Following Bob Iger’s return as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, plans of restructuring brought up possibilities regarding how it will handle future projects for Marvel Studios.
TOO MUCH MARVEL STUDIOS, TOO LITTLE TIME
Marvel’s release scheduling for films in the Infinity Saga brought a lot of success for the company. 23 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been released in 11 years. However, Phase 4 had 19 projects in 2 years, consisting of eight Disney+ series, seven theatrical releases, two Disney+ specials, the animated series What…If?, and the animated shorts series I Am Groot. With each new release one after another without a rest period in between, it presents problems of brand oversaturation and continuity lockout.
The breakneck speed of Marvel’s output also demonstrates the issue of quantity over quality. When production teams are juggling multiple projects all at once, it inevitably comes at the expense of quality control. Phase 4 projects have garnered criticism regarding editing errors, story inconsistencies, and goofs in visual effects, all of which are becoming more evident with more projects in less time.
Phase 4’s line of films began with Black Widow and ended with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the films experienced troubled production and delays in their release schedules. Although the films were all critical and box office successes, Phase 4 lacked a lot of clear story cohesion. The need to watch the television series and specials to better understand the ongoing story, along with the nearly 70 hours of total runtime, fatigued audience interest.
PHASE 5 AND PHASE 6: A RETURN TO QUALITY
With the end of Phase 4, fans are concerned about Phases 5 and 6 taking the same direction when handling new Marvel material. Because of the reception for Phase 4, Marvel and Disney are taking steps to address the audience’s criticisms and improve their craft moving forward, per a report by The Cosmic Circus. One of the ways Disney could be establishing quality control is by bringing in a creative oversight for Marvel Studios.
One of the things that made Phase 4 different from its predecessors is the Disney+ projects that introduced new characters (Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law) and expanded on old ones (WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye). Because of the burnout from multiple six-to-nine-episode series, one idea that could salvage the Marvel brand is the Special Presentation format.
Each story in this format is longer than the standard Disney+ episode but shorter than a feature film, focusing on events that happen in one day or night. Special Presentations could be an additional opportunity to introduce new characters and develop them for grander stories.
On November 20, 2022, Bob Iger also returned to his position as Disney CEO, replacing his previous successor, Bob Chapek. Iger had announced his plans to allow the creative teams to have more say in what they produce, refocusing priorities from money to creativity to better represent Disney’s values. Iger previously worked as CEO from 2005 to 2020, and as executive chairman from 2020 to 2021.
With Phase 4 of Marvel Studios officially coming to an end last month with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, fans can now look forward to the upcoming Phase 5. Phase 5 kicks off in February 2023 with Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. The film opens in theaters on Feb. 17, 2023.
What did you think of Marvel Studios Phase 4? How will Phase 5 and 6 bode now that Iger is back at Disney? What is your favorite Marvel Studios production? Let us know in the comments and on The Illuminerdi Twitter account.
SOURCE: The Cosmic Circus