The Marvel Cinematic Universe has an unassailable lead when it comes to being ranked as the most commercially successful franchise the industry has ever seen, with Black Widow arriving next Friday to add even more profit onto a theatrical haul that’s fast closing towards a mind-boggling $23 billion.
Audiences are guaranteed to show up in droves to anything that comes bearing the Marvel Studios logo. While there’s been plenty of variety across the MCU’s big screen offerings, there’s definitely a methodology and formula that the majority of the blockbusters tend to adhere to. There are heroes that turn their back on destiny, close friends revealed to be villains all along, daddy issues, a fake-out death or two, and any dramatic stakes being swiftly offset by a well-timed quip, but there’s no denying it’s a template that’s worked wonders.
However, the MCU’s expansion onto Disney Plus has seen the respective creative teams take some big narrative and thematic swings, no doubt emboldened by the fact monthly subscription fees are already guaranteed to be rolling in regardless, so there’s no need to worry about alienating viewers or potentially missing out on box office dollars. In a new interview, Kevin Feige praised how unique Phase Four has been so far and says it’s only set to continue.
“I hope what people have taken away from WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, and seeing Black Widow soon, is how unique and different all the corners of the MCU can be. That’s what Disney Plus has given us, is an ability to tell more deeper, further stories that will have ramifications across features and series.”
WandaVision was a story about grief at its core, albeit one wrapped up in the trappings of alternate sitcom realities, while The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was a globetrotting buddy adventure with political and real-world undertones. Meanwhile, Loki is in the midst of a time-traveling adventure that could change the fabric of the MCU as we know it. It’s an exciting time for fans, and looking at the upcoming list of projects, it’s only set to continue for the rest of Phase Four.