Damning Marvel Report Rejected By Industry Insiders and Experts

in Marvel, Movies & TV

Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons, Marvel Studios, FOX

After a damning report about the conditions behind the scenes at Marvel Studios, multiple industry insiders and experts have called it into question, especially when it comes to The Marvels (2023), Blade (TBA), and the report’s author.

The Avengers original lineup featuring Hulk, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, and Nick Fury
Credit: Marvel Studios

There was a time when Marvel Studios was considered the best studio in Hollywood. Not only did they churn out hit after hit, raking in billions of dollars at the global box office, but their movies were good, too. If you were going to watch a film featuring Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman/Letitia Wright), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), or Spider-Man (Tom Holland), you knew that everyone would enjoy it.

However, that popularity has waned in recent years. Not only have the films been less well-received, they’ve made less money as well. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) was the worst-received film in Marvel Cinematic Universe history and only made $476 million. That’s less than both of its previous films.

Ant-Man talking to Kang the Conqueror in Ant-Man 3
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Things have gotten even worse on the television front, with Secret Invasion (2023) receiving some of the worst reviews for an MCU product ever. In the end, this drop in quality and superhero fatigue has resulted in the average Marvel fan getting tired of the onslaught of superhero movies and TV shows.

Maria Hill and Nick Fury in a yellow room
Credit: Marvel Studios

According to a report from Variety, the executives at Marvel Studios, including Kevin Feige, recently held a retreat to discuss the issues facing the company and how to solve them, including the Jonathan Majors situation, worry over how The Marvels will perform at the box office, and potentially scrapping multiple series and films that have proved difficult, including the reboot of Blade.

However, because of the origin of these claims and the reputation of the author, Tatiana Siegel, many of the details reported have come into question.

Variety’s Tatiana Siegel Has a History of Controversial Reports

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel in The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Tatiana Siegel is the executive editor for film and media at Variety. Recently, she wrote a cover article for the publication, speaking about the difficulties happening behind the scenes at Marvel Studios. However, many of the details she reported have been called into question, partially because of her past.

After multiple articles had been written sharing the info from Siegel’s cover story, Lizzie Hill, the Editor in Chief for The Cosmic Circus, shared a Tweet noting multiple times that Siegel had written controversial pieces.

These moments include writing a “positive puff piece about Joss Whedon” after he was accused of “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” conduct by Ray Fisher, leaking Amber Heard’s private therapy notes, falsely accusing Jason Momoa of “dressing up like Johnny Depp to scare Heard” while filming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023), and more.

A majority of the points made in the Variety article are mainly attributed to scoopers and Reddit posts by anonymous users. This has caused many industry experts and insiders to completely refute her claims.

Marvel Studios Employees and Insider Sources Call Out Inaccuracies

The Marvels IMAX poster Monica Rambeau, Captain Marvel, and Kamala Khan standing around each other
Credit: Marvel Studios

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While a majority of the article was focused on the Jonathan Majors assault trial and how Marvel Studios will solve their Kang the Conqueror problem, the rest focused on the potential negative reception of the upcoming film The Marvels and the fate of the Blade reboot, which has had a problematic pre-production.

Every member of The Marvels looking up into the distance
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Marvels is a sequel to Captain Marvel (2019) and stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Zawe Ashton as Dar-Benn, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Blade is set to star Mahershala Ali as the titular vampire and is currently slated to release in 2025.

In the original Variety article, Tatiana Siegel made multiple claims about both films, so let’s look at both movies and the ways multiple industry insiders have already spoken out against the reports.

‘The Marvels’ Director Was Involved the Whole Time

Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) in a space suit touching a purple light The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

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In the article, Tatiana Siegel called out director Nia DaCosta for leaving post-production to focus on her next film, saying one source close to the film commented, “If you’re directing a $250 million movie, it’s kind of weird for the director to leave with a few months to go.” However, multiple film experts have already disagreed.

“This happens all the time, [by the way],” said Fandango director Erik Davis. “Also, DaCosta was still very involved in [the post-production] on the film. It takes a lot to direct a Marvel movie. Nia DaCosta was only 30 when she got the gig – Marvel’s youngest director ever. She’s a tremendous talent who is making history with The Marvels.”

Davis continued, “If you don’t want to see the film, all good. If you want to see it, then have a great time. But let’s show Nia DaCosta some respect. She has earned it and then some.” Collider also called this into question, stating, “We have heard this report is not true, and she was very much involved in the editing process while based in London.”

The article also describes test screenings for The Marvels to have received “middling reviews” from audiences. However, this completely contradicts previous reports saying that audiences enjoyed the film.

Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel smiling in The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Still, these reports must always be taken with a grain of salt. For example, both The Flash (2023) and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania received positive feedback from screenings, while James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) received mixed reactions and is now considered one of the best movies in the MCU.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe ‘Blade’ Reboot Never Had an All-Female Script

blade-wesley-snipes
Credit: New Line Cinema

One of the more controversial elements in the report is that one of the earlier scripts for the MCU Blade reboot had the titular Daywalker as the fourth lead, with multiple female characters in front of him. Naturally, this infuriated a certain subset of fans. However, one of the writers working on the script before the Writers’ Strike, Michael Starburry, immediately refuted this.

“I worked on a draft of this before the strike,” Starrbury said in a now-deleted Tweet. “Never saw a version where Blade was 4th lead, or it was a ‘narrative led by women and filled with life lessons,’ but I suppose a lot could have happened since I had anything to do with it. He was in 99% of the scripts I was a part of.”

Official Marvel Studios Blade Logo on a black background
Credit: Marvel Studios

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When pressed for more details, Starrbury simply replied, “He was in almost every scene when I was involved. I don’t know what happened, but I’ll just say I seriously doubt he was ever the 4th lead in any draft.”

All of these responses bring much of the subject matter from the original report into question, making people genuinely wonder if these topics are being pushed so other issues can be swept under the rug, like the mistreatment of VFX employees. Ultimately, the only thing we can truly judge these movies on is the final project when they’re released. And for The Marvels, that will be in less than a week.

What do you think of the current state of the MCU? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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