Marvel Finally Admits That Less Can Be More

We’re all so tired.

Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe changed how movie franchises were made. After waiting decades for Star Wars to return to theaters, or even just a single year for the latest in the Harry Potter series, the MCU amped things up by releasing multiple installments in a single year. Marvel first released two blockbusters in 2008, and by 2011, which saw both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, a pattern had been established.

We’ve had multiple Marvel movies almost every year since. Other than 2012, which was reserved for The Avengers, and 2020, which was reserved for a global plague, two Marvel movies on one calendar became the bare minimum fans expected, and more wasn’t unheard of. Now, that’s finally changing, as executives realize they may have made a terrible mistake.

Louis D'Esposito and Kevin Feige are pivoting to a more scaled-down MCU.

Variety/Penske Media/Getty Images

In an interview with Empire Magazine, Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito revealed that the days of three movie years are well and truly over. “Maybe when you do too much, you dilute yourself a little bit,” says D’Esposito. “We’re not going to do that anymore. We learned our lesson.”

That lesson was on full display in the lackluster performance of several recent Marvel movies, resulting in the franchise shifting directions and the term “superhero fatigue” becoming synonymous with the MCU. Between Marvel’s retooling and the delays brought on by last year’s writers’ and actors’ strikes, only one Marvel movie is slated for release in 2024: Deadpool’s MCU debut, Deadpool & Wolverine.

Deadpool & Wolverine may rewrite the MCU timeline, and start a new release trend.

Marvel Studios

According to fellow co-president Kevin Feige, that’s actually a relief. “It’s nice to be able to rally behind one feature project this year,” he told Empire. “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.”

That may sound like Feige is trying to spin years of lousy headlines, but regardless, it looks like what was previously the bare minimum will now become the norm: two movies a year. Disney CEO Bob Iger floated the ominous possibility of three, but the heady days of 2021, which saw four Marvel movies come out in a single year, are over. From now on, we can only hope Marvel emphasizes quality over quantity.

Deadpool & Wolverine premieres in theaters July 26, 2024.

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