Marvel Studios Boss Confirms 1 Key Change to Upcoming MCU Projects Amid Disney Cutbacks

By David Thompson Posted:
Sebastian Stan, Marvel Studios logo

Changes are being made behind the scenes at Marvel Studios, including developing more projects than will go into production and be released.

CEO Bob Iger recently addressed how the studio is revamping its approach to film production, particularly at Marvel Studios, aiming to enhance quality over quantity. 

This move follows fan concerns over the dilution of focus at Marvel due to the expansion into television content alongside increased movie output. 

With the 2020s of the MCU being viewed as a downgrade from the Infinity Saga, Disney and Marvel will continue to alter their creative and business processes.

Marvel To Develop More Than It Will Produce

Marvel Studios Avengers characters
Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios ' Head of Streaming, Television, and Animation, Brad Winderbaum, confirmed a key change to the MCU's development process.

During an interview with Comicbook, Winderbaum stated that a "new system" is in place to reduce the number of projects produced.

He also mentioned that they will work "more like a traditional studio now" where Marvel Studios will purposefully be "developing more than [they] actually will produce:"

"We have a new system behind the scenes at Marvel Studios... We're more like a traditional studio now, we're developing more than we actually will produce..."

This is a notable change from Marvel Studios' previous strategy utilized during the Infinity Saga and even through Phase 4 (which included 15 series and films over two years), as virtually every project that the studio developed with story and script work would be filmed and ultimately released.

In addition, Winderbaum spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed that, initially, they could "create whatever we wanted to launch Disney+ and to have a home for new Marvel." But now, they will be "more judicious with our choices:"

"Yes, certainly the world has shifted. The original idea was that we can create whatever we wanted to launch Disney+ and to have a home for new Marvel ideas to take place. And now we do have to be a little bit more judicious with our choices."

He added that TV is "liberating" because of its longer form, giving viewers a chance to "see how [characters] can blossom in unexpected ways."

For those concerned about Marvel taking not enough risks in the future, Winderbaum confirmed they can "still be a little bit more experimental" on Disney+:

"But one thing that’s liberating about television is, because it’s a longer form and it takes place over more time and is not just two hours, we are able to look at the Marvel characters and see how they can blossom in unexpected ways. So we can still be a little bit more experimental and take some risks, but like anything else, you learn as you go.

The executive reiterated the idea that "characters are still at the core of everything" Marvel does, and their "guiding principle" still revolves around their heroes:

"We’ve always known this, but one thing I’ve learned that’s really true is that the characters are still at the core of everything we do. Creating entertaining, fun-to-watch characters that can teach empathy and hold a mirror up to the audience and become an emotional conduit for people, that’s still our guiding principle."

[ Disney Announces Major Cutback of Movies: Will Marvel Cancel Phase 6 Film Plans? ]

What Do Marvel Studios Cutbacks Mean for Future Projects?

It has quickly become no secret that Bob Iger wants to get Marvel Studios back into a similar mindset during the glory days of the 2010s.

The ambush of Disney+ content didn't work. Many fans enjoyed some of the shows, but casual watchers lost interest due to the expanded volume.

Moving forward, not only will quality be prioritized over quantity, but a focus on its core foundational heroes will also take precedence.

2024 is the rebuilding year, with Deadpool and Wolverine as the only MCU film hitting theaters this year. This is the perfect opportunity to give fans time to catch up on vital content like Loki Season 2 and remember what it's like to practice patience for a Marvel project.

Regardless of its pedal-to-the-metal Disney+ mindset, Marvel is also dealing with the criminal charges and subsequent firing of Jonathan Majors, who was heavily involved in future plans as the universe's new lead antagonist, Kang.

Avengers 5, no longer titled The Kang Dynasty, is in danger of underperforming at the box office. A few years ago, Disney and Marvel would've never considered this possibility.

As such, everything Marvel Studios does from now until then will be to re-establish faith with the fan community and draw more general audiences back in.

The Marvels is the lowest-earning MCU film ever, so no one should be surprised by any drastic behind-the-scenes changes.

- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.