More than three years after releasing a movie literally titled Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still, somehow, going strong: At San Diego Comic Con last week, Marvel Studios announced titles and release dates for a whole slew of upcoming projects, from Wakanda Forever this November to the next Avengers movies in 2025.
Much of the MCU’s future in a vast, ever-expanding multiverse is unknown, but one thing is confirmed: Harry Styles—as the late Titan Thanos’ charming younger brother Eros—will be a part of it. The former One Direction singer reportedly signed a $100 million contract to reprise his role as Eros for another five movies, the Sun reported on Friday. Styles could apparently be playing Eros “for the next 15 years.” Prior to the report, last week, when asked if Styles will be back, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige didn’t specify details but confirmed as much with a simple, resounding “yes.”
Styles first entered the MCU by appearing in a mid-credits scene in last year’s Eternals, making a movie featuring Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, and Kit Harington somehow even hotter. Those two seconds in which Styles graced the big screen single-handedly renewed my inexplicable commitment to a superhero franchise as an adult in my mid-twenties, and if the latest reports are to be believed, it looks like I’ll be sticking around for at least five more movies.
Five Marvel movies is a lot—getting covered in dots and instructed to act out scenes by yourself in a warehouse somewhere sounds exhausting. In other words, I expect the Dunkirk star—set to appear opposite Florence Pugh in Don’t Worry Darling later this year—will have quite a bit on his plate. And, look, I’d love for Styles to keep making music and never stop. But if he opts instead to focus on being the new face of the Marvel franchise, I, personally, won’t be mad about it.
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As a perennial, natural-born hater, there are few things in this life I non-ironically love, and Styles and the MCU are two of them. Eros is also a strikingly perfect role for Styles; at least in the comic books, the character’s whole thing is pursuing “idle pleasures,” being beautiful, and seducing everyone. There is frankly no one I desire to see step into this role more than Mr. Harry Edward Styles himself. Perhaps with Harry’s Eros, Marvel will finally outgrow its persistent weirdness about sex; perhaps Eros will hook up with Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff, a zombified version of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Brian Goldstein’s Hercules...need I continue?
Yes, Styles’ music would be dearly missed, but his immersion into the MCU is an embarrassment of riches for horny fan fic writers. And, in any case, surely the likes of generational talents like Liam Payne or Louis Tomlinson could fill the void of musical genius Styles would leave behind?
Styles has apparently been on Marvel Studios’ radar for some time, and as big a number as $100 million might seem, the franchise apparently sees Styles as a crucial part of its future: “Harry has the midas touch and will be a huge deal bringing in different demographics and showing older comic book fans his talent,” one consultant familiar with the deal told the Sun. I am certainly a member of said demographics!
I say this as a hugely embarrassing, obsessive Marvel fan: The studio has a lot of work to do. Its universe has become so massive that tired and confused fans are dropping off. Reports about mistreated VFX workers and coercive, toxic work environments keep rolling in. Recruiting Styles to be a part of its long-term future is a pretty easy fix for some problems—but Marvel has its work cut out for it to address all the others.
All of that said, surely there are some Styles fans who will be disappointed by the massive commitment he’s taking on in a profitable but polarizing franchise like this one. But I, for one, am delighted by the beauty and hijinks that are sure to ensue. Frankly, there’s already plenty of music out there—but there are zero (0) scenes of Harry Styles and Sebastian Stan kissing.