Disney just announced new Marvel strategy that could fix my MCU fatigue

marvel movies in order
(Image credit: Marvel Studios/Twitter)

Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed plans to reduce the number of Marvel movies and TV shows released in theaters and on streaming service Disney Plus, reports Variety

Speaking during the company’s latest earning call Iger said, “We’re slowly going to decrease volume and go to probably about two TV series a year instead of what had become four and reduce our film output from maybe four a year to two, or a maximum of three.” 

This would be a drop from Marvel’s previous schedule which saw three movies and three TV shows launched in both of the previous two years (2022 and 2023). However, even the amount of content dropped in the last 24 months was a reduction from the period considered the MCU’s peak. For example, in 2021, Marvel Studios released four movies and an overwhelming five TV shows in a single year. 

In 2024, there is only one MCU movie hitting theaters, “Deadpool and Wolverine” on July 26, and at least two TV shows: “Echo” and  “Agatha." The former was released in January, the latter is scheduled for a nebulous “late 2024” window with rumors of a Halloween drop. "Marvel Zombies" could also debut before year's end. 

A glimpse at Marvel's future

Looking to the future Iger noted that Marvel has “a couple of good films in [2025] and then we’re heading to more ‘Avengers,’ which we’re extremely excited about.” 

The CEO also added. “I feel great about the slate. It’s something that I’ve committed to spending more and more time on. The team is one that I have tremendous confidence in and the IP that we’re mining, including all the sequels that we’re doing, is second to none.”

Curiously, Marvel looks set to violate its new content schedule almost immediately. There are currently four Marvel movies earmarked for next year (“Captain America: Brave New World”, “Thunderbolts”, “The Fantastic Four” and “Blade”), with 2026’s slate also set to offer cinema-goers four more trips to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, these release dates could be shifted, and the cadence of Marvel TV shows appears to be dropping.

Iger’s words on the upcoming “Agatha” series, which is a spin-off from 2021’s “WandaVision” and has undergone a bizarre four name changes, paint a potentially grim picture for the immediate future of Marvel on the small screen. 

In the same call, Iger called the show “a vestige of basically a desire in the past to increase volume.” Suggesting it’s a project that may not have been greenlit under this new release strategy. Sorry, Agatha. 

This strategy could cure my Marvel fatigue

I’ve been suffering from Marvel fatigue to some degree since 2021. But my exhaustion with the comic book universe really took hold in 2022, when it felt like every month there was a new slice of the interconnected comic book universe to keep track of and much of what was offered dipped below the quality bar that had been established before “Avengers: Endgame."

Shows like “Moon Knight” left me cold, and I loathed theatrical efforts like “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania." While I used to hoover up every morsel of the MCU with delight, such is my disenfranchisement with the superhero series that I've started consuming it piecemeal. 

While I’ve yet to skip any of the movies, I dumped the critically-panned “Secret Invasion” after just a couple of episodes and I swerved shows like “Echo” and “Loki” season 2 in their entirety. 

Over the past few years, keeping up with the MCU started to feel more and more like a chore, but a smaller slate, focusing on quality over quantity, could be the tonic needed to get viewers like me excited again. At the very least I’m pleased that Disney sees its current strategy isn’t working, and they need to pivot to keep Marvel on top. 

Fingers crossed, that once Marvel’s existing backlog of content is cleared out, we start to see a leaner, and meaner, Marvel Cinematic Universe that harkens back to what we all loved about the franchise during its golden years. I’d love Disney to re-capture that special magic that propelled the MCU to new heights in the 2010s. 

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.