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Marvel's New Movie Plan Is Ruthless - 'You Have To Kill Things' Says Disney CEO

After a year marked by Hollywood strikes and box office slumps, it's no surprise to hear that Disney is slowing down its production and release schedules. Marvel Studios (which operates under Disney) has already announced huge changes to its MCU projects. A report from The Hollywood Reporter clarifies that this was just the beginning. Bob Iger — who made a surprising return as Disney's CEO in 2022 – has confirmed other projects are getting the axe as the company overhauls its film output.

At a March 5th conference hosted by Morgan Stanley in San Francisco, Iger explained, "You have to kill things you no longer believe in," adding a bit later, "It's not an easy thing, but you got to make those tough calls. We've actually made those tough calls. We've not been that public about it, but we've killed a few projects already, that we just didn't feel were strong enough." Not everything is as bleak as termination. The CEO added that he has been going over existing projects with their creators and has given detailed notes, respectfully looking for ways to improve their quality across the board. "I feel good about the team," he said later on. "I feel good about the IP we're making. I talked about a lot of the projects. We look years ahead, really. And it's iterative."

Iger puts a lot of time into this process, too. "Not only do you look at the films you're making, you you look at every part of that process," he detailed, "who the directors are, who's being cast, reading scripts, I personally watch films three to five times with the team and just create a culture of excellence and respect which is really important with the creative community. And again, the track record speaks for itself."

The ongoing Disney overhaul and addressing 'audience fatigue'

This isn't the first time Bob Iger has announced a fresher focus on quality across Disney's various IPs. The CEO's latest comments revealed much more about how this renewed focus on increasing quality will impact overall quantity. "Focus is really important," he reiterated. "We reduced the output of Marvel, both number of films they make, and the number of TV shows, and that really becomes critical."

Iger also referenced "audience fatigue" in response to the idea that fans are growing weary of superhero films or big franchises as a whole. "A lot of people think it's audience fatigue, it's not audience fatigue," he said. "They want great films. And if you build it great, they will come and there are countless examples of that."

For Disney, the goal is to turn 2024 and beyond into a well-organized release slate with quality films on tap for every demographic. Based on THR's reporting, it appears that the company has a quartet of tentpole events for 2024, including "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes," "Deadpool & Wolverine," and sequels for "Moana" and "Inside Out." If those movies end up being big box office draws, Iger may be able to re-animate Disney's dimming star and restore the iconic brand's pre-eminence in the entertainment industry in the months ahead.