Kevin Feige Putting “ Insane Amount of Pressure” on ‘The Fantastic Four,’ ‘Deadpool and Wolverine,’ Report

in Marvel

Deadpool dressed in a black and red superhero costume stands outdoors, holding a gun in one hand and pointing forward with the other hand. The costume has a mask covering their face, and a sword is seen strapped to their back. The background is a rocky terrain.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige and Disney CEO Bob Iger are putting an “insane amount of pressure” on upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe films like The Fantastic Four and Deadpool and Wolverine, according to a recently cast actor.

Kevin Feige on the left, and Marvel Logo with a slight background of Marvel Movies on the right
Credit: Inside the Magic

The MCU: The Low Box Office Grosses Saga

The MCU closed out one of the more significant chapters of blockbuster cinema with Avengers: Endgame (2019), which wrapped up the colossal Infinity Saga that had begun with Robert Downey Jr. portraying Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008). Fans wondered where the franchise could go after achieving such enormous box office grosses and unparalleled shared-universe storytelling.

It turns out that Marvel Studios itself seems to be at a loss about its future direction. Grandiose plans for the Multiverse Saga have been derailed by real-life legal issues, the firing of Jonathan Majors (who had been set up as the next Big Bad of the MCU, Kang the Conqueror), and rapid-onset superhero fatigue. The Marvels (2023), the most recent MCU film to be released in theaters, was also its lowest-grossing film ever, which surely makes Disney nervous.

The Marvels team pictured with Jonathan Majors as Kang
Credit: Marvel

Related: Way Too Soon: ‘Fantastic Four’ Prematurely Casts Galactus

Bob Iger and Kevin Feige have announced a massive rollback of MCU projects, with the former admitting to having canceled numerous projects behind the scenes and the latter apparently excited to be an “underdog” once again. But all this means that the few confirmed projects set to hit theaters in the next two years have a whole lot of expectations riding on them, and Paul Walter Hauser has confirmed it.

Paul Walter Hauser, who was recently cast in a mystery role in The Fantastic Four (cough, cough H.E.R.B.I.E.), recently revealed in an interview (via ScreenRant) that he had taken the part before the powers that be at Disney decided to start cutting back on MCU movies, thus making each one all the more pressure-filled.

The official cast announcement of Fantastic Four, featuring everyone enjoying themselves in a living room
Credit: Marvel Studios

Hauser said:

“I think it’s the folks who are involved. The writers and the director, Matt Shakman, his department heads and the cast alone. I just looked at it and I went, I have a guttural instinct that this will be a special movie with or without me, and I want to be a part of this. And I think this is all before Bob Iger made his announcement of, hey, we’re only doing two or three movies a year, two or three TV shows a year. I signed on to this before that announcement was made. So now the directive and connotation that I’m getting from that announcement is that they are putting extra effort and concerted care into what they put out into the world and how they service their audience.”

Marvel Studios Fantastic Four logo
Credit: Marvel Studios

That is well and good, but it turns out that “extra effort and concerted care” also comes with a huge expectation to pull the MCU out of the tailspin that it is currently in. The Cobra Kai actor continued:

“So this Fantastic Four film has an insane amount of pressure on it between the films that underperformed from the same characters and then from the perspective of Iger and the family there, and Kevin Feige not wanting to overexpose their IP.”

‘Deadpool and Wolverine’ and ‘The Fantastic Four’ to the Rescue?

The same could be said of Deadpool and Wolverine, which will be the only MCU film released in 2024 and stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson and a returning Hugh Jackman as Logan, AKA Weapon X, AKA James Howlett. The movie is relying on nostalgia for the 20th Century Fox X-Men movies to be a huge draw for listless MCU fans and is expected to bring the mutant heroes into current film continuity.

Wolverine and Deadpool stand in the middle of a deserted street, dressed in their superhero costumes, with a damaged pharmacy and debris in the background.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Officially Bans Deadpool, Now-Removed Star Speaks Out

For its part, the third attempt to adapt the Fantastic Four is much more mysterious. The central cast of Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/The Thing has already been announced, confirming months of rumors about who will be Marvel’s First Family.

But Marvel Studios has confirmed that The Fantastic Four will not be an origin story for the group and will be set in the 1960s, predating the kickoff of the MCU proper, leading us to speculate that it will likely take place in some alternate universe.

We will all have to wait and see what The Fantastic Four and Deadpool and Wolverine bring to the Multiverse, but one thing is certain: there’s a whole lot of pressure on them.

Which are you looking forward to more, The Fantastic Four and Deadpool and Wolverine? Tell us in the comments below!

The Fantastic Four is scheduled for release on July 25, 2025. It will star Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/The Thing, Julia Garner as Shalla-Bal/Silver Surfer, and Ralph Ineson as Galactus. Paul Walter Hauser and John Malkovich have both been cast in undisclosed roles. The film will be directed by Matt Shakman from a screenplay by Jeff Kaplan & Ian Springer and Josh Friedman.

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