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marvel-retool.jpeg

Marvel Embarks on a 'Creative Retooling' After Realizing that Shutting Up Is Free

By Dustin Rowles | Film | February 21, 2024 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | February 21, 2024 |


marvel-retool.jpeg

The Hollywood Reporter has a piece up this morning on the new direction that Marvel is taking following a year of dismal box-office numbers, the Jonathan Majors verdict, and general superhero fatigue. It’s mostly a puff piece containing information from various “sources” to instill some confidence in the shaky Marvel machine. They’re not shutting it down or even rebooting it. They’re “creatively retooling.”

What does that mean? Mostly, it means slowing down the assembly line significantly and letting the showrunners and directors take control back from the executives. The only new Marvel film this year will be Deadpool vs. Wolverine, which has a lot of hype following the Super Bowl ad. On the TV side, there is only Agatha: Darkhold Diaries remaining this year (after Echo received a middling reception last month). They feel good about the Kathryn Hahn Wandavision spin-off. They’re also happy with the reception the Fantastic Four casting has received and are putting another scriptwriter on it because they’re banking on that movie to provide the MCU with what’s been missing since the departure of Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. (good luck replacing them with characters that have repeatedly failed at the box office).

They’re also scrapping all things Kang, which they were already in the process of doing after the poor showing of Ant-Man: Quantamania. Smartly, they have also brought in the showrunner of The Bear, Joanna Calo, to work on Thunderbolts, a movie that “centers on villains and antiheroes going on a mission that was supposed to end with their deaths.” Hell yes! Marvel’s Rogue One! Florence Pugh will star in that.

Meanwhile, following a 2024 with only one new MCU entry, they’re taking it slow in 2025, as well. Captain America: New World Order and Fantastic Four are on the schedule along with Thunderbolts, but they’re likely to punt Blade (co-written by Nicky Pizza) into 2026 to avoid too many releases in one year. “Event films” are not “events” if they’re released every other month.

That’s the big takeaway from the piece: The MCU is going to talk less, smile more while they slow-roll new movies to give them more time to work on scripts and, presumably, give the overworked special effects folks additional time to do their jobs. Disney/Marvel won’t lose money on movies they don’t release. See how profitable shutting up can be?

Source: MCU