Victoria Alonso’s Marvel Exit Analysis: Here’s the Problem

According to VFX sources, the sheer number of MCU shows and movies made it difficult for IndieWire to produce high-quality work.

Victoria Alonso’s sudden exit from Marvel Studios on March 17 reportedly “blindsided” the 17-year studio veteran, who was president of physics and post-production, visual effects and animation production, according to a new report. Species. However, between the huge surge of new content since 2019 and the noticeable decline in quality, some of the writing may have been on the wall.

Two VFX industry sources, who spoke to IndieWire on the condition of anonymity, said that some VFX artists working on Marvel projects were faced with last-minute deadlines that made it very difficult to produce quality work — and they were embarrassed by the work they produced. because of part of it. The sources added that while Alonso was extremely successful in maintaining the VFX pipeline for as long as he did, the results became increasingly inconsistent.

While there’s still no official word on the reason for Alonso’s firing, it comes amid accusations of a mess in the company’s VFX process, most recently proven to be a bet on “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” Released on February 17, the film struggled at the box office and with critics, and faced criticism for its visual effects work.

Quantumania Marvel

“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Mania”

Jay Maidment

In a recent interview with IndieWire, Quantumania VFX production supervisor Jesse James Chisholm said the work required more than 2,800 shots from Digital Domain, ILM, Luma Pictures, MPC, Pixomondo, Rising Sun Pictures, Between Sony Pictures Imageworks and Spin VFX. among others. He defended the quality of the work and denied reports that the film underwent major last-minute changes in the third act.

Alonso, who has been with the studio since 2006 and was a co-producer on the first Iron Man, was elevated to his role in 2021, joining Marvel boss Kevin Feige and co-chairman Louis D’Esposito. His promotion came at a time when Marvel was in the midst of a massive production wave.

Before 2019 and the launch of Disney+, Marvel produced three movies a year. As of 2019, Marvel has released seven movies and eight TV series. VFX sources explained that many visual effects artists felt overworked, cut corners and thought they were doing substandard work. This problem was also reflected in a survey commissioned by IATSE and published on March 1, according to which two-thirds of VFX workers believe their working conditions are unsustainable due to a lack of health care, retirement options, overtime pay and training in their field. IATSE is working to unionize VFX workers who currently work as freelancers.

Sources speaking to IndieWire suggested that Marvel has several potential in-house successors for Alonso, including VP of Post Production Chris Russell, VP of Physical Production David Grant, and Danielle Costa and Jen Underdahl, who are both VPs of Visual Effects. serve and was their mentorship. Alonso.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in Marvel Studios' LOKI, exclusively on Disney+.  Photo: Chuck Zlotnick.  ©Marvel Studios 2021. All rights reserved.

“Loki,” Season 1

Chuck Zlotnick/Disney+

Alonso’s departure comes less than a month after Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke at a Morgan Stanley conference and said he was willing to reassess Marvel’s future plans from a quantitative perspective, particularly whether it was worth making a third or fourth sequel to characters already seen . diminishing returns.

The 2023 Marvel lineup so far includes seasons 2 of “Loki” and “Secret Invasion,” as well as “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and “The Marvels.” THR reported last month that other series scheduled for 2023 at ComicCon 2022, including “Echo, “Agatha: Coven of Chaos” and “Ironheart,” could be pushed back to 2024.

Alonso’s departure also comes just days after he attended the Oscars on behalf of the Oscar-nominated “Argentina, 1985,” which he produced. Alonso told IndieWire’s Anne Thompson that when it came to Marvel, “Every day is chaos and privilege.”

Alonso told Thompson, “To this day, I pinch myself every time I walk into Marvel Studios to tell stories that empower kids from all over the world, of all colors, creeds, and walks of life, to truly see themselves in our films. and in our stories. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to give joy to a child who can buy a costume for Halloween that represents him.”

Marvel Studios did not respond to IndieWire’s repeated requests for comment.

Wilson Chapman contributed to this report.

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