A new report claims Loki writer Michael Waldron recently renewed his deal with The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios after Disney CEO Bob Iger called into question the quality of Marvel Studios productions both at the movies and on television.
Iger recently appeared at a Morgan Stanley conference  where he said, “What we have to look at at Marvel is not necessarily the volume of Marvel storytelling, but how many times we go back to the well on certain characters.”
He continued, “Sequels typically work well for us, but do you need a third or a fourth, for instance? Or is it time to turn to other characters? There’s nothing in any way inherently off in terms of the Marvel brand. I think we just have to look at what characters and stories we are mining.”
“And if you look at the trajectory of Marvel over the next five years, you’ll see a lot of newness,” Iger added. “Now, we’re going to turn back to the Avengers franchise, but with a whole set of different Avengers, as an example.”
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From there Iger pivoted to a brief discussion on Star Wars before noting quality at Marvel might be lacking. He said, “You know, there’s so much consumer choice right now, and it comes back to, What is differentiated? That’s one thing obviously we have talked about, is those brands: Star Wars, Marvel and Disney and Pixar, for instance. But quality is also a differentiator.”
“I think HBO proved that well, you know, in their halcyon days when high-quality programming made a big difference, and not volume,” he added. “And because the streaming platforms require so much volume, one has to question whether that’s the right direction to go, or if you can be more curated, more — I used the word ‘judicious’ a few times — but I guess, more picky about what you’re making, and to concentrate on quality and not volume.”
Iger’s comments on the quality of Marvel films and shows came in the wake of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania suffering at the box office and performing worse than Ant-Man and the Wasp without even factoring in inflation.
The film has only grossed $200.1 million domestically and another $249.2 million internationally for a global gross of $449.3 million. It’s unlikely to break $500 million globally and thus lose money given its reported production budget was $200 million and films typically need to earn 2.5 times their production budget to break even factoring in marketing costs, exchange rates, and theater cuts among other costs.
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On top of Iger’s comments, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed the studio would be cutting back on its Disney+ shows. He told Entertainment Weekly , “We want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand above. So, people will see that as we get further into Phase 5 and 6. The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine.”
When asked if he would be spacing them out or putting out fewer shows per year, he responded, “Both, I think.”
Later in the interview he would reveal, “I think when we are doing about eight projects a year — and again, I said this is going to shift a little bit — they all have to be different. They all have to stand apart and stand alone and be different from one another.”
Despite Iger’s claim about focusing on quality and how the lack of quality is affecting box office haul as well as Disney+ viewership, Deadline reports  the company will be doubling down on one of the creatives who has ushered in poor quality at Marvel Studios on both the Disney+ front in Loki and at the box office with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Deadline’s Justin Kroll reported that Waldron renewed “his overall deal with Disney and Marvel Studios where he has seen hits as creator, writer and executive producer of Loki (with Season 2 premiering this year) and as writer of the Doctor Strange sequel, which became Marvel’s top-grossing film of 2022. He also recently was tapped to pen Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars.”
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Kroll is obviously lying about Waldron’s success. Popular film critic The Critical Drinker lampooned the series noting it is “Marvel’s third attempt to ruin a popular, established character by making them do and say things that their cinematic counterparts never would while telling a pointless and unsatisfying story that didn’t need to be told in the first place.”
As for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it might have had marginal success at the box office. The film received paltry reviews from audiences.
The movie has a 6.9 out of 10 from over 430,000 IMDb users , one of the worst rated Marvel Cinematic Universe films on the site.
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On Rotten Tomatoes , the film has a subpar 76% from over 25,000 ratings. The average score is 3.9 out of 5.
If Bob Iger and The Walt Disney Company were serious about the quality of their products, they wouldn’t be renewing the contracts of individuals like Michael Waldron that have caused a dip in the quality of their products.
It appears Bob Iger is not actually serious about solving the quality problems across the company’s numerous entertainment studios. And why would he be? He’s the one who ushered in all the problems in the first place.
What do you make of The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios putting their eggs in Michael Waldron’s basket?
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