The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) seems to be slowly descending into a production mess, much like its less-favoured counterpart DC Extended Universe (DCEU). As Marvel battles the phenomenon of “Marvel fatigue” (or “superhero fatigue” in general) and low openings and poor reviews for its latest installment Ant Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, the studio seems to have now delayed the release dates of their Disney+ shows for this year.
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Quantumania kicked off the MCU’s so-called Phase 5 but…
As is common knowledge among superhero nerds, 2020’s WandaVision kicked off Marvel’s run on streaming and drew extremely positive reactions. However, in the matter of the next two years, the MCU began witnessing a slight drop in quality and even viewership for newer originals like Moon Knight and She-Hulk.
Now, following Ant-Man 3’s underperformance, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 and The Marvels remained the only theatrical releases for the studio with the rest of their calendar focusing on shows like Secret Invasion and Loki Season 2. Tentative release dates for these two titles along with future shows (Daredevil: Born Again, Agatha, Echo, Ironheart, Spider-Man: Freshman Year and others) were already announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2022.
However, as of now, the Disney+ page for these shows have changed the release window simply to “Coming Soon”. Secret Invasion was earlier scheduled to premiere in Spring 2023 while Loki’s sophomore season settled for Summer 2023.
The “Coming Soon” update might possibly not affect the planned release dates. But if in any case, this indicates any production delays, then it leads to a few questions:
But…this is not the only major change within the MCU this week…
Argentine film producer Victoria Alonso has been attached to the MCU since their very first project, the 2008 blockbuster Iron Man. Since then, the openly-queer producer has also had a stint as the President of Physical, Post Production, VFX and Animation at Marvel Studios. As per a report by The Hollywood Reporter, Alonso has now called it quits with Marvel.
An executive producer on most of the MCU movies and shows, Alonso was definitely an integral member in Kevin Fiege’s own team of “Avengers”. But given her attachment to the visual effects side of things, her exit might be connected to the increasing VFX-related criticism that MCU has been facing these days.
Be it Thor: Love & Thunder’s “floating head” to Quantumania’s MODOK, the VFX quality of Marvel’s productions has been falling considerably, triggering endless memes. This is, however, not the VFX teams faults either as many anonymous artists have talked about how MCU tends to overwork and underpay its special effects teams.
Alonso, who doubled as co-producer and visual effects producer on Iron Man, might have been affected by the conditions of the VFX teams and all the recent backlash that the studio has been garnering.
The 57-year-old has not specified her reasons for leaving and even Fiege’s board has issued no official statements. But with Alonso’s exit and its recent struggles, the MCU seems to be in some kind of “Endgame” of its own.