Disney’s New MCU Confirmed, Marvel Reveals Multiple Projects Will Be Abandoned

in Marvel

Deadpool in full costume stands in an elevator, holding up an index finger as if making a point or waiting for someone to listen, with a wood-paneled background and elevator buttons on the side.

Credit: Marvel Studios

A Marvel Studios boss has confirmed that a “new system” is in place for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning the version that audiences have grown accustomed to over the last 16 years is officially dead.

Iron Man's side hero lineup during Captain America: Civil War, (left to right) Black Panther, Vision, Iron Man, Black Widow, and War Machine
Credit: Marvel Studios

Disney Reins in Kevin Feige’s Struggling MCU

It’s no surprise that Marvel Studios has had to go back to the drawing board with the MCU. The formidable franchise is one of the most powerful and lucrative worldwide, and with Kevin Feige steering the ship, there have been more hits than misses. In fact, it wasn’t really until the pandemic era and the concurrent launch of MCU shows on Disney+ that more severe problems arose.

In January 2021, Marvel Studios made a bold foray into canon streaming TV shows. WandaVision, headlined by two MCU veterans–Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch) and Paul Bettany (Vision)–and introducing newcomers like Kathryn Hahn’s Agnes/Agatha Harkness, captured audiences and brought a new dynamic to the franchise.

Wanda, Vision, and their children ready to fight in WandaVision
Credit: Marvel Studios

However, not all projects on the streamer were as successful, and as time progressed, the feature film offering also started to crack more frequently. In just the last 12 months, Feige’s MCU has been battered by fans and critics alike with entries like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) and The Marvels (2023). Nia DaCosta’s sequel to the billion-dollar Captain Marvel (2019) was deemed the worst-performing MCU film ever.

Many of the problems with Marvel have been attributed to the so-called superhero fatigue. However, Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger says this isn’t true. Earlier this year, the CEO attended the Morgan Stanley conference and said fatigue isn’t the problem; if a great movie is made, the audience will come. This echoes similar sentiments Iger made at 2023’s conference following the tragic performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at the box office. “Sequels typically worked well for us,” Iger said. “[But] do you need a third and a fourth, for instance? Or is it time to turn to other characters?”

Paul Rudd as many Ant-Men in 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania' Marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Confirms New Avengers Team With Reboot, Going Back to Basics

Iger’s attempt to wrangle in creative projects upon his return as CEO extended to Marvel, leaving the franchise to course-correct its entire upcoming slate. The delay of multiple projects has left just Deadpool & Wolverine (2024) airing on the big screen this year. Disney’s streamlining effort has ushered in a new version of the MCU, which one Marvel boss confirms will see multiple projects left on the cutting room floor.

Marvel Confirms “New System” in Place at the Studio

The absolute contrast of this stripped-back 2024 to previous years (Marvel released a total of 17 projects in Phase Four’s two-year period: seven movies, eight TV shows, and two TV specials) is bold and really speaks to the studio’s dedication to mend fences with its once faithful audience.

Marvel boss Brad Winderbaum, Head of Streaming, Television, and Animation, recently spoke to ComicBook and confirmed that a new system was in place behind the scenes that will see multiple projects abandoned before getting produced. At the time, Winderbaum also clarified that a Nova/Richard Rider story was being developed at the studio.

Charlie Cox as Daredevil in Netflix's Daredevil
Credit: Netflix

“We have a new system behind the scenes at Marvel Studios,” Winderbaum said. “We’re more like a traditional studio now; we’re developing more than we actually will produce…”

Here, Winderbaum confronts the fact that while many shows may be in development, they may not actually make it to production. It’s about quality and the audience, meaning that multiple projects will be abandoned over time.

These comments, which were made in March 2024, came after other essential changes to the MCU. The first was the major overhaul of the streaming business, which erupted following the uncertainty over Daredevil: Born Again‘s quality. This led to a creative reset at the studio and saw the highly-anticipated Daredevil show regenerated with a new team. It also set in motion Marvel’s shift to more traditional TV programming–that is, shows will not have a preordained series length, nor will they have just one goal in mind; instead, shows will now have showrunners and the opportunity to extend as the story allows.

Alaqua Cox as Echo/Maya Lopez in 'Hawkeye'
Credit: Marvel Studios

The second big shift came with the introduction of Marvel Spotlight. This new initiative sees Marvel stories not entirely involved in the overarching Multiverse Saga be given space to exist outside of the connectedness of the MCU. While these shows, like the recent Echo, are part of the MCU, Marvel is hoping this new Spotlight brand will ensure even casual viewers can enjoy movies and shows without necessarily having the knowledge of the many movies and shows that came before them.

Winderbaum spoke to ComicBook about the new banner before Echo‘s release in January: “Just like comics fans didn’t need to read Avengers or Fantastic Four to enjoy a Ghost Rider Spotlight comic, our audience doesn’t need to have seen other Marvel series to understand what’s happening in [Maya Lopez’s] story.”

A heart made with Deadpool and Wolverine's hands
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Disney Seemingly Fires Two Marvel Stars as Actors’ Social Media Goes Dark

Looking past 2024, 2025 will see the return of multiple stories in the MCU. It seems suspect that just Shawn Levy’s Deadpool & Wolverine, a movie touted to soft reset or reboot the MCU, stands alone this year before 2025 drops in with heavy-hitters like Captain America: Brave New World, Thunderbolts* (which will end Phase Five), and The Fantastic Four. The latter will see the MCU debut of Pedro Pascal, Vanessa Kirby, Joseph Quinn, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Marvel’s First Family.

How do you think Disney and Marvel’s MCU changes will play out? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Marvel

View Comments (2)