Arrowverse Creator Says Marvel Needs to Reboot the MCU

By Klein Felt Posted:
Marvel Avengers Arrowverse

One of the creators of DC's uber-popular Arrowverse has urged Marvel to reboot the MCU

After more than a decade of crafting interconnected super-powered stories for the blue brand, Arrowverse heads Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim have put the TV universe to rest, amid a widespread reboot at DC. 

And just because the pair have spent the last few years working with DC, that does not mean they do not love comic heroes and stories from across the Marvel/DC divide. 

The two have even been attached to some Marvel projects in the past, with one of them at one point being reportedly tapped to help Sony Pictures out with its burgeoning Spider-Man universe

Arrowverse Creator Wants MCU Reboot

Avengers Endgame poster

In a recent interview, Arrowverse co-creator Marc Guggenheim revealed he thinks Marvel should look into rebooting the MCU. 

Appearing on The Aarthi and Sriram Show, Guggenheim discussed Marvel Studios' lackluster results since Avengers: Endgame, saying he would "prune the tree" if he were in charge:

"If I was suddenly in [Marvel Studios President] Kevin Feige's role, basically I would do what Iger was saying, which is prune the tree. You know, there's just too much content. I'm like the biggest Marvel nerd ever, and I haven't seen Moon Knight. I just can't keep up. There's just too much content."

He added that the key to the MCU's previous success was its "fundamentally [very] simple" stories, being able to jump in without seeing any of the prior films:

"And then of course like Iger was saying, there's a question of how much content can you produce at quality. To me the difference between Phase 4 and Phases 1 through 3 is fundamentally something very simple, which is you could even be watching 'Infinity War' without having seen the prior X number of movies."

This came in stories like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Black Panther, according to Guggenheim, where the movies were their own stories while also "[setting] the foundation for things:"

"Like you mentioned 'Winter Soldier.' 'Winter Soldier' was its own movie with a beginning, middle, and end. And yet, that movie set the foundation for things that, you know it didn't deal with Infinity Stones, but it did deal with Hydra and SHEILD and Steve Rogers' relationship with the government and the Winter Soldier. There were alot of pieces. And same thing with 'Black Panther.' 'Black Panther' works great as a movie beginning, middle, and end, even though it's setting up this whole world of Wakanda that figures very large in 'Infinity War.'"

He compared those previous films to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where audiences "had to watch - not a movie - another TV show" for everything to make sense:

"Compare that with 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' where in order to understand the villain of the movie, you had to watch - not a movie - another TV show. A TV show that you had to spend money to subscribe to the service that aired it. That's the problem. Each of these movies in Phases 1 through 3, they all stood on their own. Look I get it. "

The Arrowverse co-creator said that what the MCU is going through right now is the same thing that Marvel and DC comics previously went through. He continued, "I think of these universes like ships" that sail for long periods of time collecting barnacles, and sometimes it is important to "do some sort of reboot that scrapes off the barnacles:"

"That's the problem. Each of these movies in Phases 1 through 3, they all stood on their own. Look I get it. I think honestly what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going through right now is the same discovery that Marvel print universe and the DC print universe also went through. Which is - I think of these universes like ships, and the longer a ship sails, the more barnacles get attached to its hull, and the more that weighs down the ship and the more it effects how fast the ship can move through the water. And every now and again, you need to do some sort of reboot that scrapes off the barnacles, like 'Crisis on Infinite Earths.'"

The DC creative pointed out that there is a reason "Marvel [is bringing] back the Ultimate [Comics] Universe," where a reader can dive into heroes like Spider-Man without being encumbered by "60 years of continuity:"

"I mean not for nothing, because obviously DC is much older than Marvel is, not for nothing has DC had all these reboots over the years. And, by the way, not for nothing does Marvel bring back the Ultimate Universe, because the whole appeal of the Ultimate Universe is for those readers who either don't want to or haven't learned 60 years of continuity, here's Spider-Man for you unencumbered. Here's Fantastic Four for you unencumbered."

His best guess is that is where Marvel Studios is heading with Avengers: Secret Wars, where the MCU can hopefully "end up pruning the tree:"

"And my guess is what they are building up with Phase 4 is - the 'Secret Wars' that they've announced is not the 'Secret Wars' of the 1980's, it's Jonathan Hickman's 'Secret Wars' which basically was sort of like a reset for the Marvel Universe. So, I think they are gonna, if they do what I expect them to do, they will end up pruning the tree, as I said."

Should the MCU Get Rebooted?

The conversation around an MCU reboot is not a new one. As the franchise has soldiered on in the wake of its Infinity Saga-ending culmination Avengers: Endgame, many have wondered if the franchise has gotten too big for its britches. 

And if this "pruning the tree" is going to happen, Secret Wars feels like the right place for it to happen. 

Seeing as Secret Wars is the Multiverse story of all Multiverse stories, it could be a great opportunity for Marvel Studios to pick and choose what it wants to keep moving forward into whatever comes next after the Multiverse Saga.

This would be the most likely scenario. Maybe the MCU gets trimmed back after Avengers 6, but never fully rebooted.

What happened in the Secret Wars comic story resulted in one cohesive universe arriving on the Marvel Comics page, taking the best parts of the traditional Marvel Comics Universe and the Ultimate Universe. 

So, while a reboot may be in store for the MCU, it will likely be more in this line of thinking, than a full reset, start from the beginning again story. 

Avengers: Secret Wars is set to hit theaters on May 7, 2026. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.