Disney/Marvel’s Biggest Blunder: Oversaturation and Creative Bankruptcy

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Marvel is the company that is experiencing the greatest failure.

Marvel Cinematic Universe, once a multi-billion-dollar golden goose for Disney, is now dragging itself to the bottom of the ocean. The alarms have been blaring for many years, and the collapse was obvious for quite some time. However, the access media ignored the problem and attacked those who warned of the impending disaster.

Marvel went as far as to make direct references to these people in their TV shows. For example, “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law”, spent time referring to YouTubers and Internet critics who criticized Marvel’s laziness and politicized show-running.

The problem has become so serious that even mainstream publications have begun to discuss it publicly in their featured articles. South Park, while it focused on Disney/Lucasfilm in its episode, also created a new one that targeted Kathleen Kennedy’s team and their writing style, which Marvel shares largely. This shows that the problem is widespread and Disney has a large hole.

Variety published an article that highlighted the serious and obvious problems Marvel is facing. There are constant script rewrites and budgets that are bloated to the point of absurdity, bad VFX and insubordinate executives. One of the stars of this phase of MCU is facing a high profile court case over domestic violence.

You’d get 100 different responses if you asked 100 people why the MCU, and perhaps even Disney in general, is sinking. Most of these answers would be true. There are many issues, but they are all connected by a central hub.

You’ll see in the Variety article that bad writing is one of the main problems. Marvel is known for rewriting scripts and reshoots, which cost them billions. Marvel has reportedly made so many changes to The Marvels both in pre-and mid-production that it has cost $250 million. It is not expected to perform well at the box office, with estimates of around $80 million.

Variety reported that She-Hulk’s season finale was rewritten, reshot, and cost $25 million. This is more than the budget of the final season of “Game of Thrones”.

Marvel faces a huge expense with its upcoming Blade film, which has undergone severe reshoots due to a poor script that reduced the main character to a mere quarternary part so the plot could be centered around life lessons for women of today. The audience wants to see a Lifetime movie set in a superhero world, not a half-vampire who kills monsters.

Mahershala was signed up to play the vampire in 2023. The project has seen at least five different writers, two different directors, and a shutdown six weeks prior to production. A person who is familiar with script variations says that the story was at one time a female-led narrative with many life lessons. Blade was demoted to fourth lead. This is a strange idea, considering the studio already had Oscar-winning Ali on board.

Disney/Marvel has a culture of inexcusable rewriting. It all starts in the writers’ room, with the writers they hire.

Disney is hiring these terrible writers because they have abandoned the value of meritocracy, talent, and political activism. Writers no longer get hired because they’re good. They are now chosen because they have the right opinions and check the boxes. These opinions are then incorporated into the shows and films they create.

Jessica Gao is a good example. She was the writer of “She-Hulk Attorney at Law” and her writing reflected her views on modern women, dating, and feminist ideology. She openly admitted she wrote some parts of the series to counter the negative reactions that she expected from MCU fans, proving that her writing was based on spite and not story-telling. Gao was also ignorant about courtroom dramas and lawyers, so a large part of the life of the main character went unnoticed. They wrote what they knew and made her into a slut. She is a modern woman who is shallow, obsessed with herself, and has a low opinion of men.

“She-Hulk” isn’t alone. You’ll find disturbing news about script revisions in nearly all MCU creations. Blade is one of them. According to reports, it has undergone at least four major rewrites. One iteration was a direct copycat of the Underworld movie, according to Bounding into Comics.

The MCU is currently undergoing a major rewrite, due to the abrupt departure of Jonathan Majors. This phase’s main antagonist, a character who was already disappointing audiences, has now been replaced by a new one.

Marvel and Disney should learn something at this point that they should have learned many years ago when corporations began to get involved in politics and start bleeding money.

Politics can be divisive, and divisiveness costs money. It shouldn’t be surprising that Marvel’s high-performance car was totaled when they handed the keys to unproven authors who checked all the boxes. The writers were not in it to love the story, the characters or themselves. They were in it because they loved their ideologies.

Andrew Breitbart said it best: “Politics are downstream of culture.” Disney/Marvel’s decision to enter politics weakened their cultural influence. Instead of telling great stories with stunning visuals, they began creating propaganda that was disguised as a brand created by better men and women before them. They have abused the position they hold in the culture.

Disney’s current strategy is not the best way to get back on track. It does not bring in more familiar characters to appeal to nostalgia. It’s time to stop focusing so much on DEI requirements and ideologies and hire writers who care and are familiar with the characters that they write. Writers care deeply about the story they are telling and how it will be received by audiences. They should also have a passion for well-told heroes’ journeys and a solid understanding of character archetypes.

There will be no more “subversion” of expectations for the sake of subversion expectations. There is no need to use these characters or universes as “platforms for change” and certainly not hire writers who have contempt for their audience and are eager to insert their political opinions in a story to which they do not belong.

Disney/Marvel still has a lot to do, but hiring talented and competent writers is the first step. If you do that, the number of script rewrites and costly reshoots would be reduced, the test audiences’ responses would improve, and there would be fewer people laughing at movies and TV shows.