Marvel Studios Makes Major Changes Behind the Scenes After Insane Backlash

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Kevin Feige

Source: Marvel Studios

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is now available to stream on Disney+. The latest female-focused Marvel Phase Four project stars Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk, cousin of Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Before the Marvel Studios original series even debuted, Marvel fans complained the CGI was bad. Then VFX artists revealed the terrible behind-the-scenes conditions of working on Marvel movies. Special effects artists threatened to unionize, and now Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios is reportedly changing its ways.

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kevin feige at d23 expo
Credit: D23

Visual effects artists like Joe Pavlo, one of the artists who worked on Guardians of the Galaxy, called his experience working with Marvel movies horrific and detailed some of Marvel’s “crazy demands” and the bullying culture. Others like artist Dhruv Govil quit the entire industry after working on Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Every artist in the VFX industry has dealt with insanely tight deadlines and crunch – where artists work incredibly long hours, surpassing even 80 hours in a single week and sometimes without proper overtime pay. Artists are routinely underpaid as Marvel and Disney outsource their visual effects to other companies and often underbid on effect house packages with the lowest cost possible.

Related:  Everything You Need to Know About Marvel’s Latest Villain: Titania

Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk
Credit: Marvel Studios

However, the breaking point seemed to be reached with Marvel Studio’s most ambitious phase yet. The Marvel Cinematic Universe released four films last year Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. They followed that up with another three more due out this year with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Panther Wakanda Forever.

During the same time, they had eight original series for Disney+, including WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What if…?, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and now She-Hulk. The MCU also had a fully CGI series of shorts called I Am Groot.

And the pace is not set to slow down anytime during the Multiverse Saga, which has nearly 30 more projects yet to be released.

Related: New Spider-Man For Multiverse Project Leaked Through Merch

Spider-Man No Way Home
Credit: Marvel Studios

And the pace of the projects is the biggest complaint that artists have when working with Marvel Studios. For example, one artist said a VFX team took a year to work on Thanos’ textures alone, which is only one step of the VFX process. And a single person spent weeks working on Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) hair for a single scene.

But in a recent interview with IGN, one artist reveals that Marvel Studios is trying to make small positive changes, especially when it comes to their CGI-heavy third acts:

“It’s famously the third act in most Marvel movies. If you have the third act, you are in for the most pain. Everything will change in a very drastic way, which means the most amount of work. And if one studio had more than just the third act, you’re in for it. Now, it seems like they’ve kind of split things up in a more logical way… Divvying up the work that way gives people a better chance to succeed. That’s one thing that’s been positive.”

Reportedly, the studio working on the third act will now only be working on the third act and not given other projects to work on from Marvel. Previously, the third act was just part of other sequences that a single studio was expected to create. It is a small positive first step, but artists say it will take bigger steps to prevent unionization.

Related: Oscar Isaac Inspires Marvel, MCU Ditches Moon Knight With Sudden Change

Marc Spector as Moon Knight
Credit: Marvel Studios

There have been rumors that Marvel may create its own VFX house to address external VFX artists’ complaints of harsh working conditions at third-party studios. But they have not confirmed plans or made official statements about the controversy.

Jessica Gao, the head writer and Executive Producer on She-Hulk, joined actors like Tatiana Maslany in support of the artists banding together to unionize while speaking at a Television Critics Association press tour, saying, “We stand in solidarity with what they say. If they’re feeling the pressure, we stand with them.”

Let us know in the comments if you support these artists in unionizing.

You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and the seven series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, Oscar Isaac’s Moon Knight, Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel, and Tatiana Maslany’s She-Hulk  — on Disney+ anytime

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