Is Marvel making too many sequels?
That question has not come up very often in the past — generally all of Marvel’s movies, and most of its sequels, have been big hits. But recently some of Marvel’s sequels have not been very well received. Thor: Love & Thunder did not fare nearly as well with critics as Thor: Ragnarok, and it grossed about $90 million less worldwide to boot. And Marvel’s latest big-screen release, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has earned some of the worst reviews in Marvel’s history and now looks like it will not even gross as much worldwide as Ant-Man and the Wasp, despite its much bigger stakes and setting (and likely budget) and the debut of the new Marvel mega-villain, Kang the Conqueror.
Apparently, the question of Marvel’s sequel output is something that Disney’s newly-returned CEO Bob Iger has been thinking about as well. At an appearance this week at a tech conference (via Deadline), Iger said that Marvel has “a lot more stories to tell” thanks to its enormous library of thousands of characters.
“What we have to look at at Marvel is not necessarily the volume of Marvel stories we’re telling,” he added, “but how many times we go back to the well on certain characters. Sequels typically work well for us. Do you need a third and a fourth, for instance, or is it time to turn to other characters?”
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Marvel currently has nine officially announced movies on its upcoming slate. Of those nine, six are sequels: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Marvels, Captain America: New World Order, Deadpool 3, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, and Avengers: Secret Wars. And of the three “original” movies, two are remakes that were produced previously by other studios (Blade and Fantastic Four). And the third original, Thunderbolts, is kind of a sequel too, since it largely features characters who’ve appeared in other Marvel shows and films like Bucky Barnes, Black Widow, Red Guardian, and U.S. Agent.
We’ll have to see whether these comments are reflected in what Marvel announces for the rest of Phase Six and beyond. Frankly, Iger’s thoughts may mean less than you might assume; he’s only supposed to remain Disney CEO for a few more years, and Marvel has already announced their upcoming slate through the spring of 2026. By then, another CEO will likely be in charge, and could have different ideas about where the MCU should go next.
The next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, due in theaters on
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