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The Marvel Cinematic Universe turns 15 this year and it recently kicked off a new chapter with “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” representing the first movie in Phase 5. We have a great idea of where much of this is headed, as the current phases will conclude with “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and “Avengers: Secret Wars.” Beyond that? It seems like we can and should expect fewer sequels in the solo franchises, according to recent comments from Disney CEO Bob Iger.

Iger recently spoke at Morgan Stanley’s 2023 Technology Media and Telecom Conference and, per IndieWire, he addressed the future of the MCU. The executive at the top of Disney’s food chain spoke with optimism about the future of the company’s biggest franchise, though he did make it clear that some things are going to change. Here’s what he said:

“Marvel — there were 7,000 characters, there are a lot more stories to tell. What we have to look at at 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 or a fourth, or is it time to turn to other characters? There’s nothing in any way inherently off in terms of the Marvel brand. I think we just have to look at what characters or stories we’re mining. And if you look at the trajectory of Marvel over the next five years, you’re going to see a lot of newness. We’re going to turn back to the Avengers franchise, but with a whole set of different Avengers.”

Less Is More

There is a lot of new around the corner, with reboots of “Blade” and “Fantastic Four” on the way, as well as entirely new franchises such as “Thunderbolts.” But it’s those sequel comments that truly offer a window into how thinking might be changing at Disney and Marvel Studios. In particular, it appears as though third and fourth entries in solo franchises such as “Thor: Love and Thunder” or the previously mentioned “Quantumania” may be reconsidered in the future. And, in fairness, there may be a good reason to consider the value of such propositions.

Taking “Quantumania” as an example, the third “Ant-Man” film has suffered massive drops at the box office following its huge opening weekend. In the end, it’s likely going to end up as the lowest-grossing entry in the franchise, as well as the one with the highest budget at around $200 million. That doesn’t leave much room for a fourth entry. Similarly, “Thor: Love and Thunder” was a decline both critically and commercially compared to “Thor: Ragnarok.” The law of diminishing returns does come into play at some point — even for the MCU. Not to mention that actor and director salaries are much higher for later entries in a franchise. Not producing third or fourth movies can, therefore, save money.

Broadly speaking, Disney is also trying to tighten up its company-wide strategy after a rough couple of years under CEO Bob Chapek, who ushered the company through the pandemic. Iger is back in charge though and recently outlined his plans for the House of Mouse. Ultimately, it’s going to amount to fewer projects produced, hoping for a quality-over-quantity effect. Budgets are going to tighten, and decisions over which movies get made will be more heavily scrutinized. For the MCU, that may mean it makes more sense to go with something like a “Nova” movie, for example, rather than “Doctor Strange 3.”

Read this next: 9 Filmmakers Who Should Be Given Free Rein In The MCU

The post Does the MCU Need So Many Sequels? Bob Iger Doesn’t Think So appeared first on /Film.

/Film – Does The MCU Need So Many Sequels? Bob Iger Doesn’t Think So
Author: Ryan Scott
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March 10, 2023

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