Disney CEO Bob Iger Says MCU Needs ‘Newness,’ but There’s ‘Nothing Off’ About Marvel Brand: ‘Do You Need a Third and Fourth’ Sequel?

Disney CEO Bob Iger is touting “newness” when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The executive appeared at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference and questioned whether or not Marvel needs to continue churning out multiple sequels for individual characters. His comments arrived amid critical and box office disappointment for the most recent MCU tentpole, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”

“Sequels typically worked well for us,” Iger said at the conference. “Do you need a third and a fourth, for instance? Or is it time to turn to other characters?”

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Not only is “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” one of the worst-reviewed Marvel films in history (its 48% on Rotten Tomatoes nearly matches the record-low “Eternals” score of 47%), but the film dropped a massive 69% at the box office in its second weekend, marking the second-biggest drop in MCU history. “Quantumania” currently stands at $420 million worldwide and $189 million domestically. While these grosses are higher than the first two “Ant-Man” movies, they’re also underwhelming considering “Quantumania” kicks off Phase 5 of the MCU and introduces the new Thanos-sized villain of the franchise in Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conquerer.

“There’s nothing in any way inherently off in terms of the Marvel brand,” Iger added. “I think we just have to look at what characters and stories we’re mining, and you look at the trajectory of Marvel over the next five years, you’ll see a lot of newness. We’re going to turn back to the Avengers franchise, but with a whole different set of Avengers.”

While Marvel’s upcoming slate includes a second season of the Disney+ series “Loki” and films centered on pre-existing Marvel characters like Captain Marvel and the Guardians of the Galaxy, it also includes new MCU additions with Blade and Fantastic Four. There’s also the highly-anticipated MCU arrival of Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine on the way. Two “Avengers” movies are currently on Disney’s theatrical release calendar with 2025’s “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and 2026’s “Avengers: Secret Wars.”

Click here for more highlights from Iger’s discussion at the Morgan Stanley conference.

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