Kevin Feige offers lots of Marvel Cinematic Universe phase 5 updates

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Marvel’s head honcho Kevin Feige offers a few juicy tidbits, as the studio looks to chart a path to less choppy waters. 

Marvel Studios continues to find itself in tricky territory on the eve of its fifth phase, heralded by the launch of Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania. Following a somewhat mixed reception to much of the studio’s Phase Four output, reviews for Quantumania have not been kind (you can catch ours here) and MCU boss, Kevin Feige finds himself in the unfamiliar position of having to continually right and increasingly wayward franchise.

The studio really can’t afford another limply-received series of films and shows, especially given that Phase Five is the point when things are supposed to ramp up and raise expectations for the major crossover films heading our way in 2025 and beyond. At the moment, the discussion is focused around whether the films can maintain audience interest until then in the same way that they did during earlier phases.

Feige is banging the drum for Phase Five though, recently sitting down with EW to discuss some upcoming tidbits about what we might expect.

Here’s a brief rundown of the updates.

Firstly, it looks like the structure, pacing and frequency of Disney+ shows will be changing. Moving forwards, expect to see fewer of them, with the shows now taking on a more episodic slant. “The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine,” Feige explained.  When asked if that means fewer shows or if that meant them being more spaced out, he responded: “Both, I think”.

As for making shows that are more episodic in nature, Feige pointed to the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again series, saying “we want to do shows that can only be shows. I want to continue to make them even more episodic, which may seem counterintuitive. But I do think there is something fun about leaning back and watching an episode that can be relatively self-contained.”

Both changes here potentially point to an acknowledgement on Marvel Studios’ behalf that these shows aren’t landing with audiences as well as they’d hoped. Scaling them back in frequency is a play that Marvel’s sister company, Lucasfilm is attempting with the Star Wars franchise, and seems like an admission (despite Feige’s public protestations to the contrary) that superhero fatigue is real.

In other news, we find out that Harrison Ford’s Thaddeus Ross has now been upgraded to the President of the United States of America in the MCU, something we’ll get to see in the upcoming Captain America: New World Order.

Says Feige: “This is certainly a big part for Thaddeus Ross. He’s the president of the United States in the film. And with Harrison, you think about Air Force One, and you think about some of his confrontations with the president in Clear and Present Danger. There’s a dynamic between President Ross and Sam Wilson. They have a history together, but in this film, we’ll be seeing the dynamic between Captain America and the president of the United States in a way that is just incredible.”

Feige also offered brief updates on other projects. He confirmed that Spider-Man 4 is on the way, for instance. It was also revealed by Feige that more Moon Knight could be happening, whilst the upcoming Disney+ show, Secret Invasion will differ in tone to Captain Marvel and Ms Marvel, despite being a direct sequel to both.

Oh, and Mahershala Ali’s Blade goes before the cameras in ten weeks and we can expect to hear more about Matt Shakman’s Fantastic Four project ‘soon’.

It’s not that often that Feige pops up to offer so many details on the future of the MCU, especially not at once. The studio clearly still has grand designs on monopolising cinemas for a long time to come, but in the short term it is probably just hoping to get a well-reviewed film out at some point in 2023.

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