Marvel Reportedly Considered Bringing Original Avengers Cast for New Movie, Replacing Jonathan Majors, More

Marvel Reportedly Considered Bringing Original Avengers Cast for New Movie, Replacing Jonathan Majors, More

Marvel Studios reportedly held talks to bring back the original cast members for a new Avengers movie. As per Variety, studio executives, including President Kevin Feige, recently discussed the idea of reviving Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/ Iron Man and Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff/ Black Widow for a new saga — albeit they aren’t committed to it. It’s not even surprising to see something like this happen in a superhero movie, given comic books are notorious for killing off characters and resurrecting them. However, doing so in Hollywood could require a big investment, with the report noting that Downey’s salary for 2013’s Iron Man 3 was $25 million (about Rs. 208 crore).

Marvel has released some stinkers this year, with both its slate of films and TV shows like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Secret Invasion releasing to widespread negative reception. With films in Phase Four failing to impress despite commercial success, and its Phase Five faltering, it’s hardly surprising that Marvel is considering getting the old band back together. But betting on something this monumental could be risky — even if the fans would be excited about it.

You see, the reason the Russo Brothers’ Avengers: Endgame performed well at the box office was partly because of its conclusive ending. The movie was fitting culmination of years of hype and character development over 22 preceding films. Reviving characters just out of the blue would raise questions about canon events, in addition to being an extremely obvious attempt to capture the long-lost Marvel magic that had audiences lining up at theatres at midnight. The superhero movie fatigue has never been so clear, and the MCU is still trying to salvage what they can to deliver a proper ending to the Multiverse Saga.

According to the Variety report, discussions also focused on the franchise’s current main villain Kang the Conqueror, played by Jonathan Majors, who’s been involved in legal issues this year. The actor was arrested in March on charges of domestic violence, with Disney seemingly in wait to see how the ordeal plays out. Majors’ upcoming film Avengers: The Kang Dynasty isn’t slated to begin filming until 2024. The actor was eventually dropped by his managers and hit with more allegations, as he now prepares to stand for a trial in November. The controversy has caused Marvel executives to consider another key villain, the genius Dr. Doom — a huge shift, considering the studio has built up Kang to be the ultimate adversary through both seasons of Loki and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Variety’s sources, however, insist that Marvel had considered building up a new villain regardless of Majors’ legal run-ins, owing to Quantumania’s poor box office performance.

A chunk of the film’s criticism stemmed from subpar CGI, with VFX artists pointing fingers at Marvel Studios for diverting all its major resources towards other films like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — thereby leading to time constraints. Long working hours and unrealistic deadlines caused the VFX department to unionise in September, with some claiming that the VFX head Victoria Alonso was responsible for the lacklustre effects. She was fired in March, citing a contract breach, albeit insiders believed that quality assurance was freefalling since they began dishing out Disney+ Marvel shows. Meanwhile, another group claims that Alonso was simply a ‘scapegoat’ and that the CGI issues in the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law show stemmed from scripting and scheduling conflicts, causing artists to fix them in post-production.

The studio prepares for its newest film on November 10 — The Marvels starring Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Teyonah Parris, which was made on a $250 million (about Rs. 2,081 crore) budget. The report notes that the film warranted four weeks of reshoots, with its director Nia DaCosta heading out to work on another movie during the post-production stage. “If you’re directing a $250 million movie, it’s kind of weird for the director to leave with a few months to go,” Variety’s source claimed.

Furthermore, the long-gestating Blade reboot film starring Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, which has cycled through multiple writers and directors, is being tweaked from the ground up. Turns out, the vampire tale once morphed into a ‘narrative led by women and filled with life lessons,’ while the lead was buried way below. Ali, at one point, was willing to leave the project due to script issues, but Feige then hired Logan writer Michael Green to whip up a fresh story, which will be developed at a $100 million (about Rs. 832 crore) budget. Blade is now eyeing a release sometime in 2025.

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