Marvel wants to call in the Avengers again. Variety published a long article about the many woes facing the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from bad CGI to market saturation, and while the piece did its best to shield the company (no mention of its focus on identity politics, making sure to end with a quote calling Kevin Feige “the Babe Ruth of movie executives”), it reveals some fascinating tidbits. One of the biggest – if not the most surprising – is that Marvel is considering bringing back the original Avengers for another movie, which includes “reviving Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow,” both of whom are now dead. Variety admits that Marvel “hasn’t yet committed to the idea” of resurrecting its big guns and that stars like Downey and Johansson won’t come cheap, but this is a good indication of how badly things have spiraled out of control for Marvel.
I don’t think anyone is shocked by this. Rumors have circulated about the old guard returning, and I’ve been predicting it for a while; if public interest wanes, nothing new sticks, and the movies and shows lose money, they’ll eventually have to go back to what works. Some are pointing out that the actors have said they’re not interested in returning, but if Disney ponies up enough cash, they’ll suddenly remember how much fun it was to be a superhero. And they’re in a fantastic position now; not only are they big names, but they know Marvel needs them a lot more than they need Marvel (except maybe Chris Evans). Variety’s article suggests that Marvel will finally make use of their Fox acquisitions as well, particularly the X-Men and the Fantastic Four; they’d be wise to use the Avengers to springboard that phase of the MCU, which is probably what Secret Wars will be. Like a lot of things Marvel promises, this is something I want to be excited for, but after the last few years, I’m more worried that the Avengers will be humiliated and tossed aside than that they’ll have the heroic comeback they deserve.