With Marvel’s first three phases, the commitment was essentially two films a year. Sure there were series available for those who wanted them, but they had no bearing on the films and weren’t required for viewing.
With the current fourth and upcoming fifth and sixth phases though, that’s changed and is now clocking in at around 3-4 films per year and 4-6 series of around 6-9 episodes each. That’s a lot of product, enough it’s turning away some more casual viewers whilst reviews for the projects in the recent phase were rather muted with talk swirling of “quality dip”.
Appearing on Vulture’s Into It podcast, “Watchmen” and “The Leftovers” showrunner Damon Lindelof has offered an easy solution that sticks by the mantra less is more:
“It’s always going to be hard because once you’ve got someone’s attention, you want to keep it. So the idea of letting it go and not knowing if you’re ever going to get it back again is sort of like, it’s antithetical to the way that we’re wired.
From a slightly sort of more cynical standpoint, this is a business. It’s an industry. And if you make a couple of great Marvel movies, the instinct is, ‘We need to make more Marvel movies, and we need to expand this.’ And I have this sort of interior feeling of like,’Wow, I wish they made less because it would make each one that came out a little bit more special. But I watch all of them. … People don’t want things to end. I do.”
Lindelof, however is well aware of the current state of the entertainment industry and its fixation of megafranchise, and how he himself has benefitted from that:
“I don’t begrudge them the right to keep it going. I’ve made prequels and sequels and reboots, so I can’t be a hypocrite and say, ‘God, come up with an original idea.’ Meanwhile, I’m making two ‘Star Trek’ movies and ‘Prometheus.’”
One person who is standing up for the glut of new Marvel content is “She-Hulk: Attorney At Law” star Mark Ruffalo. Asked by Metro UK about the studio potentially releasing too much, Ruffalo says he doesn’t think so:
“It’s not something I worry about. I understand that these things run their course and then something else comes along. But the thing Marvel has done well is that, inside the MCU, just as they do with comic books, they let a director or an actor sort of recreate each piece to their own style, their likeness. Marvel generally lets them bring that to the material.
If you watch a ‘Star Wars,’ you’re pretty much going to get the same version of ‘Star Wars’ each time. It might have a little bit of humor. It might have a little bit of different animation. But you’re always, really, in that same kind of world. But with Marvel, you can have a whole different feeling, even within the Marvel Universe.”
Whilst Marvel shows do offer a larger span of genres than the “Star Wars” franchise, it remains fairly surface level as complaints about the sameness of works in the MCU, from their visual looks to their pacing, remain.
“She-Hulk: Attorney At Law” is the next MCU work on the way, that series launching this coming Thursday, August 18th. The “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” film opens in November whilst two TV specials – a Halloween-themed one and a “Guardians of the Galaxy” Christmas-themed one – arrive before the year’s out.