The Multiverse Saga has come to the MCU, and with it has come an incredible number of exciting new announcements and first-looks at upcoming projects all the way through Phase 6. San Diego Comic-Con 2022 has proven to be well worth the wait for Marvel fans, and there's plenty to look forward to over the coming years.
While Marvel Studios' return to Comic-Con was always an exciting proposition, there were likely very few who predicted this kind of array of far-reaching announcements. The last time studio president Kevin Feige took the stage to make any sort of announcement, it was for a single Phase, not the three that were outlined and or/completed at SDCC. The panel took an unprecedented look at over three years of MCU projects that stretch tantalizingly towards the capstones of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.
Feige recently spoke about why exactly the studio chose to give such a long view into the future in their SDCC presentation.
The Nature of the MCU is Changing
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige discussed what led him to announce so many projects that span such a long time. According to Feige, the studio is " in a slightly different rhythm now," crediting their presence on Disney+ as enabling them to do more projects in fewer years.
Feige also reflected that the Infinity Saga system of capping off each Phase with an Avengers film was over, and with that, the studio "needed to let people know" about their current plans.
“And it felt like we needed to let people know -- people used to have that guide point of when an Avengers would come to cap the Phase -- it felt like announcing today that the Multiverse Saga and two Avengers films would cap that was something that we needed to share,”
Phase 4 will soon come to an end with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and so too did Marvel's presentation. Feige remarked that talking about the film there "was a beautiful moment." He also touched on the emotional impact of discussing that film, as Chadwick Boseman's loss continues to impact both fans and the studio. “The last time we were all together on that stage, Chad was with us," he said.
A New Model for the Multiverse
While ending Phases with an Avengers film worked well in the Infinity Saga and got fans' favorite heroes together more often, the MCU as a whole has changed a lot in the time since the first Avengers gathered in New York in 2012. Smaller-scale team-ups are becoming significantly more common and have allowed unlikely alliances like (Thor and the Hulk or Spider-Man and Doctor Strange) to bring the interconnectedness of the MCU to life more often.
While the Avengers films are obviously important to the franchise going forward, sticking to a feeling of needing them to cap off Phases was both a narrative restriction and one that limited the scale of the films. Infinity War and Endgame formed an unprecedented duo of mash-ups specifically because they were allowed to be used as a critical story event and not the checking off of a box.
It's clear from the place The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars were put in the timeline that Feige and company understand the value of saving the Avengers movies for collassal events. In the meantime the studio has clearly set out on a path of bringing the ever expanding roster of Marvel heroes into more projects across both TV and cinema.
Quite frankly, if the MCU was still bound by the structure of the early Infinity Saga and didn't have access to Disney+, heroes like Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk would likely never have made it to the screen. This new approach allows so many more stories to be told, both about individual characters and the unlikely allies they make along the way.