Why is Marvel rebooting its universe?

Why is Marvel rebooting its universe?
Why is Marvel rebooting its universe?

Carlos Andres Mendiola

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@carlosamendiola

Will it be a sweet 16?

For the first time in 16 years the Marvel Cinematic UniverseThe only film to be released in 2024 is “Deadpool and Wolverine.” It is the 34th in a multimedia narrative that in 3 years has released 10 series, two of them with second seasons, and also two specials.

Marvel made history with the Infinity Saga by building a narrative that integrated different characters into a central narrative line and where the stories worked independently and together told a greater story.

“Endgame” became a phenomenon, grossing $2.899 billion. But then, the story changed.

Phases 4 and 5 (the one currently underway) suffered major setbacks in critics and at the box office, which were helped by the pandemic and strikes by actors and screenwriters. Marvel announced its plans for those phases and Phase 6, which will conclude in 2027 and include Avengers movies 6 and 7.

Marvel’s original intention was for audiences to always have Marvel content, but the connection between films and series that was initially attractive became a source of stress for audiences, complicated by so many new characters and relationships that it was difficult to keep track of them.

How many and which films and/or series do you have to watch to fully understand the new one? Maybe none or not necessarily, but the perception was that there were many.

The impossible happened in 2023 with “The Marvels,” the sequel to “Captain Marvel,” one of the studio’s biggest hits ($1.131 billion) and its first film starring a superheroine, which officially became its first flop. It grossed $206 million on a budget of over $220 million.

It was a moment that was coming and where other films such as “Eternals” or “Ant-Man & Wasp: Quantummania” had also fallen below expectations.

The series were not exempt either. The positive reviews and views of “WandaVision” and “Loki” that even earned them nominations for important industry awards such as the Emmy, Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild were soon replaced by complaints about “Ms. Marvel” and even more so “She-Hulk.”

It was revealed that Marvel was greenlighting series without pilots, the industry standard, and that a vast majority of productions in both film and television were starting without having all the details, including finished scripts and clarity of where the story would go.

As a result, many of them had to be rewritten and included additional recording sessions or reshoots, increasing budgets and blowing them out of proportion, making it more difficult and challenging to recover the investment and generate profits, as well as affecting the quality of the product.

In addition to this, they faced accusations and a guilty verdict. Jonathan Majors, actor who was in charge of the main villain of the next “big event”. In an unexpected move at the end of 2023, Marvel announced changes to the release dates of films and series, including some that have not yet been released and whose production has long since concluded (“Ironheart”, for example).

The move was intended to take a closer look at products, give the public a break and allow them to rethink their strategy.

Marvel and Disney In fact, it is at a moment that will mark a new before and after. It is not the first time that Disney has gone through a crisis. It is the first for Marvel. In comics, it is not unusual for characters to have a reboot, just as other studios have done with other franchises. In fact, it is in the works at DC.

Marvel will be allowed to get rid of everything that doesn’t work for it. It will help it to build, as it did with its first three phases, a much simpler and easier to understand narrative.

In fact, it has already taken steps in this regard. For example, the “Echo” series is part of a new brand called “Spotlight” that will tell contained stories with little or no relation to the rest of the universe.

In order to make the content easier to understand, the series will now be owned by Marvel Television. It also appears that the number of characters will be more manageable.

This is crucial because with so many newcomers it has not been possible to build an identification with them or with the actors in the same way that happened with Robert Downey Jr. (Iron-Man) or Chris Evans (Captain America) or with others who are still active like Chris Hemsworth (Thor), but that has not been achieved with the newcomers. The quantity diluted both the quality and the engagement.

Marvel recently announced that it will maintain annual releases of three films and three series. The plans announced so far go through 2027 for the cinema and 2025 for the series, but it is possible that they will arrive in the same year since there are projects without a release date and that have been kept somewhat secret, but that are known to exist, such as “Eyes of Wakanda,” a spin-off series “The Black Panther.”

Still, it’s possible that a reboot is already in the works, but hasn’t been declared, and it’s also possible that it doesn’t have to be all that radical. The universe has already declared that there are multiple universes, and this has been addressed in both “Loki” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

“Deadpool y Wolverine” will touch on the subject of timelines again. “Fantastic Four” is known to take place in an alternate universe and in the 60s. In other words, any of those films could open the door to continuing the story and gradually leaving behind the initial approach. It is a way of not starting from scratch, but also of getting rid of what is hindering it today.

Marvel needs a reboot and it’s only a matter of time before it happens.

 
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