Marvel Boss Is Happy That the MCU Is Failing, Apparently “Much More Comfortable”

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Collage featuring Kevin Feige with an MCU cap, flanked by images of Iron Man, a Star Wars stormtrooper, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, against a backdrop with a

Credit: Inside the Magic

The past few years haven’t exactly been stellar for Marvel Studios, but that isn’t phasing Kevin Feige or his faith in the MCU.

In the wake of the triumph that was Avengers: Endgame (2019) – the culmination of over a decade of Marvel movies – both fans and critics seem to be in agreement that the franchise has struggled to find its feet in the five years since.

The entire Avengers cast gathers in a lab on the Avengers Compound in 'Avengers: Endgame'
Credit: Marvel Studios

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That’s not to say that the studio hasn’t been without its critical and financial successes (Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) took home a groundbreaking $1.922 billion, making it the second most profitable Marvel movie of all time).

However, its reputation has dipped thanks to the failure of projects such as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) – the first MCU film to earn a Razzie nomination – and The Marvels (2023), which is the only MCU film not to cross the $100 million mark at the domestic box office. Yikes.

It also doesn’t help that Marvel started stretching itself thin with new television projects. Since 2021, it’s released several shows on Disney+ per year, and while some (such as WandaVision) have proven popular, others (namely Secret Invasion) were met with a resounding “meh.”

Nick Fury shocked in Marvel's 'Secret Invasion'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Disney is well aware of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s trajectory right now. CEO Bob Iger – who came out of retirement to reorient The Walt Disney Company in 2022 – has stressed on multiple occasions the need to focus on quality over quantity, as well as admitting that Marvel didn’t know what it was doing in the world of TV.

As Marvel scrambles to get back on the right track, it’s slashed its number of theatrical releases per year. In 2024, we’re getting just the one film – Deadpool & Wolverine – instead of the customary three. It’s also taken new TV shows, such as Daredevil: Born Again, back to the drawing board and implemented a new showrunner structure that it previously lacked.

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

But it’s not all doom and gloom at the studio.

In a recent interview with Empire ahead of Deadpool & Wolverine‘s release in July, Kevin Feige opened up about his thoughts on Marvel’s less-than-ideal spot on the cultural zeitgeist right now and explained that he sees it as an advantage.

“It’s nice to be able to rally behind one feature project this year,” he said. “I’m much more comfortable being the underdog. I prefer being able to surprise and exceed expectations. So it does seem like the last year, which has not been ideal, has set us up well for that.”

Deadpool holding a small, suited creature, standing next to Wolverine, with a serious expression, in a gloomy urban setting from Deadpool 3.
Credit: Marvel Studios

As Inside the Magic previously reported, Feige was reportedly heavily involved on the set of Deadpool & Wolverine.

The Co-President of Marvel Studios, Louis D’Esposito, shared a similar sentiment.

“It’s been a rough time,” he said. “If we just stayed on top, that would have been the worst thing that could have happened to us. We took a little hit, we’re coming back strong.”

Elsewhere in the interview, director Shawn Levy – who takes over from Deadpool 2 (2018) director David Leitch for the threequel – also commented on the challenge of trying to support a flailing franchise.

Deadpool in red and black suit converses with Logan/Wolverine in a dimly lit room, adorned with lights, suggesting a casual, slightly tense atmosphere in 'Deadpool & Wolverine,' the next film in the MCU.
Credit: Marvel Studios

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“You’d have to live under a rock not to know that the last few Marvel movies have failed to ignite the world in the way that so many did,” Levy said. “We do come along at an interesting time. And we are decidedly something different. Whether it is of Messianic proportions, time will tell.”

Much has been made of the impact Deadpool & Wolverine will have on the MCU. The film – which sees the return of Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, AKA Deadpool, and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine for the first time since Logan (2017) – will delve further into the Multiverse, which may have ramifications for future MCU installments.

Do you think Deadpool & Wolverine can save the MCU? Let us know in the comments!

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