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Every few years, there’s an excitement that builds around what Marvel Studios is going to announce is coming next. We’ve had that this weekend, with confirmation of what will make up Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The plans include several episodic shows for the new Disney+ streaming service and a whole slate of new films. As expected, fans in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con were given plenty to whoop and holler at. And whoop and holler they did.
In all their announcements however there wasn’t anything to actually see – just details of what’s in store in 2020 and 2021, but fans were sitll left jumping up and down with excitement at the idea of what’s to come. This is a testament to what Marvel has done with the MCU. They’ve built something more than a franchise that people like. They’ve created an interconnecting universe of characters and storylines that fans want to feel a part of and know inside out. And they’ve done it to such an extent that their fans lose it over a slide with some logos on it.
This reaction to what amounts to minimal news begs the question: where’s this superhero fatigue that we’re all supposed to have been hit with? There are of course people who don’t care about these movies and I know that because my wife is one of them. She keeps asking me how they can keep making films using the same pool of characters and why they all make so much money.
And the answer is in the pedigree of what they’ve already achieved. A Marvel Studios ident at the beginning of a movie tells audiences everything they need to know. If it’s there, you know the filmmaking and storytelling that follows it is going to be of a certain level. And while not every entry into MCU canon is going to knock it out of the park, they all hit a minimum expected level of quality.
Ant-Man and the Wasp is a good example. It’s not as good as many (any) of the other entries into this movie universe but stills sits head and shoulders above almost anything submitted to the comic book movie fandom from the likes of the DC Extended Universe.
So I’m calling it out here; superhero fatigue isn’t a thing and it’s not going to be. Bad filmmaking fatigue on the other hand, is. Audiences have been spoiled by Marvel Studios who have arguably now surpassed Pixar as the studio with the best hit-rate when it comes to successful movies.