The times of Complete Marvel Hegemony are lengthy gone. Whereas the MCU’s footprint in popular culture stays huge, Kevin Feige and co. look like at a crossroads about the way forward for their still-expansive superhero slate. A brand new reported characteristic by Selection’s Tatiana Siegel unpacks the behind-the-scenes turmoil on the until-recently-Teflon studio. Based on Siegel, when Feige and Marvel’s inventive mind belief gathered for a inventive retreat in Palm Springs this previous September, the “most urgent subject” on the desk was the issue of Jonathan Majors, who was tapped to play the franchise’s new central villain throughout a number of movies earlier than he was accused of home violence earlier this yr.
However the concept Marvel is likely to be on the hunt for a brand new actor to play Kang the Conqueror—or a retooled story that does not contain him—isn’t essentially the most eyebrow-raising nugget in Selection’s piece. Based on Siegel’s sources, “there have been talks to carry again the unique gang for an Avengers film,” which means Iron Man (Downey, Jr.) and Black Widow (Johansson) might return to the fold regardless of dying valiantly in 2019’s Endgame. Downey has performed issues near the vest when requested about a attainable Marvel return, whereas Johnson informed Gwyneth Paltrow, in reference to the Black Widow character, “[That] chapter is over. I did all that I needed to do.” (She will likely be producing a mission at Marvel, although particulars about it are scant.)
However what Marvel does about Majors is most important, and clearly a cloud hanging over the studio. When Marvel chosen Majors to be a part of the universe in 2020, he was an ascendant younger star contemporary off well-received performances in The Final Black Man in San Francisco and Lovecraft Nation. Majors debuted as Kang within the Loki collection, and performed the character in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, however was clearly positioned as the brand new Thanos for 2026’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and 2027’s Avengers: Secret Wars. Every part modified with his arrest, in late March, on assault and harassment expenses, which he has denied. On October 25, a choose denied his attraction to have the case dismissed; the controversy has led to Majors being dropped by his administration and dropping a number of profitable model offers, in addition to at the very least one starring movie position.
Again in April, Deadline reported that there was “zero dialog within the Marvel camp to drop Majors from the MCU,” and he seems as a nerdy Kang variant, “Victor Well timed,” within the second season of Loki, whose finale airs November ninth and can reportedly feed instantly into Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. An business insider informed Selection, “Marvel is really fucked with the entire Kang angle. And so they haven’t had a chance to rewrite till very just lately [because of the WGA strike]. However I don’t see a path to how they transfer ahead with him.” Within the Selection piece, Siegel wrote that Marvel has thought of switching from Kang to “one other comedian guide adversary, like Dr. Doom.”
Regardless of the success of latest movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 and Black Panther: Wakanda Without end, the MCU is not the essential and industrial juggernaut it was all through the 2010s. Criticism of each visible results high quality and the working circumstances for his or her VFX artists have led to public scrutiny. In a unanimous September vote, Marvel’s results workforce will likely be unionizing with IATSE, a transfer that might sign a paradigm shift within the business.
Aside from the precise high quality, the torrent of Disney+ TV reveals led to a excessive degree of viewer fatigue. Eight new Marvel reveals launched between January 2021 and August 2022 as a part of the MCU’s “Section 4,” whereas newer packages like She-Hulk and Secret Invasion obtained extra combined evaluations. Selection’s story features a quote from Bob Iger saying that the gold rush of Marvel collection “diluted focus and a focus” from the universe at giant. The uncertainty at Marvel additionally comes whereas rival DC is revamping its method to movie and tv underneath Guardians of the Galaxy mastermind James Gunn and Peter Safran.
The subsequent Marvel mission to hit theaters is The Marvels, which incorporates a terrific director in Nia DaCosta and an interesting solid headlined by Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani, although Selection famous that the movie earned “middling evaluations” at a June public screening.