Variety has just published an extensive behind-the-scenes report from the mighty Marvel comic book giant, in which, among other things, plans for the revival and return of the original members of the Avengers, a villainous replacement for the soon-to-be-imprisoned Jonathan Majors aka Kang the Conqueror, as well as details from the ill-fated production of Blade, from which fans will be quite sad actually. We will be original and start from the last one.
By now, everyone has probably heard what troubles Kevin Feige and co. they had with the upcoming Blade comic book. Change of directors, rewriting of scripts, associated delays in the start of filming and finally a strike. At one point even the two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali wanted to back out. Reason? Of course, a script that supposedly relegated the title character to some fourth leading role, while the female protagonist was supposed to be the driving force and the film was supposed to be about valuable life lessons. So, the exact opposite of what fans of this tough vampire hunter want to see from the new movie. It’s no wonder that Feige pulled the brakes and the project underwent a complete transformation – the latest version of the script comes from screenwriter Michael Green, who wrote Logan. Well, at least it will be fine here.
On the other hand, the tie-breakers from Marvel remain very uneasy about the situation surrounding Jonathan Majors. He should really stand trial this month in the case of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, and all attempts by his legal representation so far to sweep the matter off the table have failed. In other words, there is probably evidence or at least good reasons for the incident to be discussed in court. Meanwhile, Majors insists that he is innocent, and Marvel decided a few months ago to just wait and see how this all turns out, but the actor’s reputation is simply tarnished (other things have come out in the meantime and his talent agency has given up on him for a change due to the attack on a crew member on Ant-Man), and given the sales of Quantumania, which has just bet heavily on Kang, now a lot of important people have come to the opinion that maybe the ship should turn the other way while there is still time.
In any case, there are several solutions, but none of them are completely good. The most likely option now seems to be a recast, or simply a bet on a different villain, with the name Doctor Doom most often mentioned. However, it would mean huge impacts on the rest of phase 5 and the subsequent phase 6, which of course nobody wants to do. So it would be best if the court vindicated Majors, and he subsequently began chopping Latin. In Loki, he proves that, at least in terms of acting, he is paradoxically the best that Marvel has encountered in recent years.
Well, that brings us back to the beginning. Marvel is not doing well. Like not at all. While in the past years the company salted one hit after another, no matter what it spawned (including the first Captain Marvel), today the situation is quite sad, and it is practically certain that the double of the aforementioned Captain Marvel will be quite a mess. At the last creative retreat last month, Feige et al. they were reportedly quite nervous and trying to think of ways to make it all right again. Well, there was also the possibility that Iron Man and Black Widow would simply be revived and the future Avengers would be with the original team again. Is that really a desperate solution? Yes. But desperate times call… but you know.
However, we are not at that point yet. Marvel still has a few aces up its sleeve, which mainly include the return of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Only the third Deadpool, which ends up arriving a bit later than originally expected, is generating solid interest. If Marvel manages to serve these two giant, adored brands to the fans “right”, whatever that means these days, everything could be different again. After all, the third Guardians of the Galaxy proves that the interest in comic book movies is still here – just that it will require a much more sensitive, careful and thoughtful way of serving than Marvel has been able to do until recently. In the end, the slap may have been needed sooner or later to cut the genre and the audience to start getting quality again. But maybe I’m just an unteachable optimist.
What do you think? Will we ever see Marvel in full glory again?