With Disney+ bringing Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe to streaming, with the Mandalorian and WandaVision, respectively, the relatively new streaming service is already becoming a force to be reckoned with. As some analysts are saying that Disney+ could overtake Netflix’s number of subscriptions by 2026, it looks as though Netflix is ready to fight back. A new rumor suggests that Netflix is actively trying to court some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest stars, particularly Robert Downey Jr., for new projects.
This rumor, which comes from We Got This Covered, states that Netflix is trying to get Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth signed on for multiple projects. Netflix already has an established relationship with Hemsworth, as Hemsworth’s 2020 film Extraction was – according to Netflix – the biggest premiere in the streaming service’s history. Hemsworth will also be starring in this year’s Escape from Spiderhead for Netflix, while there are plans for an Extraction 2 in the future.
Chris Evans has also worked with Netflix recently, with the 2019 release of The Red Sea Diving Resort, although that release didn’t have close to the reception that Extraction received. It’s clear that Netflix is already invested in working with Hemsworth and Evans, but the big get would be Robert Downey Jr. Outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr. has made a relatively small amount of projects, so getting the Iron Man actor for Netflix would be a big deal.
In recent years, Robert Downey Jr. has mostly stuck with Marvel Cinematic Universe films. In the last decade, beyond playing Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. starred in 2011’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and 2014’s The Judge, and also made a cameo in Jon Favreau’s Chef. His last film, 2020’s Dolittle, was a critical and commercial failure. As of right now, Robert Downey Jr. will appear in Black Widow, and Jamie Foxx’s directorial debut, All-Star Weekend. There have also been rumors of a third Sherlock Holmes film, which seems to be coming together in the near future.
But even if Netflix does get Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man onto their streaming service, that doesn’t mean these three stars are going to avoid Disney and Disney+. As previously mentioned, Robert Downey Jr. will be returning as Tony Stark for Black Widow, and will also voice this character for Disney+’s upcoming What If…? series. Chris Hemsworth will also be voicing Thor in What If…? and will be reprising the character for 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder. While there have been rumors that Chris Evans might be returning to Marvel, the actor said on Twitter that he was unaware of any plans to bring him back. Although Evans will still be working with Disney, voicing Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s new Lightyear film.
Yet getting Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth all together in separate projects for Netflix would be a big deal and possibly a way to steal some customers away from Disney+. Netflix has seemed willing in recent years to dump obscene amounts of money at big-name actors to get them to work for their company, and it seems like that could be what ends up keeping them ahead of Disney+ for the time being.