Disney says fewer Marvel sequels are possible

The Disney CEO spoke about the future of the MCU at Morgan Stanley’s 2023 Technology Media and Telecommunications Conference.

Marvel Studios is never shy about bringing back a fan-favorite character or giving a sequel to an old favorite. Over 24 years and 31 movies, the only characters that have been officially retired are some mainstays like Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). But according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, the studio’s upcoming program is about introducing new faces and less about old masters.

During Disney’s presentation Thursday at Morgan Stanley’s 2023 Technology Media and Telecommunications Conference, Iger talked about Marvel’s future at the company. Over the next five years, Iger said, Disney will reevaluate whether certain characters need sequels or whether they should be brought back at all.

“Marvel — there were 7,000 characters, so many more stories to tell,” he said. “What we have to look at at Marvel is not necessarily the volume of Marvel storytelling, but how many times we go back to the well of certain characters. Sequels usually work well for us. Do you need a third or fourth, or is it time to turn to other characters? There is nothing inherently wrong with the Marvel brand. I guess we just have to see what characters or stories we mine. And if you look at Marvel’s trajectory over the next five years, you’ll see a lot of new things. We’re returning to the Avengers franchise, but with a bunch of different Avengers.

The “return” to the “Avengers” franchise is a reference to “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and “Avengers: Secret Wars,” which will conclude Phase 6 in 2025 and 2026, respectively. Destin Daniel Cretton will direct ‘Kang Dynasty’. ”, while the director of “Secret Wars” has not yet been announced.

Upcoming Marvel sequels include the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, “The Marvels,” “New World Order” with Anthony Mackie as the new Captain America, Sam Wilson, and “Thunderbolts,” which it brings together the villains and anti-heroes of previous films. . The only films featuring all-new characters are “Fantastic Four,” which introduces the titular team to the franchise, and “Blade,” which stars Mahershala Ali. That said, three unannounced Marvel Studios movies have been scheduled for July 25 and November 7, 2025, and February 13, 2026.

During the call, Iger also addressed another Disney mainstay, Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars.” The franchise has mostly moved to Disney+ as 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker” completed the sequel trilogy, and earlier this week it was reported that two films in development — Patty Jenkins’ “Rogue Squadron” and an untitled project from the head of Marvel Studios. Kevin Feige – shelved. Iger explained that Disney wanted to put films in the franchise on hiatus after the commercial disappointment of the spin-off movie “Solo,” but Lucasfilm is still making new movies.

“’Solo’ was a little disappointing for us. He gave us pause, just thinking the beat was a little too aggressive. So we decided to pull back a bit,” Iger said. “We are still developing the ‘Star Wars’ movies. We’re going to make sure that when we make it, it’s the right one, so we’re going to be very careful.”

Additional reporting by Brian Welk.

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