New Details Emerge on Victoria Alonso’s Downfall at Marvel Studios

There's been some more light shed on the downfall of the former Marvel exec Victoria Alonso
Victoria Alonso Marvel Studios

New details surrounding the dismissal of one of Marvel’s top executives, Victoria Alonso have come to light.

To say that Marvel Studios has had a rough 2023 would be an understatement. The release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in May was the only bright spot (besides, perhaps, the new season of Loki which seems to be generally well received among fans), and even that would have easily cracked a billion dollars worldwide had come out in a more positive Marvel environment like we had five years ago.

But the year started with the disastrous reception to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which gathered some of the worst reviews overall in the studio’s history and was also a box office disappointment, to put it lightly. The Ant-Man-related nightmares for Marvel continued when Jonathan Majors was arrested in late March and later criminally charged, not to mention dropped by his reps.

During the summer, Secret Invasion also dropped on Disney Plus and was met with some pretty terrible response from the fans — the initial critic reaction to the first couple of episodes was overall strong (even if this writer thinks the first episode was almost unwatchable), but the buzz quickly dropped in the following weeks. However, one of Marvel’s biggest PR problems of the year was the firing of Victoria Alonso back in March, who was, at the time, President of Physical and Postproduction, Visual Effects, and Animation Production.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
(L-R): Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Kathryn Newton as Cassandra “Cassie” Lang in Marvel Studios’ ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.

Why Was Victoria Alonso Fired From Marvel Studios?

Marvel Studios VFX Union

To this day, there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding Victoria Alonso’s exit from his longtime office at Marvel. Several possibilities were raised following the March reports, and thanks to a new book, we may have a clearer picture than we had before. Here is a quick breakdown of what we thought back then.

The official reason that Disney gave for her firing was a breach of contract, as the Mouse House alleges Alonso never notified them she would be producing the Oscar-nominated film Argentina, 1985 for Amazon Studios, despite a clause in her contract saying she was not to work on any project for any competing studio. The exec, however, argued that she did get permission from Disney and her reps threatened to file a lawsuit to explain it all. The case was settled a month later, with a multimillion-dollar check from Marvel.

But the case is much more interesting than that, especially if we consider the circumstances under which it happened. Another possibility that was floated around, especially by Alonso and her team, was that this was Disney’s doing after Alonso, a gay Latina, publicly called out Bob Chapek’s name when criticizing Disney’s inaction against Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. (Remember: Disney is a regular contributor to Democratic political campaigns and the largest employer in Florida, so their opinion on this issue matters.) Alonso’s reasoning was dismissed by most members of the media and the general public back in March, as she was fired months after Chapek left the CEO title and Bob Iger came back to restructure the company.

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Bob Chapek Disney Shang-Chi

Then there’s the issue of Marvel’s recent underperformances, particularly in the VFX land. So many members of the visual effects community came out in 2022 against Marvel Studios for their treatment of workers in the industry, which knew no extremes.

Victoria Alonso has since been blamed for this — it was her job to approve the VFX shots of every Marvel Studios project. But the quality of the CGI in the past couple of years has significantly dropped, even if it had already been criticized in films like Black Panther or Captain Marvel. But Thor: Love and Thunder and particularly Quantumania were the straws that broke the camel’s back here. Marvel needed a scapegoat to show the VFX industry that they were serious about making changes, and they chose the person standing at the top.

So what really happened? According to the new revelatory book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, Victoria Alonso lost Kevin Feige’s trust when she publicly called out Chapek in her quote about the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. That broke Feige’s #1 rule: Do not air dirty laundry in public. Via The Direct, writers Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzales, and Gavin Edwards wrote in the exposé:

“A source close to the matter said that later that year Feige suggested to Alonso that she had outgrown her role at Marvel. He reportedly cautioned her to ‘keep her head down’ and ‘do the work.'”

“In early 2023, Alonso refused to act on Marvel Studios’ request to remove LGBTQ pride symbols from Quantumania for foreign markets. The atmosphere at the studio was tense: the department of ‘yes’ had said ‘no.’ [Louis] D’Esposito outsourced the VFX work anyway, an act Alonso regarded as a betrayal.”

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Jonathan Majors and Paul Rudd in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

So, to recap, the truth may actually be a combination of all of the above. Feige’s trust in Alonso no longer existed, and tensions were high. Her work was also highly criticized by fans and critics, and the studio probably thought she was no longer able to do it properly, as her commitments were also elsewhere. They found a clause in her contract that she may have violated and, regardless if she’d actually asked for permission or not, decided to execute it and get her fired. “We’ll fix it in post”, we assume Disney said — meaning, we’ll hand over a check later and forget about this.

Marvel wants everyone to know that this is a new company now, that the mistakes they’ve made in 2020-2022 are no more. They have reportedly changed their entire TV structure, and are committed to putting out fewer movies every year — and this may not even be intentional, as the dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike has forced the studio to delay production on a bunch of movies, the latest being Deadpool 3, while others are having trouble to get off the ground. I mean, is Blade even gonna happen?

The Marvels will be out in theaters sooner than we can say “Kamala Khan”, but there is zero buzz around it, which seemed almost impossible a few years ago whenever a new Marvel movie would come out. The studio could probably use the break that delaying Deadpool 3 will give it.

What do you think about this? Do you believe Victoria Alonso’s firing was unjustified? Do you think we now have the full picture, or will more details come out at a later date? Do you really think Marvel has learned from their mistakes? Let us know on our social media, and stay tuned for more!

Source: MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios

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