Jimmy Kimmel Live (via YouTube).

The studio’s stringent measures see the cast told they must read the script alone in a windowless room. According to Olsen, the stars are given five hours to consume the content on an iPad before they must leave the room. Occasionally Marvel Studios even choose to provide fake scripts, to mislead their talent, and ensure that their confidential material is unable to find its way online.

No Filming Allowed

Avengers: Age of Ultron. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, James Spader as Ultron, and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America

Marvel Studios’ impressive cinematography has seen the company become responsible for some of the superhero genre’s most beautiful films. Despite these films including some truly gorgeous shots, the cast and crew are not allowed to take their own pictures and videos.

Marvel Studios’ concerns that these photos might find their way online has seen them enforce a strict “No Filming” rule, with the company worried that backstage images may reveal spoilers about their movies’ narratives. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans knowingly broke this rule on the set of Avengers Endgame, however, with the pair unable to resist photographing the movie’s grand behind-the-scenes production (via News18).

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