A relatively recent rumor claims that Marvel Studios and its executives know “that their movies are not that good.”
This new rumor comes from scooper Jeff Sneider during a recent appearance on The Hot Mic podcast with YouTuber John Rocha.
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Sneider details, “Marvel’s got a secret that’s hiding in plain sight. I’ll tell you what the secret is. The secret is that they know that their movies are not that good. They know that the scripts, in particular, have been pretty bad.”
“And that’s why if you’ve been paying attention the last few weeks or months, you will note that Marvel has been spending a lot more money on writers,” he claimed.
Sneider then pointed to the hiring of True Detective and The Magnificent Seven remake screenwriter Nic Pizzolato being brought on to the troubled Blade film, Terminator: Dark Fate, Foundation, Avatar: the Way of Water and Snowpiercer writer Josh Friedman joining the Fantastic Four film, Beef creator Lee Sung Jin penning Thunderbolts.
“Pay attention, guys,” Sneider said. “They’re not going out to the newbie writers anymore. They are going out to some heavy hitters for writers. That’s the Marvel secret that no one has talked about yet. They are now paying for writers because they realize these f***ing scripts got to get better because our audience is going to turn on us.
Sneider continued, “It can’t go on forever. We go to the movies, or at least I do because I’m not an idiot, I go for a f***ing story. So tell me a good story. And that all is in the script. It starts on the page.”
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While Sneider claims it’s a secret, readers of Bounding Into Comics have been in on this secret for quite some time. Back in February The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger heavily implied the content coming out of their film studios including Marvel Studios was subpar.
During the company’s Q1 FY23 Earnings Results Call, Iger answered a question from Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson. While answering the question, he said, “In additionally we are going to lean more into our franchises, our core franchises, and our brands. I talked about curation in general entertainment. We have to be better at curating the Disney, and the Pixar, and the Marvel, and the Star Wars of it all.”
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Iger wasn’t the only to imply that the films and TV shows coming out of Marvel were lacking. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige also revealed he too knows the quality of the company’s films had sharply fallen.
During an appearance on The Movie Business Podcast with host Jason Squire, Feige was asked what the secret to Marvel Studios’ success is. While not explicitly saying the films the company has put out have sucked, he noted the company needs to get back to an entertain first principle rather than trying to push “beautiful life theories.”
He said, “And I guess to distill it down of what lessons are learned: is to entertain the audience at every turn.”
“Frank Capra has a quote that our co-president Louis D’Esposito quotes often, which is — basically to distill down to: entertain first,” Feige elaborated. “You can have as many beautiful messages, and beautiful life theories, and beautiful thematics that you want to put into the world that all of us do, and all of our filmmakers do, but if you’re not entertaining first it will fall on deaf ears.”
“I think that’s always been the way,” Feige added. “Thankfully, you’re making the kind of movies that you love to see that also goes into entertaining yourself, which is what we also try to do here at Marvel Studios.”
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director and current DC Studios CEO James Gunn also appeared to take shots at the quality of Marvel Studios productions during his “Gods and Monsters” presentation.
As reported by Deadline, Gunn said, “People have become beholden to dates, to holding dates, to getting movies made no matter what. At the end of the day, I’m a writer at my heart, and we’re not going to be making movies before the screenplay is finished.”
“And if that means our plan has to shift a little bit–it’s going to happen, we know it’s going to happen…we’re not going to be making movies and putting hundreds of millions of dollars in a film where a screenplay is only two-thirds of the way done and we have to finish it while we’re making the movie. I’ve seen it happen again and again, and it’s a mess. I think it’s the primary reason for the deterioration in the quality of films today versus 30 years ago,” Gunn asserted.
Not only have the executives and at least one of the directors made clear their films have suffered in quality, anyone who has actually watched them can also testify to that fact. Just look at recent audience scores for films like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania or Thor: Love and Thunder.
Both Quantumania and Thor: Love and Thunder have abysmal 6.2 User Ratings on IMDb. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever only did marginally better with an average rating of 6.7.
As for whether these new writers will improve anything only time will tell. But tapping the writer who’s credited for the story on Terminator: Dark Fate does not inspire hope for the Fantastic Four film.
What do you make of Sneider’s claim that Marvel’s big secret is that their movies suck and they are trying to course correct with better writers?
NEXT: Marvel’s ‘Thunderbolts’ Undergoing Rewrite, Original Script Reportedly Put Too Much Focus On Returning ‘Black Widow’ Characters Instead Of Entire Team