MCU phase 4 is nowhere near the benchmark Marvel set with the Infinity Saga. Many fans are criticizing Marvel over this and it’s easy to think that Marvel Studios has lost its standard.
In this post I’ll shed light on some of Marvel Studios strategies for Phase 4 and Phase 5.
The Copyright Battle
The Infinity Saga comprises of Phase 1,2 & 3. It consists a total of 22 movies in the span of 12 years. During this period, Marvel strengthened its position in the field of entertainment and established itself as a Studio coming par with likes of Paramount, New Line Cinemas, Columbia Pictures, etc.
Marvel Studios under the leadership of visionary Kevin Feige soon started to aim bigger. They struck a deal with Disney and came under its banner. With the reputation that Disney carries, Marvel Studios could now easily take back the rights of characters it had sold in the past from Fox, Sony and Netflix.
Finally, Marvel Studios got the rights for X-men, Daredevil and Luke Cage whereas they decided to share the rights for Spiderman with Sony.
This was a very big win for Marvel Studios as this gave them a chance to do more, to do even better.
MCU Phase 4 – The Universe is expanding
Just when fans were grieving the loss Iron Man and sad about never getting to see the Avengers, Kevin Feige dropped a bomb announcing MCU Phase 4.
Note that this in old image and the release dates for most of the projects has changed.
This actually was Marvel’s big step towards introducing itself in the world of Over the Top (OTT) media services. This was a very clever move because just after an year of this announcement, the world was in the clutched of COVID-19. The only thing that kept the world entertained is the amount of OTT platforms and Disney+ was of them.
So, when WandaVision aired, Marvel fans around the world were literally rooting for it.
The Downsides of MCU Phase 4
With the sudden boom of content from Marvel Studios, there comes a few downsides with it. We’re nearing the end of Phase 4 so we’ve already seen these.
MCU Phase 4 may lag behind in:
- Character Development
- Visual Effects
So far you have seen the lack of character development in Shang-Chi and Eternals. Similarly the plot was very weak in Black Widow and Moon Knight. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier had a terrible plot and unstable camera movements during the action scenes.
These kind of mistakes are not expected from Marvel Studios especially after delivering 22 amazing movies. This brings me to the most important question right now which is:
Has Marvel Studios lost its standard?
With the amount of movies and tv shows that Marvel has lined up for the future, it may seem that they have lost it standard.
But still, I wouldn’t say Marvel has lost it’s standard. Marvel Studios is currently experimenting. I think that’s a pretty good move. With 22 movies, it earned its name and fame in Hollywood. So, whatever Marvel Studios does from this point, its projects are going to make profit.
Here’s the upcoming list of movies and TV shows:
- Thor: Love and Thunder – July 8, 2022
- She-Hulk: Attorney at Law – August 17, 2022
- What If – Season 2 – TBD
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – November 11, 2022
- Guardians of The Galaxy: Holiday Special – December 2022
- Antman & The Wasp: Quantumania – February 2023
- Loki – Season 2 (Anticipated not confirmed) – TBD
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3 – May 5, 2023
- The Marvels – July 2023
- Fantastic Four – TBD
Apart from this, there are a few more projects in works such as with no confirmed released dates:
- Deadpool 3
- Armor Wars
- Iron Heart
- Secret Invasion
- Wonder Man
- Doctor Doom
- Marvel Zombies
- Agatha: House of Harkness
Marvel Studios knows very well where each of its project stands in terms of screenplay and story building. To me only a few from the above TV shows seem promising. The fact is obvious:
Marvel is just diversifying its content to target more audience.
MCU Phase 4 – The Dawn of a New Era
When adding a lot of content its no rocket science that many of these projects will be normal and hence they’ll be criticized. Hell, I’ll be the one to do that too. But Kevin Feige knows this.
When you watch any Phase 4 project, you watch it because you have certain expectations because of what Marvel Studios has done in the past. They’ve delivered most of the times.
Iron Man, Captain America & Thor were the three pillars for The Infinity Saga. Their character development was particularly on a different level.
They had an onscreen chemistry and carried it forward until the very end. It’s not just these 3, there are a lot of factors especially the plot and script which were far better for most of the movies.
But what now? After 11 years of being in business, building a reputation of by selling emotions, what does a good brand do? Especially when it’s at its peak? Two words which come to my mind:
Innovate and Expand
That’s another strategy of MCU Phase 4.
Referencing Real World Issues/Fact
One big improvement in MCU Phase 4 is that Marvel is referencing real world issues such as:
- Racism in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
- The partition of India in 1947 in Ms. Marvel
- Dan Cooper reference in Loki
- LGBTQ+ relationship in Eternals and Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness
I think this is going to be a trend that Marvel will adopt and make it the new normal in its upcoming projects as well.
As, we near the end of Phase 4, Marvel Studios will make its comeback in terms of everything. At least that’s what I’m hoping for.
They’ve got some pretty interesting movies lined up and they will probably announce more movies around 2025.
I know we’ve already seen a majority of these shows. But here are some latest Additions:
- Secret Invasion
- Wonder Man
I’ve excluded the X-Men animated show they’re going to do and maybe one more (I think it’s Groot).
Do you notice anything or the absence of something?
They’re missing the Avengers movie. Also, none of the titles are familiar to a layman. Characters like Ms.Marvel and Moon Knight were new to me until a few months ago.
Wonder Man? I learnt about him this morning.
The point I want to make is that Marvel Studios is heading towards untested waters.
Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Captain America were famous characters and hence people knew about them. So, if a sequel movie for any if these characters was coming up, I would be waiting for the tickets to go on sale.
But now, the remaining characters are probably passing the torch to someone else to run this marathon.
Also, as I’ve already mentioned in one of my previous answers Phase 4 is about creating hype than delivering.
Most of these shows/movies aren’t going to work out. Marvel knows it. The character development for will be based more on word building rather than making the character cringe and suffer. The script will have nothing gripping to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
But they can’t stop making movies because they need to try something new.
So, it totally makes sense to not get excited for much of the stuff because nothing is the same now.