It is curious that Kevin Feige makes statements that, in a certain sense, go against the classic Marvel style just as the Phase 5 starter, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’, is released. The truth is that the first vibrations are not being very good, and although he has excited us around here, to the point of liking us more than any Phase 4 proposal, there are criticisms that They affirm that it shows a certain exhaustion of the formula, and that it is merely constructed as a starting point for other films.
Marvel movies continue to be overwhelmingly successful (and ‘Quantumania’ will very possibly continue in that vein, despite the criticism), but the truth is that the feeling that superheroes are a genre that could begin to run out persists. The not-so-lucky takings of DC movies, for example, are more than the downfall of a Marvel rival: they could point to bad times for the entire superhero genre, and the poor reviews of “Quantumania” could well be another sign.
And in fact, Marvel itself points to both the problem and the solution with the delay of one of its new releases. ‘The Marvels’, the film that was going to return Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel to the front line, was going to develop the character of the teenager Kamala Khan and was going to tell us more about the Carol Danvers we met in ‘Scarlet Witch and Vision’, passes its release date from July 28 to November 10. This does not change the order of releases, since this was going to be the last Marvel movie to be released in 2023, but it does change the distance from the rest of the house’s productions this year.
This fits with Marvel’s purpose of not harassing their fans with a multitude of productions, and Kevin Feige has revealed in an interview in ‘Entertainment Weekly’. “I think one of the most powerful aspects of being at Marvel Studios is having these movies and shows reach the zeitgeist“says the head of the MCU. “It is more difficult to get to the spirit of the times when there is so much product out there and so much “content”, as they say, which is a word I hate” he says, implicitly acknowledging that Marvel is part of the problem of excess superhero production.
The solution Feige sees to the problem is “for Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand out. So people will see that as we get into Phase 5 and 6. The pace at which we are releasing Disney+ series will change so that each one can have a chance to shine“. And he answers “both things, I think” to the question of whether he means taking out fewer series or spacing them out over time (it’s actually the same thing: if they are spaced out, they are forced to take out less).
In other words, in the same way that the launch of ‘The Marvels’ has been pushed back a few months, we can expect changes in the series calendar for Disney+, which is overflowing with premieres: ‘What would happen if…?’ T2, ‘Secret Invasion’, ‘Loki’ T2, ‘Ironheart’ (the spin-off of ‘Iron Man’ we met in ‘Black Panther – Wakanda Forever’), ‘Echo’ (an appetizer for ‘Daredevil’) and ‘Agatha : Coven of Chaos’ Of these, it is possible that we can only consider ‘Loki’ and perhaps ‘Secret Invasion’ as essential for the plans of the MCU, and the rest can be delayed (the sacrifices are doubtful: at the moment the MCU has not run into flops, though the series’ viewing figures remain an enigma).
Movies for fun, not for work
That is one of the legs of the reform that Feige wants to undertake. The other is to abandon the deep interconnections that connect the MCU movies, and that make some of their plots hard to follow at times. That is one of the main criticisms that have been made of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’: more than a film, it is a piece of a gear that collects elements from previous films (the other adventures of ‘Ant-Man’, the first season of ‘Loki’) and leaves a lot prepared for the following ones (the new one of ‘Loki’ and perhaps more, if Kang becomes a major villain).
Feige sums it up very neatly with an easy-to-understand comparison: “If you just want to go to the movies on a Friday night or watch a series on streaming, you can do it. And if you want to continue pulling the thread, you have much more to discover. But we don’t want it to feel like it’s the only option or that you have to do your homework before you see something.” In other words, watching Marvel movies should be a fun entertainment option, not a part-time job.
At the interview, Kevin Feige outlines his next plans and it is not clear how these determinations will influence in a practical way in the future of the franchise. Perhaps the delay of ‘The Marvels’ triggers a kind of domino effect that causes everything to be delayed? The truth is that the premiere of ‘Quantumania’ was literally two days ago, but we can already see on the horizon, within a couple of months, the next installment of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’.
Marvel hasn’t had its first commercial stumble yet, which can’t be denied as a real milestone considering they’ve been with the MCU for fifteen years releasing movies at a feverish pace. But the problem with houses of cards is that if just one fails, it can ruin plans for several years to come. And in that sense, Disney wants to be sure to act with all the care in the world.