Writing Decline in the Next Phase of the MCU?

We’re in the next phase of the MCU. It’s the most successful film franchise of all time, by some distance . . . The Infinity Saga had some tremendous...
Next phase of the MCU

We’re in the next phase of the MCU. It’s the most successful film franchise of all time, by some distance . . . The Infinity Saga had some tremendous story arcs in it and wonderful characters. But the writing recently has declined . . .

 

Issues

Put simply, the quality of writing within the MCU has declined, notably. Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness (2022) was hugely anticipated. We reviewed Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. It divided fans. Some thought it wasn’t quite what they wanted. Others enjoyed it. One thing that’s true is that there could have been more of the multiverse implications for the MCU in it. The film’s title was maybe not the best indicator. That didn’t help . . .

Following “Doctor Strange 2” there was Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), which we also reviewed. One of our main issues was that the character of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) seemed to have become a little bit of a caricature of himself. Furthermore, the appearance of Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) was not what it could have been.

 

Cash In?

Following the end of the Infinity Saga there was a lot of anxiety about the next phase of the MCU. Given what they’d gone and achieved it was fair to assume that we’d see more great writing. That’s not been the case. It feels quite a lot now like a new fanbase has been established, and now integrity isn’t important. For example. It’s hard to imagine a film from the likes of the Russo brothers. There are probably just as many, if not more, “new” fans of Marvel per say than traditional, existing comic-book fans before Disney took control. They, and money, seem to be priority now.

Long Game?

There is always hope. There has to be . . . There’s a chance that things could improve. But that will have to happen very soon. There’s been no “next big arc” so far, in the next phase of the MCU. We wrote a feature that discussed the potential wider implications following Spiderman: No Way Home (2021). We haven’t really seen much yet. They may be doing things quite differently, but there really needs to be something, a connective narrative of some sort. That’s what made the Infinity Saga so spectacular. The writing was original, engaging and really built intensity superbly.

The Disney Effect?

Companies are in the business of making money. That’s why it’s an entertainment industry. However, there has been good evidence that Disney were also custodians of many beloved characters. But it seems that this responsibility is now beginning to wane. It’s starting to look as if as long they’re making the money, then nothing else matters. For that to change we’re going to need to see some examples of great writing again. Humour is all very well, and important, but we need a sense of intense drama too. Let’s hope that the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) gives us that and puts the real MCU magic back on the big screen, not just more million-dollar special effects.

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