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Bob Iger Defends Marvel, But Admits to Multiple Project Cancellations

Bob Iger Marvel fatigue canceled projects
Credit: Marvel/Thomas Hawk, Flickr

In retrospect, it makes perfect sense to watch as Bob Iger defends Marvel Studios…

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Credit: Steven Lozano, Unsplash

In 2009, The Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel Entertainment for a whopping $4 billion. That purchase led to the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and some of the most successful superhero films ever.

In just 15 years, Disney and Marvel have produced 3o superhero films that, collectively, have made nearly $30 billion at the box office. The purchase of Marvel Entertainment could definitely be considered one of Bob Iger’s most successful deals as Disney CEO.

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Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Drops ‘Kang’ Movie, Jonathan Majors Vows to Clear Name

Despite Marvel’s success for more than a decade, the studio has seen some major hiccups lately. In 2021, Scarlett Johansson sued Disney and Marvel for breach of contract because her movie, Black Widow, had been released in theaters and on Disney+ on the same day.

Johansson was a Marvel staple, and the lawsuit was shocking. She starred in many Marvel films, including Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Black Widow

Credit: Marvel

Related: MCU Director Discusses New Stories and New Villains

In addition to the lawsuit from Johansson, Black Widow was a box office flop. But that movie isn’t the only flop Marvel has seen recently. That same year, Eternals (2021) also flopped. And 2023 has not been kind to the studio either; Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania failed miserably at the box office, and The Marvels had Marvel Studios’ worst opening weekend ever.

But Bob Iger is continuing to defend the studio’s decision to pump out superhero movies, as well as shows made for Disney+.

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Credit: Marvel Studios, Disney

On March 5, Iger spoke at a conference hosted by Morgan Stanley and was asked about Marvel’s recent struggles.

A lot of people think it’s audience fatigue, it’s not audience fatigue. They want great films. And if you build it great, they will come and there are countless examples of that. Some are ours and some are others. Oppenheimer is a perfect example of that. Just a fantastic film. Focus is really important. We reduced the output of Marvel, both number of films they make, and the number of TV shows, and that really becomes critical, but I feel good about the team. I feel good about the IP we’re making. I talked about a lot of the projects. We look years ahead, really. And it’s iterative.

Not only do you look at the films you’re making, you you look at every part of that process, who the directors are, who’s being cast, reading scripts, I personally watch films three to five times with the team and just create a culture of excellence and respect which is really important with the creative community. And again, the track record speaks for itself.

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Credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

However, Iger admitted that the company has had to take a more critical look at its planned projects. He also admitted that the studio had canceled several projects it did not feel confident in. However, he did not say what those projects were.

“You have to kill things you no longer believe in, and that’s not easy in this business, because either you’ve gotten started, you have some sunk costs, or it’s a relationship with either your employees or with the creative community,” Iger said. “It’s not an easy thing, but you got to make those tough calls. We’ve actually made those tough calls. We’ve not been that public about it, but we’ve killed a few projects already, that we just didn’t feel were strong enough.”

Black Panther

Credit: Marvel

Related: Disney Abandons Another Fan-Favored Marvel Plan

Marvel only has one film scheduled for release in 2024 — Deadpool & Wolverine. However, there are four slated to be released in 2025 — Captain America: Brave New World, Thunderbolts, The Fantastic Four, and Blade. Until then, we can only wait and see as Bob Iger defends Marvel.

Do you think Marvel is making too many movies? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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