The final episodes of Loki season 2 will reveal important information for Avengers 5 and set up Kang as the main villain.
Marvel Studios is in talks with X-Men writers, signaling the introduction of mutants into the MCU in Phase 7.
A new report has revealed the details of a tumultuous year for Marvel Studios, which has impacted the delivery of many recent and upcoming projects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios kicked off the MCU with 2008’s Iron Man, and enjoyed a lengthy period of popularity, producing hit after hit, which culminated in the epic double-bill of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Unfortunately, after a massive increase in content with the dawn of the Multiverse Saga and the expansion into long-form entertainment on Disney+. Marvel Studios has been faced with a series of high-profile problems, all of which have now been laid bare.
On November 1, 2023, Variety released an article that uncovered several bombshell reveals concerning the present state of the MCU. Primarily focused on the fallout from Jonathan Majors’ arrest on assault allegations in March 2023, which threw his future as Kang the Conqueror into jeopardy, the report also throws light on issues behind the scenes of several recent MCU projects such as She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and Blade. This comes after months of criticism aimed at Marvel Studios for lacking VFX quality, lackluster scripts, and massive delays pushing back several highly-anticipated projects, though this presents a new opportunity for immense growth at Marvel Studios.
12 Marvel Studios Reconsidered The Multiverse Saga After Jonathan Majors’ Arrest
Majors’ Trial Is Still Forthcoming
Variety’s report focuses primarily on recent controversies surrounding Jonathan Majors, who was arrested in March 2023 on allegations of assault and is still awaiting trial. Majors debuted as a variant of Kang the Conqueror in Phase 4’s Loki season 1 and has since been set up as the overarching villain of the entire Multiverse Saga. However, his arrest shortly after the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania threw his future in the MCU into jeopardy. Variety reports that Marvel Studios executives met at their annual retreat in Palm Springs to discuss next steps following Majors’ arrest and considered rewriting the Multiverse Saga to not focus so much on Kang.
11 Kang The Conqueror Was Almost Replaced With Doctor Doom
Doom Plays A Prominent Role In Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars
One of the biggest changes that Variety reports Marvel Studios discussed was replacing Kang the Conqueror with a different high-profile supervillain from Marvel Comics, suggesting that plans may have been in place to introduce Doctor Doom instead of Kang. Doctor Doom is often seen as an adversary to the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, and has been rumored to be debuting in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. These plans obviously didn’t come to fruition, as “making any shift would carry its own headaches” due to the fact that Majors had already been established as a crucial cog in the Multiverse Saga machine.
10 Loki Season 2’s Finale Will Set Up Kang As Avengers 5’s Villain
Victor Timely Is The Only Kang Variant To Appear In Season 2 So Far
Loki season 2 premiered on October 5, 2023, picking up immediately after the events of the first season’s finale. While the season saw the returns of Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, and others, Jonathan Majors also returned as a new variant of Kang the Conqueror: Victor Timely. Despite the character’s apparent demise, Variety reports that Loki season 2’s finale, which is set to release on November 9, will set up Kang as the titular star and villain of 2026’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. This suggests that Loki season 2’s final two episodes will reveal crucial information for the MCU’s future and mark the return of Kang himself.
9 Shang-Chi & Eternals MCU Debuts Were Experiments For The MCU
Shang-Chi and the Eternals Have Been Absent In The MCU Since Their Debut
Even though Jonathan Majors’ future in the MCU is perhaps the biggest talking point of Marvel Studios’ recent history, other characters and projects were also explored in Variety’s report, including Phase 4’s new additions Shang-Chi and the Eternals. The report notes that Marvel Studios’ increase in content in the wake of Avengers: Endgame weaved a narrative across many disparate projects that was too confusing for audiences to follow and that it probably wasn’t a good idea to use the opportunity to “experiment with breaking in” new characters such as Shang-Chi and the Eternals. Marvel Studios perhaps would have benefited from producing familiar hits following Endgame, not branching out further.
8 The Marvels Went Through Four Weeks Of Reshoots & Director Trouble
The Marvels Is The MCU’s Next Theatrical Release
Set to premiere on November 10, 2023, The Marvels will be Marvel Studios’ newest feature film, marking the returns of Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani as three cosmic superheroes. However, the project hasn’t been without its share of behind-the-scenes drama, as Variety’s report reveals The Marvels underwent four weeks of reshoots to “bring coherence to a tangled storyline,” cost upwards of $250 million to produce, and is only on track to open to $75-80 million at the box office. Director Nia DaCosta also curiously moved on to another project, Hedda, months before post-production on The Marvels was finished, which may spell bad news for the upcoming adventure.
7 Marvel Studios Rushed Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania
Quantumania Kicked Off Phase 5 With Disappointing Earnings & Reviews
The Marvels had been the subject of several release date push-backs, and one of these saw the project swap places with 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. This meant that Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man sequel was brought forward by several months, as it was deemed further along than The Marvels, but this put unnecessary pressure on VFX artists and those working on the film’s post-production. Unfortunately, this led to many scenes in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania simply lacking in the quality that viewers had come to expect from Marvel Studios, culminating in a slew of criticisms aimed at the studio.
6 VFX On WandaVision & She-Hulk Were Created After Their Premieres
She-Hulks Visuals Received Backlash Before Release
The issues in Marvel Studios’ recent history haven’t just been focused on the studio’s feature films, as several projects created for Disney+ have also suffered due to the increase in content production and behind-the-scenes problems. Notably, Variety points out Phase 4’s WandaVision and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law as two prime examples, noting that some final visual effects for bothprojects were inserted into the series’ after they had debuted on Disney+, meaning scenes were being changed even while the shows were being released. This is only one symptom of a logjam that culminated in the departure of long-time Marvel Studios executive Victoria Alonso.
5 She-Hulk’s First Transformation Originally Wasn’t Seen Until Episode 8
She-Hulk Did Appear Already Transformed Much Earlier
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law hit Disney+ in August 2022 and introduced audiences to Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters, a lawyer who becomes She-Hulk after being exposed to her cousin’s, Bruce Banner’s, blood. This initial transformation was showcased in the premiere episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, but Variety reports that this wasn’t the original plan. In fact, the originalShe-Hulk arc wouldn’t have seen her first transformation until episode 8, the show’s penultimate episode. This was a serious lack of script oversight at Marvel Studios and led to VFX teams fixing the problem in post-production, moving the scene forward to the series premiere.
4 Blade Almost Wasn’t The Star Of His MCU Debut
Blade Continues To Undergo Development Problems
One project who has had a more tumultuous production period than most others is Marvel Studios’ Blade reboot, which is set to star Academy Award-winner Mahershala Ali as the titular dhampir. Blade was officially announced by Kevin Feige at SDCC 2019, but since then, the project has gone through two directors, five writers, a production shut-down shortly before filming, and worries that Ali would walk. Variety reports that, at one point, Blade was set to be a “narrative led by women and filled with life lessons,” with Blade himself not taking the starring spot. Evidently, this needed changing, as Mahershala Ali must be the star in his official MCU debut.
3 There Have Been Talks To Bring Back The Original Avengers
Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, And Possibly Captain America Remain Alive In The MCU
None of these issues went unnoticed at Marvel Studios and Disney, with Disney CEO Bob Iger even noting that the increase in content on Disney+ “diluted focus and attention.” This led to some major discussions being had at Marvel Studios, including one which posited resurrecting and reuniting the MCU’s original Avengers team. This would have involved bringing Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow back from the dead, and it wouldn’t be cheap to bring back these high-profile stars. While Marvel Studios hasn’t committed to this idea, this would be a surefire way to reignite passion in the MCU.
2 Marvel Studios Planned To Move Away From Majors’ After Ant-Man 3
Quantumania Is Kang’s Only Movie Appearance So Far
Circling back to Jonathan Majors and his fate as Kang the Conqueror in the MCU, Variety reported that Marvel Studios was playing a “wait-and-see game” following Majors’ arrest, pending a verdict from a trial before deciding the actor’s future in the franchise. Nevertheless, the disappointing reception and performance of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania led to Marvel Studios having serious discussions about changing the Multiverse Saga, regardless of Majors’ legal issues. The fact that Quantumania didn’t land as well as Marvel Studios hoped means that future projects featuring Majors’ Kang may follow suit, which will surely be a worry at the studio.
1 Marvel Studios Has Started To Speak To X-Men Writers
The X-Men Movie Is Expected In The MCU Phase 7
In a September article by Deadline, it was reported that Marvel Studios would soon be meeting with writers to hear pitches for an X-Men project in the MCU. This was the first major development for the MCU’s mutant team since 2019, and Variety reports that this process has already begun. Noting that “Marvel has started talking to writers about bringing the X-Men into the MCU fold,” this otherwise-damning report ends with a message of hope. With teams such as the X-Men and the Fantastic Four soon debuting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is hope that the franchise will recover and Marvel Studios will soon be back on top.
Key Release Dates
Captain America: Brave New World
Marvel’s Fantastic Four
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
Avengers: Secret Wars
A new report reveals chaos at Marvel Studios. Read More