Marvel Studios To Release Fewer Disney+ Original Shows
As Marvel Studios gets ready to launch Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania later this week in cinemas, there has been lots of speculation that Marvel was planning on making some changes from lessons learned during Phase Four.
With the fourth phase of the MCU, we saw the introduction of Disney+ series and special presentations, drastically increasing the amount of content fans got to enjoy. However, this has led to some issues for Marvel and its fans.
Originally there were going to be five Disney+ shows and some additional animated shows, coming to Disney+ in 2023, plus the theatrical films, but we’ve been heard rumblings of Marvel slowing down the release schedule for these, following feedback from fans that there has been too much content, causing confusion for casual fans but also with reduced ratings for Marvel projects. There was also a worry that too much Marvel content was also impacting on the box office results for films, as fans started to drift away because they felt overwhelmed. There were also reports that Marvel was struggling with quality control, as it was juggling too many projects at once and that VFX teams were suffering. Plus that the animation side of Marvel was also slowing down its production.
And from a business point of view, Disney is looking to be making over 3 billion dollars worth of costs across its entertainment division, so reducing the number of shows and specials on Disney+ will help with this.
During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly to promote the new Ant-Man film, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that they would be slowing down on the number of Disney+ releases moving forward. When asked, what lessons they had learned from phase four, Kevin replied:
I hope we learn something on every project. I was very pleased with everything that we did. Kamala Khan, for instance, is a great new character in the pantheon. I’m very proud of the Ms. Marvel show. I also know — and this is a spoiler — she essentially steals The Marvels, which is coming out [July 28]. It makes me excited that people will, I hope, see that movie and then go back and revisit those shows on Disney+. The fun thing about streaming is they are there forever, and people can keep re-exploring them. Moon Knight, same thing. I think there’s a future for that character as we move forward. SNL did a skit this week. Did you see it? The one about how many shows there are right now.
Kevin then explained:
I do think one of the powerful aspects of being at Marvel Studios is having these films and shows hit the zeitgeist. It is harder to hit the zeitgeist when there’s so much product out there — and so much “content,” as they say, which is a word that I hate. [Laughs] But we want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand above. So, people will see that as we get further into Phase 5 and 6. The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine.
When asked to clarify, about the meaning of spacing them out or putting out fewer shows a year? He replied both.
While this might be disappointing to many Marvel fans who would love to see a new episode, special or film out weekly, which was almost happening in 2021 and 2022, the release schedule moving forward is going to be much more spaced out. In a recent presentation slide from the latest quarterly financial call, Disney confirmed that “Secret Invasion”, “X-Men ’97”, and the second season of “Loki” will be released in 2023. Meaning it might be a little longer until we see “Agatha: House Of Harkness”, “Echo”, “Ironheart”, and the second season of “What If?, which were all originally scheduled to arrive in 2023 as well.
Personally, when Kevin Feige revealed the upcoming lineup at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, I’ve felt that Marvel was pushing out too much content and that it was almost cannibalising its audience with films and shows being released at the same time, or that some casual fans were getting overloaded with feeling like they had to keep up with everything. Slowing down the release schedule will give fans a breather between projects, but also will make each one feel a little more special.
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