Marvel announces plan to scale back content in hopes of improving reputation

Marvel announces plan to scale back content in hopes of improving reputation

Disney CEO Bob Iger has announced the company’s plans to slowly reduce the amount of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films and TV shows it releases annually.

Last year, Marvel saw nearly all of its movies, including Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania and The Marvels, underperform at the box office. Subsequently, critics began to question if an influx in content in recent years had alienated fans, causing “superhero fatigue”.

During the company’s quarterly earnings call on Tuesday (7 May), Iger addressed Disney’s overall plans to focus on quality over quantity, something that he added was “particularly true with Marvel”.

“We’re slowly going to decrease volume and go to probably about two TV series a year instead of what had become four and reduce our film output from maybe four a year to two, or a maximum of three,” he said, according to Variety.

“And we’re working hard on what that path is,” he said, adding that next year will have “a couple of good films” before “heading to more Avengers, which we’re extremely excited about”.

“Overall, I feel great about the slate. It’s something that I’ve committed to spending more and more time on. The team is one that I have tremendous confidence in and the IP that we’re mining, including all the sequels that we’re doing, is second to none,” Iger said.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ (AP)
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ (AP)

As for TV, the Disney CEO said that a majority of its forthcoming releases, such as the new WandaVision spinoff Agatha, are “a vestige of basically a desire in the past to increase volume”.

Elsewhere on the call, Iger spoke about the company’s plans to strike a balance between sequels and original films.

“We’re gonna balance sequels with originals,” he said. “Specifically in animation, we had gone through a period where our original films and animation, both Disney and Pixar, were dominating. We’re now swinging back a bit to lean on sequels.”

In an interview last month with The Independent, The Batman star Paul Dano argued that the public’s superhero fatigue is the product of an erratic film industry.

“It’s an interesting moment where everybody has to go like, ‘OK – what now?’ Hopefully from that, somebody either breathes new life into [comic book movies], or something else blossoms which is not superheroes,” he said. “I’m sure there will still be some good ones yet to come, but I think it’s kind of a welcome moment.”

This summer, on 26 July, Marvel will debut its first movie of the year, Deadpool & Wolverine, marking the beginning of Phase Five. The forthcoming Deadpool sequel will see Ryan Reynolds’ titular superhero team up with Hugh Jackman’s X-Men character to defeat a common enemy.