The Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t been in the best shape since “Avengers: Endgame.” Even though there have been well-appreciated, Disney+ Marvel shows like “WandaVision,” “Moon Knight,” and “Loki,” among others, Phase 4 has failed to impress audiences. Even the four films released after Endgame couldn’t satisfy fans like before, and it’s visible in the decreasing box office numbers of Marvel Studios. In the midst of this tumultuous period for Marvel Studios, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger has hinted at making fewer Marvel films henceforth.
Bob Iger Wants Marvel Studios To Shape Up
“Doctor Strange 2,” the first film after “Avengers: Endgame,” grossed almost a billion dollars. The second movie, “Thor 4,” bagged more than $750 million, and “Black Panther 2” took home about $850 million. The latest movie, “Ant-Man 3,” which is the first film of Phase 5 and is the first proper introduction of the much-hyped villain Kang (after he appeared in “Loki”), doesn’t look like it will even cross the $600 million mark at the global box office. So not only have the box office grosses declined but so has the critics reviews and fan love for these films.
“Thor 4” and “Ant-Man 3” especially were heavily criticized by everyone for their tonal inconsistency, poor CGI, as well as sub-par plot and character development. Now, during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, Disney CEO Bob Iger has explained how he wants Marvel Studios to move forward. The CEO acknowledged that there are thousands of characters in Marvel comics, and he wants to tell their stories. He emphasized that rather than the volume of stories, he is worried about how many times a single character can be revisited before it gets boring for audiences.
Iger mentioned that sequels worked well for the company he was leading, but he questioned whether some characters were worth a third or fourth film. Instead, he suggested in using that time for developing other viable characters. While Iger didn’t take any names, Deadline reported that the timing of his comments says a lot. After all, it comes right after “Ant-Man 3” posted dismal critic scores and the highest second-weekend drop (69%) of any Marvel film to date. The Disney CEO’s words could mean that Marvel Studios will be deeply re-evaluating which characters are worthy of a sequel or trilogy and which aren’t.
In the end, he said that he doesn’t think that anything is wrong with Marvel, but moving forward, the company has to carefully look at the characters as well as the stories they are mining for movies and shows. He also said that there would be a lot of new faces joining the franchise next. That is clear because, since Phase 4, there has been a heavy influx of new characters in the MCU. Some of them have gotten their own shows, like “Ms. Marvel” and “She-Hulk,” while others have been introduced as supporting characters, like America Chavez, Kate Bishop, and more. As such, it’s clear that there’s no limit on the characters they can introduce. It’s necessary, too, because these characters will become the Avengers of tomorrow. Tangentially, Iger has also confirmed that Marvel Studios will introduce a new team of Avengers soon.
The New Avengers Team Will Be Seen Next
During the conference, Bob Iger stated that there would be a new set of Avengers representing the franchise. That’s not all. The Disney boss even mentioned the actors by name who will possibly be a part of the next generation of heroes and villains. He highlighted Letitia Wright, Florence Pugh, and Jonathan Majors. The CEO also said that they have some of the best actors in the industry working for them right now and clarified that each of them will get their moment to shine when the time comes.
Iger’s words seem to confirm that among the heroes, we will get to see Pugh’s Yelena Belova and Letitia Wright’s Shuri being a part of the Avengers. Majors’ Kang is obviously the big villain in this MCU era. While there’s no news on which heroes will join them, “Avengers: Kang Dynasty” writer Jeff Loveness has seemingly confirmed that at least the X-Men won’t be a part of the fight against Kang. Apart from this, there’s boundless speculation about the returns of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans as Iron Man and Captain America, respectively.
The latest rumors of Marvel Studios fast-tracking “Doctor Strange 3” into production have made many assume that magic will play a big role in defeating Kang, a being whose powers are mainly derived from advanced technology. MCU fans think that Shang-Chi and Ms. Marvel will also join the team of magicians in the big battle, as their respective rings or bangles seem to be connected to Kang. However, this is just pure speculation for now. All will be revealed when “Avengers: Kang Dynasty” is released on May 2, 2025.