Disney Officially Imposes Restrictions on the MCU, Upcoming Release Likely To Be Scrapped Under New Measures

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Kevin Feige presenting with flames effect

Credit: Inside the Magic

Over a year since Bob Iger stepped back into the chair of Disney’s Chief Executive Officer, the high-profile businessman has officially imposed restrictions on its turbulent Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Official MCU timeline on Disney+
Credit: Disney+ (Screenshot, Inside the Magic)

Kevin Feige’s franchise, which started in 2008 with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, has been traversing rocky waters for almost four years now.

Hindered by the pandemic and rocked by the launch of Disney+, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is no longer the stable and reliable entity anchoring The Walt Disney Company’s entertainment arm.

Kevin Feige at D23
Credit: D23

Since the arrival of television shows and special presentations on Disney+, plus decreasing box office returns on its theatrical releases, Disney and Marvel Studios are trying to reignite the success the franchise once had.

The only bright light in Marvel’s 2023 was James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023), which scored over $800 million at the global box office. The follow-up to Vol. 3, though, would see the studio hit rock bottom.

Peter Quill (L) and Nebula (R) in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Credit: Marvel Studios

Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels (2023)–starring Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani as the titular Marvels trio, Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel–became the company’s lowest-performing MCU movie to date.

In a world of streaming platforms, consumers are experiencing entertainment in myriad ways. While there is a large portion still buying tickets and heading to their local theater, many are waiting for those movies to transition to Disney+.

Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) glowing with energy in The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

Recently, directing duo Anthony and Joe Russo, who helmed Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), weighed in on this matter, saying there is a “generational divide” that the industry must continue to navigate.

Then, earlier this week, Bob Iger confirmed that new measures would be put in place regarding the output from Marvel Studios. The CEO revealed that two, and a maximum of three, movies would be released yearly, while a maximum of two shows would air on Disney+.

Paul Rudd looking exasperated as Ant-Man
Credit: Marvel Studios

These restrictions are in keeping with the CEO’s comments over the last 12 months. In 2023, after the disappointing performance of Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), Iger questioned the need for the same characters to appear over and over again. Despite this, Marvel will release another sequel next year, Julius Onah’s Captain America: Brave New World.

A few months ago, Iger doubled down on his quality over quantity stance, sharing views on superhero and audience fatigue while speaking at the Morgan Stanley conference.

Bob Iger posing in front of several screens displaying various Disney owned properties
Credit: Disney

Head of Streaming, Television, and Animation Brad Winderbaum also alluded to this recently, telling ComicBook that a “new system” is in place at Marvel Studios wherein many shows may get developed, but that doesn’t mean they will be produced.

Now, new reports are surfacing regarding the fate of one troubled project. In December 2020, Marvel Studios announced an Armor Wars TV show headed for Disney+, with James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine actor Don Cheadle attached to lead the project.

Don Cheadle and Robert Downey Jr. as War Machine and Iron Man in the MCU
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘Deadpool’ To Be Reshot After Details of “Mind-Blowing” Post-Credits Scene Emerge: Report

However, in 2022, the series was being reworked into a feature film, still starring Cheadle and with Yassir Lester–who was head writer for the Disney+ series–continuing on as scribe.

Entertainment scooper @MyTimeToShineH has reported that Disney and Marvel are actively considering scrapping the Armor Wars movie. This would not be a surprise considering the recent scaleback developments happening at the studio. Alas, no confirmation has been made by Disney or Marvel.

Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and War Machine (Don Cheadle) in Civil War
Credit: Marvel Studios

Based on the Iron Man story arc, written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton and published by Marvel Comics between 1987 and 1988, Armor Wars would see Cheadle return to the MCU following his stint in Secret Invasion alongside Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.

The rumor about Armor Wars comes as Marvel Studios gears up to release Deadpool & Wolverine (2024) in July. As the first R-rated movie in Disney’s Marvel franchise, as well as the MCU debuts of Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, a lot of pressure is on Shawn Levy’s movie.

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 Scraps ‘Deadpool 3’, Reboots MCU Instead

Deadpool & Wolverine is also acting as somewhat of a soft reboot for the MCU, with Marvel Jesus (Reynolds) claiming the cinematic universe is about to change forever. It seems that reparations are happening within the fictional side of the MCU, as well as the real-life changes behind the scenes.

Following Deadpool & Wolverine, Marvel Studios will wrap up Phase Five in 2025 with Captain America: Brave New World and Thunderbolts*, before commencing Phase Six with The Fantastic Fourwhich Ralph Ineson just boarded as Big Bad cosmic villain, Galactus.

Do you think Marvel should scrap Armor Wars? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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