It’s no secret that Marvel is a rapidly-growing franchise, and its seemingly endless and boundless multiverse is likewise expanding. After Spider-Man: No Way Home introduced the crossover of the century, other comic book enterprises seek to emulate Stan Lee’s brainchild. But how far can the MCU go? When is it time to throw in the towel and admit that enough is enough, no matter how much profit is lost?
Director Joe Russo, responsible for Marvel’s latest team-up Avengers: Endgame, must have asked himself this. According to IGN, Russo spoke on the subject at DICE 2022, mentioning that the industry has debated the parameters of the MCU for years. Clearly, many impulsive decisions were later reversed, such as Thanos effectively “killing off” half the MCU just for them to be revived at a later date. Russo also mentioned that the corporation lacked innovation and focused solely on commercial success, prioritizing money-making over genuine enjoyment.
“The corporate agenda is: Do you like chocolate ice cream? Well here chocolate ice cream with sprinkles, here’s chocolate ice cream with fudge…It’s their job to turn the money printer on. It’s the creative’s job to say, ‘Well shit, I don’t know if I want to watch that. So yeah, too much of one thing is a bad thing, but I think there are enough creators and innovators in the space where you can expect to be surprised,” Russo said. “Just don’t expect corporations to surprise you.”Joe Russo via DICE 2022
By expanding its multiverse, Marvel can squeeze in self-references, and throw more characters into the fray; more crossovers — or at least rumors of them — seem to feed the corporate hype, and over-compensate for poorly-performing solo movies by generating what sells. if we compare Avengers: Endgame to Black Widow, the latter failed to even come close to the former’s mega-success, which only further illustrates that point.
Right now, classic characters are more popular than ever, and Marvel is certain to exploit the multiverse/crossover element to bring back some old favorites for more “No Way Home” style ventures. Currently, Russo is working on projects outside the MCU, including a television adaptation of The Warriors video game.