The Marvel Cinematic Universe may be headed for a big change, with Disney CEO Bob Iger saying that the studio might be aiming for fewer sequels going forward. The latest movie release in the MCU, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, marked the 31st film in the franchise. However, the third Ant-Man movie received its fair share of criticism, with some of the MCU’s worst critics scores of all-time. Before that, the fourth Chris Hemsworth-led MCU movie — Thor: Love and Thunder — also fell short of expectations, making Iger’s words more meaningful.
Boardwalk Times shared Iger’s comments during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, about a possible new trend for the MCU’s Phase 5, Phase 6, and beyond — consisting of fewer sequels.
Disneyland News Today also provided more clarity on Iger’s plan of looking into the necessity of developing sequels to existing heroes, rather than focusing on introducing new characters. According to the Disney CEO, the recently criticized high output of Marvel content might not be the studio’s real problem, but rather the need to develop “third and a fourth” movies for existing characters. Check out the full quote below:
“What we have to look at in Marvel, is not necessarily the volume of Marvel storytelling, but how many times we go back to the well on certain characters. […] Sequels typically work well for us. Do you need a third and a fourth, for instance? Or is it time to turn to other characters?”
Can The MCU Survive Without Its Original Heroes?
The MCU’s Phase 4 is without a doubt the most divisive the franchise has ever been, with fans and critics alike being vocal about Marvel’s uneven output as of late. 2019’s Avengers: Endgame presented a seismic shift in the franchise, and Iger’s words raise the possibility of Secret Wars being the final Avengers movie, if Marvel really is looking forward to cutting down on sequels. However, with the MCU planting seeds about possible new formations of the team through the New Avengers, Young Avengers, and West Coast Avengers, it seems like Iger is more focused on averting certain woes that have plagued Marvel recently.
The bumpy MCU Phase 4 has had to deal with the fact that three main Avengers bowed out of the MCU in Avengers: Endgame. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow has been missed, but the fact that the MCU has lost the two faces of the franchise — Chris Evans’ Captain America and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man — is certainly a great contributor to what went wrong with the MCU Phase 4. This has partly led to the poor reception Marvel has found since the last Avengers epic released in theaters.
Both the third Captain America and Iron Man movies managed to surpass the $1 billion mark, something that Marvel needs right now, after a string of subpar box office performances that now sees Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania projected to end up as the lowest-earning movie in the hero’s trilogy. The MCU is still pulling in numbers that almost every other cinematic universe would be happy to have though, meaning that the MCU can survive without its original heroes, but it is possible that Marvel never reaches the height of the Infinity Saga again, especially with the emergent competition of James Gunn’s DC Universe.
More: Why Marvel Took So Long To Be Nominated For An Acting Oscar
Source: Boardwalk Times/Twitter, Disneyland News Today