Bob Iger Gets Real About Marvel Sequels, Whether There’s Fatigue And What’s Next For The MCU

Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

After more than 10 years and over two dozen films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still going strong. Having said that, not every Marvel movie has been the all-encompassing blockbuster that we were once used to seeing from the studio. Some have wondered if we’re finally hitting the dreaded “superhero fatigue.” Disney CEO Bob Iger certainly doesn’t think that the MCU needs to slow down, though he does seem to think that putting the brakes on certain characters might be worthwhile.

While Phase 4 of the MCU included several brand new characters, the last few theatrical projects have been sequels, and while some have done well, others, like most recently Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, have perhaps not performed to expectations. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Bob Iger may have been referring to that movie when he said that, while sequels certainly tend to do well, there may be a limit on how many of them each character in the MCU should get. Iger said…

Sequels typically worked well for us. Do you need a third and a fourth, for instance? Or is it time to turn to other characters?

Quantumania was the third movie in the Ant-Man series and last year we saw the fourth Thor movie, the first MCU character to get four solo projects. While it’s difficult to call either film a flop in any sense of the word, neither MCU entry was able to match the box office of their previous installments. That’s likely seen as a disappointment since each of those films, Ant-Man 2 and Thor 3, outperformed the movies that came before them.

But it sounds like Bob Iger doesn’t think this is a Marvel problem, but a problem with going back to the well too often with these specific characters. Instead, it sounds like the secret to the MCU in his mind is variety. There are so many characters to choose from, and going forward we’ll see a lot of new characters, and even when we get the next Avengers movie, it won’t look like the previous ones. Iger said…

There’s nothing in any way inherently off in terms of the Marvel brand. I think we just have to look at what characters and stories we’re mining, and you look at the trajectory of Marvel over the next five years, you’ll see a lot of newness. We’re going to turn back to the Avengers franchise, but with a whole different set of Avengers.

There certainly is a lot of “newness” on the slate. While in the short term, among upcoming Marvel movies, we will see a couple more big sequels in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Marvels, we’ll also get variations on franchise characters like the first Captain America movie that stars Anthony Mackie, and a Thunderbolts movie, bringing previously established characters into a new team. We’ll also get entirely new character introductions like Blade and the Fantastic Four

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.