Somewhat adrift and feeling rudderless, post-Endgame, the MCU showed some occasional signs of life through things like Hawkeye and the season 2 finale of Loki. However, The Marvels blew through all that and returned the former franchise king of the cinema back to square one with its disastrous box office. That is not the only issue the MCU has to deal with right now. So where to start?
Jonathan Majors was the next big bad guy of the franchise. His Kang was weaved in through Loki and Ant-Man ready to step in and up as the new Thanos for the next two phases. His well-publicized public legal issues have made Disney and Marvel Studios perhaps go cold on him, along with weak fan reaction to the character. Rumors are swirling that the MCU may step away from Kang and look to Doctor Doom instead.
This rumor may have gained some traction late yesterday when it was reported that Avengers: The Kang Dynasty director Destin Daniel Cretton has left the project. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania scribe Jeff Loveness wrote a draft of Kang Dynasty before the strike and was expected to start work again, but another unconfirmed rumor says he is out too.
This could be a clearing of the decks of all involved in the Kang approach to make way for the big change in creative direction. The well-received final episode of Loki could be interpreted as the God of Mischief sacrificing his happiness to replace He Who Remains as the guardian of the sacred timeline, therefore preventing the multiversal war caused by all the Kang variants that was warned about. Has Kang been defeated early so Doom is in play?
Doctor Doom means the Fantastic Four, so how are things going over there?
Not well, either. Apparently, the two studio favorites for the role of Reed Richards were Adam Driver and Jake Gyllenhall (somehow returning after portraying Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home). They have been unable to secure either of these actors as their wage demands were too high. The studio is under pressure to reduce budgets, including talent fees.
Screen tests by Christopher Abbott and Jamie Dornan were not good. Instead, the studio is said to be looking at Pedro Pascal and talks have started.
The InSneider newsletter from scooper Jeff Sneider says Vanessa Kirby remains top of the list for Sue Storm, with Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things) as Johnny Storm and Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Bear) as Ben Grimm. Javier Bardem is being eyed to play Galactus, if the schedule can be worked out.
Finally, what of the X-Men? Well, the much-teased moment that “…changes everything” for the MCU from the post-credits scene in The Marvels has been met online with widespread derision, so while all their plans are up in the air, Marvel is rumored to be trying to work out where to go next with that sub-franchise.
You know (former smartest man alive) Kevin Feige should know… if you can’t get the system going and play is breaking down, you put your foot on the ball. Stop, slow down, breathe, and think. What you don’t do is push on with three TV series and three movies every year for two phases so everyone and everything is tripping over themselves and each other.
Check back every day for movie news and reviews at the Last Movie Outpost