BOMBSHELL Marvel Drama Breakdown | Kang Out! Do...

BOMBSHELL Marvel Drama Breakdown | Kang Out! Doom In? Iron Man Back + Blade Issues

BOMBSHELL Marvel Drama Breakdown | Kang Out! Doom In? Iron Man Back + Blade Issues

Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show, I’m your host Paul, aka your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and we have a new bombshell report about Marvel.

Variety has just gone for the head with a big article detailing all the issues at Marvel Studio and the drama behind the scenes that’s plaguing the MCU. Throughout this video, we’re going to be breaking it all down and going through the key points while also giving our thoughts on it. Now, The Marvels is obviously out in less than 2 weeks, so this is a PR nightmare for the studio to deal with. However, I actually think there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, and I’ll be talking about why this is probably a good thing.

Everyone out there, everyone who lived through the clone saga, you know fine well that comics have these low points. However, it seems like the studio is actually aware of them and working behind the scenes to try and fix the damage.

Now if you enjoy the video, then please hit the thumbs up and don’t forget to subscribe for breakdowns like this every day. We also have our coverage of Loki coming up, so definitely stay locked in because you don’t want to miss it.

With that out of the way, a huge thank you for clicking this. Now, let’s get into this major report.


So it comes from Variety and leads with the headline ‘Is Marvel in trouble?’ Man, man bust out the graphic design department and got a drawing of audiences walking away from the current main characters, representing how fans have turned their back on the studio.

This is something that we’ve seen in the box office and declining viewership of the Disney Plus shows. The Marvels is also set to be the lowest-grossing MCU film post-COVID era and it might even end up with the same opening weekend as The Incredible Hulk.

Now, because of this, a lot of panic is setting in, and the article starts by saying:

This past September, a group of Marvel creatives, including studio chief Kevin Feige, assembled in Palm Springs for the studio’s annual retreat. Most years, the vibe would have been confident — even cocky — given how the premier superhero brand, owned by Disney since 2009, has remade the entertainment business in its image.

But this occasion was angst-ridden — everyone at Marvel was reeling from a series of disappointments on-screen, a legal scandal involving one of its biggest stars, and questions about the viability of the studio’s ambitious strategy to extend the brand beyond movies into streaming. The most pressing issue to be discussed at the retreat was what to do about Jonathan Majors, the actor who had been poised to carry the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but instead is headed to a high-profile trial in New York later this month.

Now, in case you don’t know, these retreats are common at the studio, and normally they’ve gone there and planned out the phases. Age of Ultron, Infinity War, all the big moves were made there, but this paints it out as them being in panic mode.

BOMBSHELL Marvel Drama Breakdown | Kang Out! Doom In? Iron Man Back + Blade Issues
BOMBSHELL Marvel Drama Breakdown | Kang Out! Doom In? Iron Man Back + Blade Issues

At the gathering in Palm Springs, executives discussed backup plans, including pivoting to another comic book adversary, like Dr. Doom. But making any shift would carry its own headaches: Majors was already a big presence in the MCU, including as the scene-stealing antagonist in February’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” And he has been positioned as the franchise’s next big thing in this season of “Loki” — particularly in the finale, which airs on Nov. 9 and sets up Kang as the titular star of a fifth “Avengers” film in 2026.

“Marvel is truly fucked with the whole Kang angle,” says one top dealmaker who has seen the final “Loki” episode. “And they haven’t had an opportunity to rewrite until very recently [because of the WGA strike]. But I don’t see a path to how they move forward with him.”

Now, the article also goes on to say that they were planning to go in another direction even before the drama because of how much Quantumania underperformed. Hot take, right? But I actually think Jonathan Majors was the best part of that movie, and I still regularly watch that scene with him and Michelle Pfeiffer fixing up his chair. He was also incredible as He Who Remains and stole the show in the Loki season 1 finale.

I also don’t really think that Majors has caused any issues with the Loki Season 2 viewership, and though that’s down, I don’t think it’s because of him.

However, one thing I never got was why they were putting him up for Secret Wars when Kang was never the villain associated with that story in the comics.

Now, in case you don’t know, the comics have Doctor Doom as the baddie in both versions of Secret Wars, with him getting the power of a god after killing the Beyonder…or Beyonders

in the Hickman run. Either way, I actually think that they could do something narratively where they set up Kang as the Beyonder and then have Doom take his power. There were rumors a while back that Kang would be the Beyond as well, so this would be a great transition over into that.

It just never made sense to me to have Secret Wars without Doom, as then it kinda makes it pointless to bring him to the MCU. These are probably his two biggest stories, and you could build him out from a Fantastic Four film. At the moment, it doesn’t seem like they’re doing that either, so it just made no sense to bring Doom in at all. Would be like having Iron Man do the Gwen Stacy story with the Green Goblin before you then bring in Spider-Man or giving House Of M to Doctor Strange.

Now, I’ve kinda skirted around what’s going on with Majors in the past, and I think that the studio at this point just doesn’t know what to do. So far, they’ve led with the policy of silence and have just wanted to see how things play out. However, if the trial’s going ahead, it’s gonna get a lot of publicity, and this will happen while he’s also shooting elements of upcoming films with his cameos.

So therefore, they might just wanna play it safe and not even take the risk. Building an entire phase around a character like this was always gonna be risky, and they might see the risk not being worth the reward. It’s clear that other projects are panicked too, as Majors’ big Oscar movie that got a five-minute standing ovation has been pushed back too. I’m always innocent until proven guilty, but I can totally see why from a business point of view they might want to make a backup plan just in case.

Anyway, the article then goes on to talk about the four weeks of reshoots that The Marvels had. Now normally, Feige schedules these into production, and the Reign of Marvel Studios book actually goes into this in fair detail. It talks about how they’ll put together a script, go film it, and then come back, and Feige will talk about changes, do certain things to alter the direction, and then they’ll go back for the reshoots to implement those changes. It’s a strategy that’s worked time and time again, but now due to all the content, Feige’s stretched too thin. He hasn’t had time to oversee everything, and to make matters worse, director Nia DaCosta wasn’t present for the reshoots either.

Now, I know this is getting downplayed because she was away on another project, and it’s possible that Marvel just took over the reins and said they had it from there. However, 4 weeks is a big chunk of the film, so not having the director there to actually shape their vision doesn’t look good. DaCosta has been pretty open about how Marvel just rules the roost, and I feel like a lot of the time she’s been trying to get in front of the story.


The article then says:

“If you’re directing a $250 million movie, it’s kind of weird for the director to leave with a few months to go,” says a source familiar with the production.

“The Marvels” has seen its release date moved back twice, too, once to swap places with “Quantumania,” which was deemed further along, and again when its debut shifted from July to November to give the filmmakers more time to tinker. But that extra time didn’t necessarily help. In June, Marvel, which traditionally only solicits feedback from Disney employees and their friends and families, took the uncharacteristic step of holding a public test screening in Texas. The audience gave the film middling reviews.

The article then backs up our prior point before saying.

But Marvel has never been in the business of being average. “Kevin’s real superpower, his genius, has always been in postproduction and getting his hands on movies and making sure that they finished strongly,” the source adds. “These days, he’s spread thin.” (Feige declined to comment for this story.)

Feige isn’t the only person showing signs of strain. Marvel’s entire VFX battalion, including staffers and vendors, is struggling to keep pace with a never-ending stream of productions. This past February, when the credits rolled at the world premiere of “Quantumania,” shock rippled through the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood over some shoddy CGI. “There were at least 10 scenes where the visual effects had been added at the last minute and were out of focus,” says one veteran power broker who was there. “It was insane. I’ve never seen something like that in my entire career. Everyone was talking about it. Even the kids of executives were talking about it.”

BOMBSHELL Marvel Drama Breakdown | Kang Out! Doom In? Iron Man Back + Blade Issues
BOMBSHELL Marvel Drama Breakdown | Kang Out! Doom In? Iron Man Back + Blade Issues

The schedule swap with “The Marvels” had left the “Ant-Man” sequel in a squeeze, pushing up its postproduction schedule by four-and-a-half months, Marvel films are known for coming down to the wire, given Feige’s ability “to foam the runway and land a plane that way,” says one executive familiar with how the company operates. But this level of unfinished was unprecedented and would be noted in scathing reviews when the tentpole with the $200 million budget opened 11 days after the premiere. Critics weren’t the only ones dismayed. Fed up with 14-hour days and no overtime, Marvel VFX workers voted unanimously to unionize in September.

This eventually led to the firing of Victoria Alonso, with the article saying that she took the fall due to the work conditions being described as unsustainable.

This logjam began with She-Hulk, which underwent many changes, including moving one of the final episodes up to the first. Normally, you’d have more time to work on these later episodes, but that shift then put them under more pressure. They also changed the designs of her too, causing even more disruptions. Now, on top of this, the budgets spiraled out of control too, with them saying that an episode of She-Hulk cost more than the Game of Thrones finale.

It’s mental because it’s pretty much all shot on location without the expansive costumes or even half the CGI that that series had.

Joanna Robinson also said:

“There are signs that the flood of product is leading people to tune out. I’m not prepared to call it a permanent fall. But based on the numbers that go with Marvel podcasts, Marvel-based articles, friends who do Marvel-based video coverage, all of these numbers are significantly down,”

I’ve seen that myself, and whereas my Loki season 1 views were up near the millions, this year’s not even broke 300k. What do you mean it’s because the videos are s**t, and I’m a terrible YouTuber? I know there’s been lots of pressure behind the scenes with the corporate-owned channels too, where the stress of this is getting put on the staff instead of it being what the content is.

Now the piece then goes on to talk about Blade, which… when you hear it, is absolutely mental:

As public criticism mounts, Feige is pulling the plug on scripts and projects that aren’t working. Case in point: the “Blade” reboot. With Mahershala Ali signed on for the eponymous role of a vampire, things looked promising for a 2023 release date. But the project has gone through at least five writers, two directors, and one shutdown six weeks before production. One person familiar with the script permutations says the story at one point morphed into a narrative led by women and filled with life lessons. Blade was relegated to the fourth lead, a bizarre idea considering that the studio had a two-time Oscar winner, Ali, on board.

If only there was some TV show that released this week with the perfect meme for that.

Anyway, doing Blade and not making Blade the main character is completely insane to me. Ali signed up to this film after winning an Oscar, and to put him on the backbench seems like some Panderverse s**t. Sounds like they’ve been using the stone to change the script when you literally had the easiest character to make. All you have to do is have a man fighting vampires, and there’s absolutely no reason to change it up and try and do it any other way. I think Marvel’s issue is that they’re bringing in a lot of indie filmmakers who have activism on their mind when making these movies.

That type of stuff works in an indie setting, but when it comes to big blockbusters, it often turns people off. So yeah, just ridiculous, and apparently, they’re aiming for a $100 million budget. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ali walks away, and it also talks about how he was ready to exit over the script issues. Blade was actually meant to be released this week, and it shows how much they’ve managed to mess it up.

Now the last major point is that Robert Downey Junior and ScarJo could be asked back. To be honest, I always thought this was going to be one of the main parts of Secret Wars anyway, and you might remember that last year we dropped a big video going over what we heard. So far, this has turned out to be pretty bang on, with it bringing back lots of characters from across the other films and then giving us a soft reboot.

Now, Griffin Schiller actually made a really good point that talked about the desperation clearly within the studio. Man said that this is basically their legacy sequel when they’ve not even hit the 20-year point yet, and it shows how much the studio is panicking.

Just use the panderstone, mate, make a Thor movie with Thor as a wom…nevermind…make Iron Man with Iron Man as a wommm…oop, never mind.

Yeah, shut up. I like Jane and Iron Heart, mate, I’m just trolling, don’t hit the thumbs down. What do you mean you

did it 5 minutes ago?

Anyway, I personally think that both had great send-offs, with RDJ especially getting the perfect one. However, comics be comics, and there used to be a rule that no one’s really dead other than Uncle Ben, The Waynes, and Gwen Stacy. Those last two have returned with the multiverse, and I think they’ll do the same thing with the pair here. I really don’t think it’ll be the old versions, and instead, I think it’ll be multiversal variants of them.

They did the same thing with Gamora, but it’s kinda getting stupid that the two people who died for the soul stone are coming back.

Anyway, this is stuff we’ve been expecting for a long time, and from what I’ve heard, Downey has actually been signed on for a while now.

Now personally, I think they just need to get the X-Men in quickly, and if you’ve heard the leaks about the post-credits scene for The Marvels, then you might have a fair inkling when that’s coming. I have no idea why Marvel got the rights back to them and then are still going ahead with some of the side characters that they are. I think Echo’s gonna be a complete disaster, and the studio knows it, which is why they’ve dropped it down to five episodes and are releasing it day one. I have no idea why that was made in the first place when the character never had a massive following anyway. I think Guardians was both the best and worst thing to happen to the studio because it showed them they could make projects out of any characters, but that also doesn’t mean that they should make projects out of every character.


If it was me, I would delay or cancel anything they have now that isn’t directly linked to Secret Wars. My big issue is that Marvel just has so many characters at the moment that there are too many toys to play with in the sandbox. Feige is introducing people like the Swordsman in Hawkeye when you know for a fact that nothing’s probably gonna happen with them for years. There are just so many side characters like that that aren’t gonna go anywhere, and it makes it difficult to attach yourself to the universe when there are so many characters no one cares about.

Agatha had that hit with Agatha All Along, but it’s now gonna be 4 years since then when her show drops. I don’t think the interest was there, and though Kathryn Hahn’s great, this isn’t really gonna be a hit. I imagine anyway. Now it seems like Marvel is at least aware of this, and as we know, Daredevil’s being reshot. That shows that they at least know where they put a foot wrong, and in my opinion, they just need to scale it back.

Secret Invasion should’ve been its own phase, and with the Far From Home post-credits scene, I thought that would be the case. Instead, we had that horrendous Rhodey reveal and the finale that’s the lowest-rated MCU thing ever.

BOMBSHELL Marvel Drama Breakdown | Kang Out! Doom In? Iron Man Back + Blade Issues
BOMBSHELL Marvel Drama Breakdown | Kang Out! Doom In? Iron Man Back + Blade Issues

Just a complete mess, and they really need to go back to quality over quantity.

I think the way they’ve handled Kang has been a bit of a fumble, and so far, he’s 0 and 3. Originally, he was gonna beat Ant-Man in Quantumania, but they reshot the ending to have him lose. Stuff like this just…just robs him of being a threat, and I’m guessing he’s getting thrown out with last week’s spaghetti.

Now, will I be there day one for that new Avengers movie? Absolutely, I just hope they realize the problems like they seem to have and go ahead in a slightly altered direction.

Obviously, this is just one man’s thoughts, though, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.

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