Reports indicate that the output of Marvel’s Disney+ TV Shows might significantly be slowing down, with another series slated for 2023 being axed at the last minute.
The Marvel Studios machine has been churning out movies and (since 2021) television shows for almost 15 years. What began back in 2008 with the humble Iron Man from Jon Favreau launched a billion-dollar franchise bringing together the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and other supporting comic book characters.
Over a decade on since Robert Downey Jr. stepped into the red-and-gold armor and uttered the words “I am Iron Man”, Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to entertain audiences with both movie and TV offerings, with the latest, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), releasing this month.
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The 31st Marvel movie in the sprawling MCU will launch Marvel Phase Five, ushering in the next sequence of superhero stories for the Disney subsidiary. Since Phase Four, Marvel Studios has built out its leading franchise with the addition of television shows like WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye, and Moon Knight, which have all aired exclusively on The Walt Disney Company’s streaming platform, Disney+.
Marvel’s Disney+ TV Shows
Early excitement of a near-constant stream of Marvel Comics-inspired content has, in the space of around 18 months, become the catalyst of claims, from audiences and critics alike, of superhero fatigue. The relentlessness in which the MCU has gained projects from the small screen adds to the growing number of big screen offerings. Ever since Black Widow (2021) was delayed, opening a year later than planned, Marvel has put out five MCU movies — Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022), and now Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Related: Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige Moving Ahead With Phase Seven Plan, Ignoring Superhero Fatigue
Along with the MCU movies that have released, Disney+ has been the home of multiple Marvel TV shows. WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If…?, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law have all debuted exclusively on the service, some with better reception than others. And that’s not to mention the Marvel Studios Special Presentations, Werewolf by Night (2022) and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022).
So now what? As fans look ahead, past the dismal response of Ant-Man 3, and into Phase Five and beyond, the large tally of Marvel’s Disney+ TV shows in 2023 may have just got incredibly smaller. Is the Multiverse Saga facing more challenges than we first thought?
Marvel’s 2023 releases are shrinking.
According to reports released at the end of 2022, Marvel Studios will no longer be releasing What If…? Season 2, Echo, or Agatha: Coven of Chaos in 2023. While the sophomore season of Marvel’s What If…? was slated for an early 2023 premiere, word is that AC Bradley’s animated series has been shifted to 2024. Also apparently heading to 2024 is the Hawkeye spinoff and Daredevil: Born Again prequel, Echo, starring deaf Native American actress Alaqua Cox alongside Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio as Matt Murdock/Daredevil and Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, respectively.
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As for Agatha: Coven of Chaos, the spinoff from WandaVision starring Kathryn Hahn as the titular Agatha Harkness, the show is now slated for 2025. When the news of the aforementioned shows dropped, it left Loki Season 2, Secret Invasion, and Ironheart on the schedule to debut this year. Now that seems to have changed again.
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki Season 2 and Secret Invasion starring Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Ben Mendelsohn (Talos) are currently the only shows releasing on Disney+ this year. Ironheart has, according to The Hollywood Reporter, been ditched from 2023. No word yet as to why Ironheart has been removed from the slate, but it could likely be down to the continued discussion around streaming profitability and Marvel’s constant flow of projects causing an apparent comic book fatigue.
Bob Iger’s big concern and Disney’s focus on streaming
One of the reasons behind former Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s ousting last November was the continued lack of profitability of Disney+. Now with Bob Iger back at the helm of the Mouse House, the direction has been made very clear — Iger will hand more creative control back to the respective studios and focus intently on the streaming business, which according to CFO Christine McCarthy, will be profitable by end of fiscal 2024.
Then in the Marvel arena and in a new interview from Feige, the MCU’s Disney+ output will slow down. These elements combined suggest a return to an almost pre-Disney+ era volume of projects. But only time will tell.
Ironheart will star Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams; the character was first introduced in last year’s Phase Four climax Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, where she began her journey as the MCU’s next Tony Stark AKA Iron Man.
Which of Marvel’s Disney+ TV Shows are you looking forward to? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!