Disney may be trying to combat “superhero fatigue” in addition to cutting costs. A week ago, Bob Iger talked about “curating” the company’s top brands.
“In additionally[sic] we are going to lean more into our franchises, our core franchises, and our brands. I talked about curation in general entertainment. We have to be better at curating the Disney, and the Pixar, and the Marvel, and the Star Wars of it all.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, that curation is starting on Disney+, which has been deluged with (almost universally awful) Marvel content over the past couple of years, with plenty more announced. According to their sources:
“… Loki season two and the Samuel L. Jackson-led Secret Invasion are the only sure bets to debut this year. Even projects that wrapped months ago, such as the Hawkeye spinoff Echo and Wakanda Forever spinoff Ironheart, are unlikely to arrive in 2023 as the studio spreads out its content and tinkers in postproduction. And shows in development, such as Nova, are now on a slower path.”
When you spend a ton of money for little return, this is the result. And despite what the atrocious CGI and kindergarten-level writing would have you believe, these shows aren’t cheap. The two they’re saving are the ones likeliest to be popular; for some ungodly reason, people seemed to like season 1 of Loki, and Secret Invasion stars Samuel L. Jackson and Daenerys Targaryen, and it’s likely important for some upcoming Marvel movies.
Speaking of which, we learned today that this isn’t just about television. Look what Brie Larson, everyone’s favorite ray of sunshine, tweeted:
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) February 17, 2023
In addition to showcasing a new poster for the film (which, I’m sure, will sell like hotcakes), it confirms that The Marvels is being delayed for five months, from July to November. On the one hand, this is in keeping with Disney “spread[ing] out its content,” but I’d be surprised if we don’t hear about reshoots soon. What makes this so funny is what Kevin Feige said in that interview with Entertainment Weekly (which I talked about here). He said that seeing the three women on-screen together in The Marvels is “only akin to the first Avengers movie and seeing the six of them together in a frame. It’s chill-inducing.” Beyond the notion that anyone on Earth would feel that way, it’s hard not to laugh at seeing that statement followed by “and we’re gonna need a few months to rejigger it.”
Not to get too wrapped up in kicking them while they’re down, but I think we’ll see more announcements like this, as well as see some projects get canceled. They mentioned Nova, for example; I forgot they were even making that show. Ironheart and Echo are already in the can, but I can see things like Agatha Harkness falling by the wayside. As for movies, Blade is the most likely to be dropped. It’s had so much trouble already, and while Mahershala Ali is great, Wesley Snipes is beloved in that role, and many were hoping they’d bring him back.
In terms of “inker[ing] in preproduction,” aside from de rigueur reshoots on movies, it would be wonderful if this means they’ll rethink Daredevil: Born Again. You need money, and you need viewers, so maybe drop all the goofy garbage nobody wants and just make a proper continuation of the show everyone loved. Not that I’m confident it’ll happen; The Hollywood Reporter says:
“Disney insiders have acknowledged recent box office woes were exacerbated by confusion in the marketplace from families who were trained during the pandemic just to wait for animated features to end up on Disney+.”
Is this spin, or do they seriously refuse to learn anything? They always point the finger at the pandemic, and I’m starting to wonder if they’re trying to make themselves look better or sticking their heads in the sand out of arrogance. The pandemic didn’t “train” anyone to stay away from the movies; your lousy movies trained people to stay away from the movies. People flocked to theaters to see things that looked good; they stayed away for trash they saw coming a mile away. More importantly, when they liked a movie, they went back to see it again and told their friends about it, whereas the bad ones saw massive drop-offs in subsequent weeks.
But there is some evidence that they might have learned the right lessons behind closed doors, specifically because in that very same earnings call, Iger announced sequels to Toy Story, Frozen, and Zootopia, proven franchise hits (Lightyear notwithstanding). If that translates to Marvel, it could bolster my thesis that the characters and types of movies people love – as many of them as possible – will be coming back before the Avengers assemble again.