Let’s Bet the Whole Franchise On Unlikability
Film corporations like betting on a “sure-thing” until the thing isn’t that sure.
Kevin Feige, the MCU, and Disney made a bet on Captain Marvel, anchored by an unlikeable star with a film plot full of holes and retcons, and, initially despite fanboy tears, protestations, and refusals to buy tickets, it seemed to be working out:
- $1 billion worldwide gross against a $152 million-dollar budget,
- A series of pointless gaffes from the unlikable star that didn’t seem to impact the film’s reception worldwide among “normies” negatively,
- Insertion of said unlikable star at the end of Avengers: Endgame without any noticeable negative box office backlash.
If you’re Feige, the MCU, and Disney, you believe you’re riding high: your plans for the future of the MCU, Phase 4, can move forward, being driven by predominately female superhero characters, with little to no effective blowback from those pesky male fans who actually buy 90% of all comic books and know the IP better than you do.
And then, you ran into the buzz saw known as Sony Pictures Studios.
Launching a Platform with Known Quantities
If you’re Disney, no one tells you “no.”
Not 20th Century Fox, not Stan Lee, not comic book fanboys, not Star Wars fans, and sure as hell, not some upstart film company whose only superhero film IP hit in the last few years was with a second tier, also ran Spider-Man villain.
Plus, you think that Spider-Man can be pigeonholed into whatever plotlines you want, all the way from Tom Holland being a mite bit too old to “sell” it, to Aunt May being too hot to be an aunt of any kind, to Tony Stark being Spider-Man’s elite armorer for some reason.
Except, somewhere along the way, Sony Pictures Studios grew a pair of balls and started thinking that the $900 million dollars they made worldwide on that second tier villain Venom with no Spider-Man in evidence, might be the trump card needed to outwit, outbid, and outmaneuver you.
And they were right.
Damn it, they were right.
And I quote, from the rumor mill:
“A new rumor claims that Disney has lost confidence in Brie Larson and Captain Marvel, which has to do with the loss of Spider-Man to Sony.
It’s claimed that Disney, Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige were going to use Spider-Man and Tom Holland to help make Brie Larson and Captain Marvel more likable in the MCU, but now that Spider-Man is gone, Disney is worried about the future of Captain Marvel.
Interestingly enough, as seen in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Tom Holland is the first to have named-dropped Captain Marvel in the MCU.”
And now, if you’re Disney, Feige, and the MCU, you’re cruising into Phase 4 with no characters that a “normie” would be interested in, a slate of shows on Disney+ that won’t anchor that platform in the superhero genre with rabid competitors all around, and you’ve got that unlikable anchor around your neck.
It sucks to be measured and found wanting, doesn’t it Mouse House.
Sony and the Fanboys Look Like the Big Winners Here
It seems appropriate to laugh at Disney’s pain here, so I will give you a minute to do so, while I wrap up.
Disney and Feige’s big move for future films was to use Spider-Man’s presence in the MCU to prop up Captain Marvel and make her likable by having her run down Spider-Man’s competency, worth, and value to the fans.
Instead, Sony gets Spider-Man back into its own superhero IP fold, backed by Spider-Man: Into the Multiverse being an Oscar-nominated hit, and supported by a backlog of over 900 Marvel characters, including Morbius, Kraven, and the Sinister Six, which is more than enough to build a universe off the back of if you’re Amy Pascal (again, how does she STILL collect a check?).
So, Sony wins short-term and mid-term outright by getting back Spider-Man and outmaneuvering Disney.
Disney has an anchor in Captain Marvel they can’t market, develop, or quietly back burner anytime soon. There’s no Captain Marvel 2 in the pipeline at the moment.
And the fanboys win whether Sony screws up the shared universe concept or not, by not having to live through the cucking of a beloved character who has already been done enough wrong in the last few years, from miscasting to silly plotlines.
What do you all think about this latest rumor?
Sound off below.