Marvel is reportedly freaking out. After suffering a box office catastrophe with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania amid a growing sense of “superhero fatigue” after pumping out too many streaming shows on Disney+, the studio is reportedly scrambling behind-the-scenes to restore its position as the must-see pop culture dynamo.
Compounding the problem: Marvel has bet big on Jonathan Majors as Kang, the next Thanos-level threat to the rapidly expanding MCU. However, Majors was arrested on domestic violence charges shortly after Quantumania hit theaters. The actor is contesting the charges in court, but it has left a PR mess to contend with for the better part of the year as Marvel reportedly contemplates a recast.
There’s also a notable lack of excitement surrounding The Marvels, the next Marvel film set to hit theaters next week. Thanks to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, the studio has been unable to leverage its three leads to help drum up heat at the box office. The Marvels is tracking way below expectations as Marvel continues to watch its once-guaranteed box office power diminish.
How can Marvel pull itself out of a tailspin? According to a new report, the studio is banking on bringing the X-Men into the fold to get audiences excited again.
The key to reinvigorating Marvel may lie with the superhero arsenal that Disney acquired during its 2019 purchase of 21st Century Fox. That deal brought several blue-chip heroes, such as the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, back under the studio’s control. Already fans are geeking out about next year’s “Deadpool 3,” which unites Ryan Reynolds’ merc with a mouth with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, and a reboot of “Fantastic Four” slated for 2025. As a bonus, the Fox additions give Feige an opportunity to reimagine the “X-Men” franchise, the very property he cut his teeth on as a young executive at Lauren Shuler Donner’s production company.
Obviously, Deadpool 3 is a major sign that Marvel is willing to go big on leveraging the Fox films to revitalize the MCU. But the studio also made a surprising move in a new promo for The Marvels. The 15-second spot lit social media on fire by leaning heavily on the letter “X” as its characters warned of a different reality crashing into the MCU.
The Marvels play was a savvy move by Marvel that seemingly supports Variety reporting on the X-Men being a much-needed balm to soothe the studio’s woes.