As Walt Disney Studios executive Alan Horn thinks Marvel fans will show up for years to come. The Disney isn’t shying away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon. The MCU is finishing out a blockbuster year that introduced the world to Captain Marvel, delivered another adventure with Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home, and concluded the massive Infinity Saga with Avengers: Endgame.
This year, Marvel also worked out a deal with Sony to share Spider-Man for another MCU appearance and solo film and announced several upcoming movie releases. The studio is also gearing up for the launch of the new streaming service Disney+. Which will feature several original shows with characters from the MCU.
In 2020, Marvel will finally release a standalone Black Widow film, which will feature Rachel Weisz as a fellow Black Widow to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha. Eternals will be that year’s only other MCU film. Before the studio roles out a more aggressive release strategy in 2021. Over the summer, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that Eternals features an openly gay hero. Marvel also made headlines at San Diego Comic-Con in July when the studio brought Natalie Portman onstage to reveal that she’ll play Mighty Thor in 2021’s Thor: Love and Thunder. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will also return for that film.
In a THR roundtable with several other film executives. Horn, who works as Disney’s chief creative officer and co-chairman, weighed in on the future of the MCU. In response to a question about whether there will ever come a time when fans abandon Marvel films, Horn responded, “The answer is no. If the film has a compelling storyline. If it has heart and humor, two things that I insist on, and it’s terrifically well executed. I think there is an audience.” Though Horn’s answer was definitive. He acknowledged the unpredictability of the film industry, following up with, “But who knows?” Considering Marvel’s ambitious release strategy in the coming years. The studio seems to be banking on MCU fans continuing to show up.
The longevity of the MCU has come into question lately as many directors have come out against the films. It began earlier this month when Martin Scorsese compared the Marvel movies to “theme parks.” He went on to say “It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.” Other directors came out to support Scorsese’s comments, though many MCU directors, such as Joss Whedon, disagreed. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn shared his feelings on Twitter, saying that he “was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way.” Samuel L. Jackson, Portman, and other actors known for their roles in the MCU also defended the films.
Despite the recent criticism, Disney is probably smart to bet on the MCU. Even the less popular Marvel movies bring in impressive box office totals, giving the studio some leeway for failure. A huge chunk of the Marvel fan base would have to turn on the films before Disney saw any losses. It helps that films like Black Panther and Wonder Woman helped revive the superhero genre as fatigue was setting in. If Horn and Disney are correct, then MCU fans will support the films for many years to come