What Exactly Are The MCU"s "Stronger Franchises"?

  • Marvel Cinematic Universe will focus on stronger franchises to drive box office success, prioritizing familiar characters like Spider-Man and The Avengers.
  • Spider-Man's relatability and dynamic storytelling make it a standout franchise in the MCU, securing its future with upcoming films and potential crossovers.
  • The X-Men franchise brings enormous cinematic potential to the MCU, promising diverse stories, epic events, and the reintroduction of iconic characters like Wolverine.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe will reportedly reduce movie output and will focus on stronger franchises, but has proffered little explanation regarding precisely which franchises this entails. Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed plans to streamline the MCU's future, noting that familiar franchises are typically performing better at the box office. With the multitude of Disney+ miniseries and obscure adaptations, Iger comments that Marvel will respond by returning to "stronger" franchises:
"Marvel is starting to focus on some of its stronger franchises going forward, but I'll leave it at that. And I think given the environment and given what it takes to get people out of their homes to see a film, doing that, leaning on franchises that are familiar is actually a smart thing. So, we've got work to do still." - Bob Iger, February 2024
The MCU has already produced a swathe of beloved and established franchises that could continue in Marvel's cinematic future. While Iron Man was certainly the flagship film series, the hero's personality remains intrinsically connected to Robert Downey Jr.'s performance and the character's future is uncertain. Guardians of the Galaxy soared in popularity following the first movie and has become one of the strongest aspects of the MCU, but also faces an undetermined fate. While both of these will surely return to the MCU timeline in some form, several other Marvel franchises will likely be prioritized as the MCU's strongest options.
Related 2 MCU Phase 5 Releases Make A Mockery Of Marvel's "Stronger Franchises" Plans Marvel Studios' future may radically change after Disney's promise of a slowdown, but 2 recent releases prove more is needed than "familiarity". Spider-Man Is Marvel's Strongest Franchise MCU Movies Include Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man: No Way Home Spider-Man is one of the MCU's most significant and beloved franchises, enchanting audiences with its compelling storytelling, iconic characters, and thrilling action sequences. Since his introduction into the MCU, Spider-Man, portrayed by Tom Holland, has swiftly swung into the hearts of audiences worldwide. With a decades-long cinematic legacy, Spider-Man is perhaps the most recognizable Marvel hero, often used as part of the company's iconography. Spider-Man's role is certainly going to continue, and perhaps even grow, under Disney's new release plans for Marvel.
Related What MCU Phase 4 Would Have Looked Like With Only Marvel's Strongest Brands The MCU’s Phase 4 would have been very different had it implemented Disney’s new release plans and focussed on established, well-known characters. At the core of Spider-Man's appeal is his relatability. Unlike many other superheroes, Pater Parker grapples with the everyday challenges of adolescence alongside his extraordinary responsibilities as a crime-fighting vigilante. This juxtaposition of personal struggles with heroic feats resonates deeply with viewers and readers, fostering a strong emotional connection to the character. The success of the Spider-Man franchise within the MCU is also attributed to its ability to balance humor, heart, and spectacle. From Peter Parker's endearing quips to the high-flying acrobatics of his web-slinging escapades, each movie delivered a captivating blend of action and emotion.
Spider-Man's third movie in the MCU, Spider-Man: No Way Home, shattered box office records and garnered widespread critical acclaim. The movie stands as one of the most successful in the MCU, managing to outperform both of its revered predecessors. A fourth Spider-Man movie has been confirmed, though it's unclear if Tom Holland will reprise the role. However, with Spider-Man's mighty legacy, and the rampant success of the Spider-Verse movies, the MCU will likely continue making Spider-Man movies in some form indefinitely, perhaps even depicting a different Spider-Man, such as Miles Morales.
The Avengers Has A Mighty MCU Legacy MCU Movies Include The Avengers, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame Close The Avengers franchise is one of the most formidable pillars of Marvel Comics and the MCU. Since its inception, the Avengers has been a juggernaut of box office success, critical acclaim, and cultural impact. At the heart of the Avengers' appeal is its ensemble cast of iconic superheroes, each bringing their unique strengths, personalities, and conflicts to the table. From the charismatic Iron Man to the noble Captain America, the Avengers movies expertly balanced character dynamics, providing audiences with a rich tapestry of heroes to root for and relate to.
The Avengers franchise excels in delivering epic, large-scale action sequences that showcase the full extent of its characters' powers and abilities. The Avengers movies serve as the linchpin of the interconnected MCU, weaving together individual character arcs and storylines into a cohesive narrative network. The crossover events and team-up dynamics not only deepened the lore of the MCU but also provided exciting moments of fan service and payoff for long-time audiences.
Related 10 MCU Cliffhangers In Danger Of Staying Unresolved After Marvel's New Release Promise Disney’s plan to slow down Marvel Cinematic Universe releases risks leaving numerous cliffhangers from the franchise completely unresolved. As the Avengers in Marvel Comics have amassed a mighty roster of heroes, the MCU can rotate its central heroes and evolve as actors retire from roles and multiverse variants are introduced. During the MCU's The Infinity Saga, the Avengers movies appeared at the culmination of each Phase. However, this is not the case with The Multiverse Saga, which proffers just two movies, the MCU's Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars. Considering Disney's new release plans for Marvel, it's probable Avengers movies will be more prevalent in the future.
The Fantastic Four Is Marvel's First Family The MCU's The Fantastic Four Will Be Released In 2025 The MCU's The Fantastic Four is scheduled for release in 2025, bringing one of Marvel's greatest franchises into the cinematic universe. After a litany of subpar movie adaptations, expectations are high for the MCU's rendition, but considering Disney's focus on established franchises, The Fantastic Four will surely be a central feature. Marvel's Fantastic Four are considered Marvel's first family and have been one of the most popular Marvel franchises since their inception. Their introduction into the MCU presents an opportunity to explore new avenues for the famed hero team.
Related Who Is The Fantastic Four's Robot? HERBIE Comics Origin & History Explained HERBIE was an iconic and essential member of Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four team and appears in the MCU’s official art release for The Fantastic Four. One of the main attractions of The Fantastic Four lies in their unique personalities and complementary range of powers. Their dynamic relationships, particularly the romantic tension between Reed Richards and Sue Storm, and the camaraderie among the team, provide rich emotional depth to their adventures. Their struggles and triumphs as a family resonate with readers, adding rich layers to their adventures which could flourish in a movie franchise executed more effectively.
One key aspect of The Fantastic Four's legacy is their impressive rogue's gallery, with a swathe of iconic villains who are yet to make their MCU debuts. Doctor Doom and Galactus are foes so formidable they could carry entire sagas in the MCU. The Fantastic Four boasts a mighty Marvel Comics reputation, firmly established as a strong franchise with enormous narrative potential as Marvel reconsiders its cinematic future.
X-Men Has Enormous Cinematic Potential New Marvel Studios Installments Include Deadpool & Wolverine And X-Men '97 Close The X-Men franchise is one of Marvel's most significant and enduring properties, captivating audiences with its diverse cast of mutants, complex storytelling, and themes of discrimination, identity, and social justice. Fox's X-Men movies have demonstrated the potential strength of the franchise with the MCU. Through compelling stories and thought-provoking themes, the Fox movies have exemplified the Marvel Comics mutant team and their mass appeal. Integrating the X-Men into the MCU will provide boundless opportunities for numerous narratives, crossover events, and epic storylines.
The MCU could easily treat the X-Men in the same manner as the early Phases handled key Avengers, depicting them separately before uniting for a giant team-up event. This impressive scope is fairly unique to X-Men, and truly demonstrates their potential value as they join the MCU. The endless array of characters with compelling backstories and powers leaves great potential, all while being able to maintain the X-Men brand and will undoubtedly play a key role in the MCU's future.
The mutant heroes will finally be reintroduced into Marvel's on-screen roster with the MCU with Deadpool & Wolverine, and the animated revival series X-Men '97. Both of these releases take advantage of some of X-Men's strongest on-screen elements: Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and X-Men: The Animated Series. These will provide the perfect transition for the X-Men to flourish as part of the MCU, bridging the two cinematic universes and maintaining its strengths.
Captain America Is One of Marvel's First Heroes MCU Movies Include Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, And Captain America: Civil War Close Captain America is one of Marvel's oldest and most famed superheroes, debuting in 1940. Since his introduction into the MCU in Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers' journey from a scrawny determined solder to the iconic symbol of freedom and justice has been a captivating narrative arch. With Steve Rogers retiring from the role in Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson has assumed the role and is scheduled to appear in Captain America: Brave New World. Captain America will likely continue to play a pivotal role in the MCU under Marvel's new release plans.
Chris Evans portrayed the character with unwavering sincerity and integrity, projecting a Captain America that represents the best of humanity, standing up for what is right even in the face of an overwhelming adversary. Captain America movies have excelled at blending thrilling action with heartfelt character development and poignant storytelling. From a gritty World War II setting to an espionage narrative, each Captain America movie has been a compelling mix of spectacle and emotion that resonates with audiences of all ages.
With Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson assuming the role of Captain America, the franchise is primed to continue in the MCU. The wealth of comic book stories to draw inspiration from, and the character's impressive longevity, allow Mackie's Captain America to continue in the MCU past Brave New World. This would facilitate Captain America returning to lead the Avengers in future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, ensuring the hero's cinematic legacy endures even further.


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